I was an iPhone user for many years, but around the time that iOS 7 came out I made the jump from Apple to Google. I regard iPhone as being more fancy, with Android being more utilitarian. And that works better for me.
When using smartphones started becoming more indispensable, I would pick my apps based on how they would improve my life. They had to work, work well, and be cross-platform in case I ever decided to flip-flop on platforms.
Evernote is essential. It is an app/service available for every platform that allows you to capture text, images, audio, or files into notes and make it all searchable. I cannot express enough how useful this app has been to document and recall useful information.
I’ve used it to draft blog posts, keep records, save photos, manage tasks and projects, documents stats and facts, all of which is available at my fingertips whenever I need it.
I don’t use it as much as I once did because other individual apps have come along that do a lot of the things that I used Evernote for. You’ll learn more about those here as well.
You can sign up for Evernote here (this is a referral link).
It feels like I’ve tested every productivity app on the market. Wunderlist suits me more than any other. Some apps use just lists with no dates or reminders, and other use to-do lists that only have dates and reminders. Wunderlist is a good mix of the two, which means that I can use it to manage all of my work tasks, personal tasks, grocery list, wish list, etc., and categorize them all accordingly.
Furthermore, you can share lists with and assign tasks to other users, making it really easy for anyone who goes to the grocery store to see what’s on the list or for coworkers to see what needs to be done on a project. You can also attach files and notes to tasks, for additional information like phone numbers to go with that “Call so-and-so” task.
I start every project with jot notes. Lots and lots of jot notes. Any blog post I write starts off as bullet points. The book I’m slowing chipping away at is now just a list of chapter titles, with lists of ideas within them, and more specific ideas further within them. That’s what Workflowy is. It’s a tree with roots that split as they go deeper and allow you to fully expand and explore every idea. One note at a time.
You can sign up for Workflowy here (this is a referral link).
I’ve been using Twitter since 2008., it’s my favourite social network. In that time I’ve seen and used an exorbitant number of Twitter apps, and they all have strengths and weaknesses. My favourites have been TweetBot on iOS or Fenix on Android, but as Twitter has evolved as a platform, some apps have not been able to implement all features that the service has to offer. It’s not always their fault, Twitter doesn’t make it easy for app developers to implement polls, gifs, photo tagging, among others.
There are a lot of things that I dislike about the official Twitter app, but it is the only one with certain features that are essential for using the platform.
Twitter is my favourite social network for its digestibility, but I actually use Facebook more because it’s so much more useful for business. Twitter’s digestibility means that it can also be more dismissable, but I have had some tremendous success getting my content noticed, engaged with, and spread on Facebook.
Facebook Pages is the service’s app for managing any and all Pages that you manage, and it’s where I spend most of my time on behalf of my clients. Posting, commenting, replying, liking, sharing, messaging… everything that my clients’ customers need, and I’m there to answer.
Instagram / Snapchat
I use these social networks for business, but also more just to escape. I initially had my reservations about Snapchat (some of which are still present), but that app has shown me a lot more than I expected and helped me meet great people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Snapchat for me has been really about communicating and connecting with people, but Instagram has been more about entertainment. I have had entire conversations with new friends from a world away via snaps but I have never talked to someone through more than a comment on Instagram. But there are some amazing photographers out there who create amazing work that inspires me.
With Instagram Stories recently introduced I’ll probably be using Snapchat less, but that ghost still has a few unique things to offer that I can’t get on the ‘gram.
My business runs on Google Drive. Google’s suite of tools include tools for creating word documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows that I use to create any and all documents that I need to run my business. I use it primarily on my computer, since typing up a big document isn’t always easy to do on a phone, but the mobile apps are great for making edits, checking facts, and sending files.
I drive a lot, and podcasts are my favourite way to remain entertained on the road. I mentioned that all of these apps are cross-platform, and one of the big reasons is because that usually means they sync with each other. That comes in very handy when you’ve been listening to a podcast for years and don’t want to lose my regular shows, lose track of where I was, or which episodes were my favourite.
There isn’t a particular reason I use Spotify, but I continue to use it because I have no issues. It has more than all the music I could want, allows me to download tracks so I don’t have to use data, and syncs with the other devices; if I’m listening to music as I walk into my office, when I open Spotify on my computer the same song with song lineup will be there waiting for me. It’s just really convenient.
I used to use Google Play Music, and the one feature I miss from that is how you could give songs a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, which means that song will play more or less frequently.
What are your favourite apps? What are your criteria for trying new ones? Are you quick to try a new one on a whim? And lastly, Android or iPhone?
Blogust is my attempt to challenge myself to write every day for an entire month. The end goals include practice writing, more material on my blog, establishing a daily writing habit, and accomplishing a personal challenge. I have not given these posts any forethought, all prompts were conceived by other people.