The top row of my iPhone and iPad is about getting things done and keeping my life in order.
I’ve got my email client, todo list, notes, journal, and calendar. The first four are the most important. I’m a full time engineering student during the school year, and I’m transitioning into a summer internship for the next few months, so staying organized is crucial.
Here’s my favorite four apps that I use to stay productive.
I used iOS Mail for years and years, and never had much of a problem with it. However, as time went on, my use of email outgrew the app. Using the “Unread” inbox filter to keep track of emails that require action is a terrible way to manage your email. I decided I wanted a more powerful app so that I could move to an inbox zero-based approach.
The bottom line is that Airmail allows me to be faster and more organized with my email.
The goal is to get everything that isn’t important right now out of my inbox, so I can focus on what is important. After reading an email, if I don’t have to take any action on it, I archive it right away. If it’s something I need to deal with later that day, like when I get home, I usually just leave it in the inbox. If I’m going to deal with it another day, I snooze it.
Snoozing is one of the most powerful features of Airmail. Snooze a message, and Airmail moves it to a special folder. Then, at the snooze time, I get a fresh push notification and the message reappears in my inbox. This has totally streamlined the way I work with email. No more fiddling around with read/unread to make sure I can see the important things in my inbox. The important things are the only things in my inbox. (Read the full review)
The way I used the iOS Reminders app was weird. I had all notifications except the app badge turned off, and all reminders set for the morning (the default time of 9am). That way, everything was technically “overdue,” and the app badge just showed my total number of tasks for the day. This system had once worked for me, but more and more now it felt like it was working against me.
*2Do is so unbelievable customizable that I was able to set it up exactly the way I wanted.
For some apps, having too many options is a pain. But I use my reminders app every single day, many times a day, so having it set up perfectly is a major time saver for me. (Read the full review)
First and foremost, Bear is a text editor. And it’s a good one. Bear is fully compliant with Markdown, and the interface is clean and simple.
Actually, it’s more than “clean and simple.” Bear’s interface is gorgeous.
And Bear goes beyond just writing text. You can add images inline, or any other type of file as an attachment. Tagging is as simple as adding a hashtag anywhere in the note. Tags are better than folders because you can put a single note under multiple tags if you want. All in all, Bear is a joy to use, and it makes jotting things down and getting organized almost fun! (Read the full review)
I’ve dabbled in journaling before, occasionally keeping a prayer journal during my daily Bible time. But I hadn’t ever set out to make a journal about my life in general. The beauty of a journal is that it can be anything. There are no rules.
Fortunately, Day One allows me to still be organized, even without rules.
Every post is automatically geotagged so I can, for example, look up all the notes I’ve taken in church. I can also tag things manually or sort them into different notebooks. Day One also supports Markdown. I use Day One every morning when I read my Bible to just clear my head and be honest with myself and God. Writing my thoughts down makes such a difference. It helps me process things. (Read the full review)
Thanks for reading! Have comments or app you love to use? Comment below with your favorite apps for being productive and managing your workflow.
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