#nolaptoplife — 1.2
In this post, I will start what I think will be a twice a year thing by showing you what tools I use. Tools = apps. Most of them are normal iOS type apps. If I did this post three years ago, it would have been hacks for normal workflows and some compromises because of the limited functionality of the mobile apps of the day. Now that the iOS app ecosystem has gotten MUCH better, we do not have to hack so much and we can have the “real experiences” that we always craved.
My current arsenal of devices are:
- iPhone 7 Plus in the #AWESOME rose gold
- iPad Pro 9.7 also in the #AWESOME rose gold
These two devices are the staples of my tech bag. Full disclosure: I have a MacBook Pro 13 inch, but I do not use it besides doing software demos and when I have to go into a CRAZY-assed spreadsheet or when the shitty Salesforce 1 app is not what I need (which is a lot of the time because that app purely sucks).
I mainly use my iPhone 7 Plus for a lot of work these days since it is so big. I used to have a rose gold iPhone SE, but I kept having to grab my spectacles and that is a kludgy workflow IMHO.
Side note: When I work mainly from the iPhone 7 Plus, people think I am texting or chatting during a meeting when I am actually taking notes. So, if you do this, you might want to mention this before the meeting so people do not think you are not paying attention.
So here are my main apps I live by these days:
- Mail.app: I switch back and forth on mail apps. I like the native mail app on the iPhone and iPad, but sometimes I find it limiting. I will probably switch it sometime, but it works for now.
- Calendar.app: This is the one that works, but I also have Google calendar for when I need to book rooms at work since the scheduling part of this app is not full.
- Notes.app: I use this a ton! Lists, notes, articles I read, etc all go in there. Sure I could use Evernote or OneNote, but this is easy and native to the OS.
- Google Calendar: When I need to book a room and see free/busy, it just works, but as a main app, it is lacking.
- YouTube: I watch more YouTube than TV, so it is on the home screen and used a LOT.
- Reeder: This is, by far, the BEST RSS feed app ever. I use it on Mac too. Definitely worth the small price.
- WhatsApp: I mainly use this app when I am communicating with my peeps outside of the US. Americans have not seemed to see the awesome-ness of this app, but when you have international friends, it becomes a great help.
- Facetime: I use this more than the phone app on my device. Family, boss, etc, all use Facetime audio for calls and then if we need, we escalate to video. I use about 20 phone minutes a month.
- Audible: I am an audio book junkie. My brother and I inherited this from our father. He used to listed to “books on tape” all of the time and was an avid reader, so thanks dad!
- Amazon Kindle app: To go with audible, I read a lot on the Kindle app. I have dyslexia and the audible narration + kindle app is a lifesaver when I am not in beast mode.
- Microsoft Office apps: Yup all of them (PowerPoint, Excel, Word)! Pay the yearly subscription! It is so worth it to have the tools of business. These days, the desktop version is not too much better than the mobile version. I can open files that people send me no worries and edit, track changes, the works. This is how business work, so if you are in business, do it.
- Google G-Suite apps: Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are all on my devices. We use Google’s G-Suite for our office, so these are essential. I blow minds at work editing a deck on my iPhone. Try it, it is easy to rough out a deck walking.
- Waze: Because I am a”King” in Waze, I keep using it. Google Maps does well too. Apple Maps? Nope, it sucks.
- Cloak: When I am not on work VPN, and I am not at the home or the office, I use Cloak to secure my browsing. This keeps prying eyes off what you are doing. Especially in this day and age of deteriorating privacy.
- Netflix: Yup! offline mode is clutch! I am thinking of ending my subscription because I use Amazon’s Prime Video more and more.
- Amazon Prime Video: My daughter has autism and she is addicted to movies. Fire TV is an easy way to outfit most rooms in the house with movies. She taught herself to read from watching subtitles and movie credits and uses quotes to communicate with us. So on family devices, we use Prime Video. It was the original to allow offline mode which is great for travel.
- Key Ring: This is a great app to digitize and keep all of your loyalty program cards.
- Genius Scan +: For when you have to fax something, it is a godsend, but also document scanning into cloud services like Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
- LastPass: For $12 a year, my wife and I share an account so all of our online passwords are stored in one place. We never have to write them down or keep a spreadsheet for user/pass anymore. It really does help! There is also browser extensions and desktop apps for this.
- Social Media apps: I use them all! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube
- Workplace by Facebook: My employer (BlueJeans) is migrating to Workplace by Facebook and we are learning how powerful this app is. EVERYONE is pretty much a power user since Facebook is so popular. If your company is looking at communication and sharing tools, before you choose Slack, try this! BlueJeans even has great integration with it! We also use the Workplace Chat app.
- Explain Everything: This is a great tool if you use Apple Pencil. It can also be a great presentation tool, as well as a mind map tool, as well as a notes app. Totally awesome and has a very open use case, but very powerful.
- Tripit Pro: I am a HUGE fan of this app because I NEVER EVER EVER have to print itineraries because if this app. It keeps track of all reservations by combing my inbox for emails with flight, hotel, and car reservations.
- Concur: We use Concur for expenses at work and this app has a bad user interface, but easy enough to use.
- Lyft: I am anti-Uber right now, so I use Lyft for domestic taxi services. I rarely rent a car since I hate driving …and parking. Lyft lets me not worry about all of that crap. Only problem: they are not international.
- Uber: As I stated above, I am anti-Uber for a few reasons that are personal and privacy-related, but internationally? Uber wins so I cave when abroad.
- LinkedIn: Not only is is a great professional social network, but also a great tool for when you are meeting someone new. I also do not carry business cards (no real reason why), but I connect on LI when I meet someone in a professional capacity. One of my old mentors and bosses, Vittorio Viarengo told me: “If we meet, I connect on LinkedIn. I do not friend someone on Facebook unless we have shared a meal together.” I use this rule a lot.
- BlueJeans: Last but not least, I work at BlueJeans and we eat our own dog food for all meetings. It is #AWESOME and free to try.
So there you have it! My tool box of apps I use every day. Some may work great for you and some may not. It is up to you and how YOU work. Many people find new ways to work (read: not compromise) by trying some new apps out. The added bonus is when there is a desktop version of these apps and one can easily move from mobile to desktop if they need.
So what tools do you use? Use the comment area to tell us what you use to do real work whilst on the go!