HOW MANY TIMES A DAY DO YOU USE YOUR IPHONE/IPAD?
Over the past couple months, I have converted almost all of my workflow to iOS. However, the fact that these devices can be anything at anytime can be dangerous. Those who are familiar with CGP Grey and Cortex will recognize a lot of my workflow. Like him, I try to be very intentional about how I work and how I am using technology.
I have three iOS devices that serve separate primary purposes: Capture (iPhone), Consumption (9.7“ iPad Pro), Creation (12.9” iPad Pro). The home screens shown have apps on the desktop that point me in the direction of what I should be using the device for.
The iPhone has apps that allow for quick capture of ideas, encourage focused work, and remind me to improve health. The 3D Touch actions on Launch Center Pro are great for capture as well, and I have made actions New Fantastical Event, New Scanbot, New PCalc, and Snapchat.
The 9.7" iPad Pro is a multi purpose consumption device for me. It’s blank because I launch everything with spotlight, and honestly, couldn’t settle on a series of apps that made sense. What I use here the most are: Tweetbot (The only place I use this), Unread, Instapaper, and Paprika to name a few.
The 12.9" iPad Pro has only apps I use for focused work. There is no potential for distraction here from social apps and this is almost always on do not disturb, with no badges turned on. I use Goodnotes, Excel, Soulver, Spark, and Word the most. This iPad lives on my Easel, and I do 95% of my work here using the software keyboard and Apple Pencil.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE APPS?
Notes Like most people, I could count the number of notes I had in Apple Notes on the fingers on my two hands before iOS 9. Now, even though I have weekly review set up to purge and act on notes from the week, I find myself above the Macsparky note count. A couple features I had hoped would be included at WWDC: Support for editing two notes simultaneously in split screen and better organization capabilities on iPad.
Goodnotes I have drawers full of Field Notes notebooks. They are great and one of my favorite products, but I could never find a way to quickly reference information recorded. Every project lived in these notebooks, with brainstorming, outlining, notes, thoughts, and planning all done here. Then the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro happened. I tested all kinds of apps to replicate and improve this workflow using this new technology, and I settled on Goodnotes. It is not perfect, and there are some definite UI problems that drive me nuts, but my single favorite work task to do now is planning my day/week/month/year and projects using this app, the 12.9" iPad Pro, and Easel. This is illustrated in the photo below.
Overcast Playlists are huge for me, but Smart Speed is a feature that makes listening to podcasts elsewhere a form of torture. Marco the developer is a great guy as well, so start listening to MPU here.
Paper by Fifty Three My design concepts for Easel were all done here using Apple Pencil.
WHAT TODAY VIEW WIDGETS ARE YOU USING AND WHY?
Notification Center I use the Fantastical calendar widget in today view, but what I love about this pull down screen overlay is Notification Center. It took me along time to figure this out, and a commitment to use it this way, but once I began using this as my inbox, instead of opening app after app to see what was new, I felt this realization that this has to be what the guys and gals in Cupertino had in mind when designing iOS. I put all the apps where stuff from the world comes in into one folder on my iPhone home screen called Inbox. This is the only place where I will find a red circle on my home screen, and when I see it, I swipe down Notification Center to see what’s going on. I know this is not groundbreaking, but it has been so effective in how I handle stuff on iPhone.
WHAT APP MAKES YOU MOST PRODUCTIVE?
WHAT APP DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE UNDERUTILIZING?
Workflow I have a couple dozen set up, but I know there is so much more out there. I have never done any scripting on Mac, but I love building these and am constantly looking where I can automate tasks.
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF APPLE, WHAT WOULD YOU ADD OR CHANGE?
I was disappointed by the lack of iPad specific iOS features at WWDC. I understand here has been a lot of innovation here I the past year, but the heavy iOS usage for the past couple months has led to some noticeable gaps where improvements would be great. These are:
More gesture based support. Drag and drop. Select multiple files/photos and act on them. Multiple window support for Notes, other apps (Use both sides of multitasking screen). Improved multi tasking selection.
WHAT APPS ARE YOU MISSING?
More than whole Apps, there are features within the apps I love that would improve the experience. More iPad actions for Launch Center Pro, and more robust professional Apps especially CAD and Adobe programs.
DO YOU HAVE AN APPLE WATCH?
I use the modular face. Interesting parts here:
In the bottom right is timers, which I use to track a lot, but most important is units worked, like David does with his candles. I then enter units worked into a custom workflow I created in the Workflow app, in the bottom left of the watch face. The center is Waterminder, where I keep track of oz of water drank through the day. Only other stuff I use is an app called Reminders Nano and Now Playing glance. I have high hopes that this experience will improve dramatically with the newly announced watchOS 3.