Home Screens — Stephen Hackett

Stephen Hackett Photo.jpeg

This week’s home screen features Stephen Hackett (Twitter) (Website). I was sad to see Katie leave the Mac Power Users but I could have found no better replacement in Stephen. He’s wicked smart about Apple, full of great ideas, and he’s a good friend. So, Stephen, show us your home screen.

I was looking at my last entry in this series, and it’s from right after we launched Relay FM, and well before I went full-time with it. I am surprised at how little those changes have impacted my iPhone home screen, and how many of the changes that are here are for other reasons

Over the last couple of years, I’ve slowly removed social media applications from being within easy reach when I unlock my devices. Tweetbot, for instance, is now buried in a folder somewhere as opposed to being front and center.

Another big change is that I’ve swapped Messages and Phone: the former is now on my Dock, as it’s my primary mode of communication other than Slack.

What are some of your favorite apps?

Overcast continues to hold this place for me. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and Overcast is my preferred app for that. Its audio features are fantastic, and I think its ability to speed up shows by shortening the silences is still the most natural sounding out of its competitors.

Day One deserves a mention here as well. I’m doing a lot more journaling than I used to, and Day One is the final resting place for those photos and words. I do a fair amount of this in a series of small notebooks, and I snap photos of those pages and save them into Day One. I have a handful of journals set up within the app to make it easier to find and sort things. I have Day One installed on all of my devices, but the copy on my iPhone gets the most use by far.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

I don’t play a lot of games, but right now, I’m loving Two Spies. It’s a turn-based game with a clever idea and even better haptics.

What app makes you most productive?

I know some people will balk at this, but for me, it’s Slack. Almost everything that keeps Relay FM running behind the scenes takes place in Slack. There are currently about 60 people in there, and countless rooms for things like individual podcasts, various internal projects, sales, and more. While the General channel can be quite chatty, most of the time, the others are pretty quiet. As the primary mode of communication for the company, I can get a lot done in Slack every day. 

For tasks that are mine to handle, I am currently using Todoist, primarily for its excellent integration with Zapier. For example, I have a task automatically added to my list for linking to new episodes of my podcasts on 512 Pixels. Zapier watches the RSS feeds for those shows, gathers relevant information, and creates tasks for me without any intervention. It’s great.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone?

I just opened Screen Time. It says my daily average number of pickups over the last week is 72. I have no idea if that’s good or bad.

What Today View widgets are you using and why?

Here they are, in order from top to bottom:

– Up Next — I like having a quick way to see what’s coming up on my calendar.

CARROT Weather — I have it show the forecast and current conditions.

CalZones — I work with people across multiple time zones, and this makes it easy to check the time where they are.

– Todoist — A snapshot of today’s tasks.

Shortcuts — A quick way to fire commonly used Shortcuts, including one I wrote to quickly jump to the Google Doc for any given podcast.

Batteries — Gotta check on the charge of my stuff!

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone?

That, in a pinch, it can be my only computer for almost anything I need to do. No, I can’t record or edit podcasts on it very easily, but I can run my business, prep for shows, manage finances and do more from the computer in my pocket.

If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?

Free iCloud storage space still being capped at just 5 GB is nearly criminal. 

What’s your wallpaper and why?

My wallpaper is from the iOS 7 days, and you can download it here. I change this up quite a bit; it just happens to be what I’m using as I write this post.

Thanks, Stephen!