I hate to be an iZombie, blindly following mac into whatever depths they’d like to lead me.
But I have to confess: my iPhone has made my life better. The collection of handy tools, music, Web browsing, a day planner, and a connection the outside world are the perfect mix of everything I need, and can now fit into one of my massive day bags without too much trouble.
ArcherVision and I bought our iPhones together, and actually ended up saving money. He switched from a different provider to my plan, and later, we saved more ching by canceling accounts we no longer needed, including Rhapsody, Audible, and eMusic. (Note: I really liked all three of these services, so if you’re in the market for music and audiobook portals other than iTunes, I recommend them. But the $600/year savings is also huge.)
In addition to the savings, managing my business has also become increasingly streamlined with my new electronic buddy; I can essentially start work every morning before I even get out of bed, and this doesn’t make me feel more pressed or busy. Rather, I feel freer to complete whatever I need to get done in hours of the day, while also finishing random tasks and errands.
I thought I’d give a rundown of some of the apps and tools I’ve been using to help organize my life, my records, and my thoughts. If you are using something particularly cool or useful, let me know in the comments. This post will focus on the all-important apps;next week, I think I’ll post a list of cool podcasts.
• For the first time in my adult life, I’ve abandoned my spiral-bound day planner in favor of the iPhone’s standard calendar. I originally downloaded a few trial Apps when looking for a snazzy on-phone planner, but in the end, I realized that iCal does everything I need it to. I can add multiple meetings and appointments on any calendar day, and change the view with one click to look at entries by the hour, day, or month. A little dot appears on the days in monthly view as soon as anything is entered, alerting me that there’s something going on, even if I don’t remember what. One more click, and I can easily find out. I also use the alarm function a lot – an hour or two before meetings, and the day before an event I might otherwise totally whiff on.
•TimeWerks is an invoicing and billing app that allows me to record hours and fees, set a timer when needed to measure time spent on a project, create invoices, and send them complete with formatting to include contact info. and business colors (my invoices are lime green). The lite version is free to try, and invoices can be emailed from the phone, with an automatic CC to your own email. Plus, when you sync the iPhone in iTunes, a copy of the invoice can be recorded. This app has been awesome for making me feel more productive, and placing more value on my time. Plus, I don’t spend entire days on just invoicing anymore. I just go to Panera and get a Bacon Turkey Bravo, then sit by the window with a massive iced tea and my phone. Bill, munch, bill, chew, bill, sip. Done.
•The Target app . Shop, order, ship items right from the phone. I can also sort by recipient, occasion, and price, save favorites, and find physical stores with built-in GPS. ’nuff said.
• I stopped dieting a long time ago because I was tired of yo-yoing, but I do pay attention to what I eat and how much I move. I have long been interested in software-based programs to record calories and exercise, but I could never commit to using them long-term – I’m just not in front of the computer long enough to remember to log in and punch in meals. Now, however, I’m using LoseIt , which despite its diet-centric name, is best used for finding out how many calories are in what you’re eating or about to eat. I still eat what I want, but this tool helps me pay attention to how hungry I actually am, and how many hidden calories I might otherwise absently eat. A Bacon Turkey Bravo at Panera, for instance, is 840 calories of deliciousness. Often, 1/2 a sandwich is enough. I can search and log brand-name goods, restaurant dishes, and grocery items, and add any new foods anytime. I can also log physical activity and it automatically records how many calories, on average, I burned. It’s akin to checking your bank balance – one I start getting close to my limit (a self-imposed daily calorie count), I know that I need to slow it down on the Bacardi Mojitos (240 calories a pop!!) or make up for a life well-led the next day, with extra yoga and herbal tea.