My homescreen

I have 15 screens of apps. It’s ridiculous. Most don’t see the light of day. Here’s some of what made it to my home screen, and why. Note: This is subject to change the next time I check Product Hunt.

Slack

I use approximately 1,623 tools for workflow and project management. I particularly like this one because it’s so seamless between desktop and mobile — it feels like the same app. I can organize projects and topics in “Channels” and talk about them with colleagues. I also use it for IM with my interns, and if I’m offline it forwards to my email so I don’t miss a message. Best part: The in-stream photos and GIFs.

Sprout Social

We have 40 social media profiles and 30 people helping manage Marquette University’s social media properties, all using the Sprout Social publishing and analytics system. The Sprout app lets me stay on top of everything without getting lost by using its groups and folders. Adding to the scheduler and queue on the go is one of my most used functions of the app, and I also configured push notifications for just the profiles and tasks for high-profile alerts, instead of getting overwheled with a buzz for everything.

Fitbit

I have the Fitbit Flex band on loan from Verizon for several months to get into the experience. On the few days I forget to wear it, I feel naked. The band syncs to an app via Bluetooth (or you can sync it manually on your computer) and it’s the app I check most throughout the day, after Twitter and email. Seeing my current steps and miles in real time keeps me motivated to stay active, take walking meetings, and lets me know if I’ve been sedentary for too long. I’ve been known to get on the treadmill at 10 pm to get my step goal if I’m not there yet. I’m also a big fan of the new Challenges feature, which lets you compete head-to-head with friends for most steps in a day, week or weekend.

Medium

I taught media writing this semester in Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication, and I required all my students to publish their weekly assignments on Medium. I wanted them to get in the habit of publishing for the world, and not just a professor. The push notifications from the Medium app were helpful to know right away when they published, and I could comment, recommend and share their work directly from the app.

Stitcher

Stitcher is like a cross between Pandora and Spotify for podcasts. It lets you create playlists of your favorites and provides recommendations based on your listening history. I was a Sticher fan long before Serial, but now that podcasting is going mainstream I hope this app gets the attention it deserves. Some of my favorite podcasts to listen to include Longform, youarenotsosmart, StartUp, Judge John Hodgman, Backstory and Hardcore History.

BlueLight

My wife never believes me when I tell her I’m actually leaving work, so now I can prove it by using the “On Way” feature and send her my GPS location on a map. She can track when I’m actually en route, then she gets an automatic text message when I’m arriving at my pre-selected destination. Oh, and this app also gives my location to 911 or public safety in the event of an emergency. The call routes based on your position, so if you’re on campus it will go to public safety and give them your location. Right now 911 won’t get your exact location via BlueLight, but your location shows up in your phone so you can reference it for them. BlueLight is live for Android right now, and I’m beta testing the iPhone version to use at Marquette University. It’ll be out in January.

Paper

If you don’t like Facebook’s newsfeed algorithym, try Paper. All the stories are laid out in chronological fashion, and in my opinion it’s more aesthetically pleasing than the main Facebook app. It feels made more for browsing than specific functions on Facebook, but it’s a nice complement.

Messenger

I realized I now have three Facebook-owned apps on my home screen (including Instagram) and I debated adding the Pages app, which is on my second screen. But none of them are the original Facebook app. Huh. I wonder what that says about me or about Facebook.

Pocket

This is where I store all the articles from my email and the 10,000 tabs I constantly have open. My wife and I also send articles to each other via Pocket, which allows you to leave comments without filling up an inbox.

Inbox

Google’s new Inbox app makes me feel like I’m cheating on Mailbox. I do still use Mailbox (and probably 5 other email apps), but Google’s version is so well designed with its automatic folders. It lets me pin something to the top, set reminders and syncs with the web version. My only wish for it now is a Mac desktop app. If you want an invite to the Inbox beta, let me know by leaving a comment or sending me a tweet @TeecycleTim.

What’s on your homescreen?