I’ve been using an iPad Pro for more than three months, and while my MacBook Pro is my workhouse, the iPad Pro has found an essential place in my workflow. Since I’m a couple of years overdue on posting a numbered list, here are a ten examples of how I use it.
Category: Productivity (page 1 of 7)
Like many of you, I get deluged with voicemail messages, which is almost like a double whammy, because our phone system sends my voicemail messages to my email inbox. I’ve recently come up with a way to create a new OmniFocus task that contains the date and time of a voicemail message, allowing me to sort my messages in OmniFocus based on the time received. The OmniFocus task also contains a link back to the voicemail message (but see below for a glitch that may be unique to my phone system).
I put this system together thanks to Keyboard Maestro. I’m barely competent with Keyboard Maestro, but I was able to pilfer bits and pieces of other macros (and an AppleScript) from the Keyboard Maestro forums, and couple it with a good deal of tinkering.
I recently sat down for a question and answer session about the Apple Watch. That Q&A is up on my firm’s website, and does a pretty good job of identifying what I like and don’t like about the watch. For me, the two biggest benefits to the watch are the ability to quickly get information into my system, and to quickly review information and get on with what I’m doing. I don’t use the watch as a tool for generating work. Instead, it “greases the skids” and helps me get work done on my other devices.
I’ve been progressing through the MacSparky OmniFocus Video Field Guide, which has giving me some “ah-ha” moments. I’d already known how to use Siri and the Reminders app to get tasks into OmniFocus with my voice, but I’d fallen off the wagon and hadn’t used that method in months. When the Field Guide covered that method, it hit me like a ton of bricks – since you can add reminders to the Reminders app with your watch via Siri, you also can add tasks to OmniFocus the same way.
For the past few years, I’ve been using three note taking apps side by side. Two of the three apps have stayed the same over the years, while the third has changed a couple of times. Why three apps? It’s partially a function of the strengths and weaknesses of the apps I use, but it’s largely a function of my brain liking to keep different types of data segregated into different apps. In my system, each app serves a different purpose:
I typically don’t gush here about a service that I’ve just tried out for the first time, but I’ll make an exception for FileThis. I just read about it over on Lifehacker, and thought I’d give it a try. FileThis is a service that collects your bills in one place, so that you don’t have to sign into multiple online accounts. I just gave it a try, and this could be one of the biggest timesavers I’ve seen in years.
A recent article on Lifehacker has me wondering if I’m using Evernote all wrong. I only have two main notebooks in Evernote: Work, and Personal. There are a few other random ones that are automatically created by apps, such as the notebook that Scanner Pro, an iOS app, creates. I also have an “Inbox” notebook where notes reside until they are moved into one of the other notebooks. But by and large, all of my notes go into my two main notebooks. Am I in the minority with how I use Evernote notebooks? Read more
I’ve been using Mailbox on my iPhone for over a week now, and one of the features that I like the best is the ability to defer items in my email inbox. With a swipe and a tap, I can temporarily get an item out of my inbox, and set it to reappear at a future date (yes, I can hear the GTDer’s out there screeching in horror that I don’t just move it into my GTD system). I like the feature so much that I longed for the ability to do the same on my desktop at work, where we use Microsoft Outlook. The hunt was on.
Mailbox needs a monetizaton strategy. For my sake. And yours, if you use the app. Read more
If you follow tech news, it’s been hard to miss mention of Mailbox. Mailbox, as described in some glowing reviews, looks to be a new way to handle email, with a focus on Gmail. The general concept behind Mailbox is to help you get to inbox zero by letting you perform full and half swipes to the left and right to archive, delete, and defer messages. The current problem with Mailbox? There’s a long line to get it. Read more