At right is a screen shot of my favorite productivity apps I use every day. My favorite apps are those that become tools: apps that help make me more productive, not apps that merely become a means unto themselves. Some of the apps are basic apps preloaded on all iPhones (like Clock, Calendar, Maps, etc.) but my faves, outside of these standards are as follows:
Audio Footnote: Audio Footnote allows you to record voice notes while listening to audiobooks or podcasts. I wrote a more comprehensive review of Audio Footnote on my Reading the Greats blog. Bottom line: Audio Footnote exists to make your reading more memorable!
OmniFocus: How I do love thee? Let me count the ways:
I must give OmniFocus its due on both my blogs soon as it is the single most productive app I own.
SalesCalc: Self-explanatory, but SalesCalc allows you to figure gross margin, markup, % of change, and % of total. Rapid fire, uncluttered interface. Just wish it had a "fat margin" button somewhere. (They probably discontinued it due to disuse).
SplashID: I've been carrying around a SplashID product before the words "handheld computing" and "Treo" became anachronisms. Too many passwords. Way too many passwords. All safely kept within SplashID. They also have a desktop app as well.
MobileRSS: The RSS reader that I use to process my Google Reader feeds. I use the paid version for all brand, marketing and advertising related feeds and I use the free version for all book related feeds (processing from two separate Google accounts). It might seem redundant to have two accounts but it's much easier for me to keep the two professional spheres of focus in my life (branding vs reading/writing) in two separate categories.
Dictionary: Another self-explanatory app. I read a lot and therefore come across a host of words I don't know. The coolest thing about the Dictionary app is that it saves the words you've recently looked up, a very quick recall for review. It even has an audio button so you can hear the correct pronunciation of a word. (The most recent words I've looked up? Prehensile, excresence, ptomaine, umbrage, and billet-doux. Doubt I'll be using those in a conversation anytime soon.)
Stanza: Stanza is the only way to read books on the iPhone. It has a host of options that allow you to enlarge text, change screen colors and you can email, tweet or facebook notations you make while reading. How cool is that? For such a simple app (it's supposed to be a simple book reader, right?) Stanza is probably the most comprehensive, option-packed app I've seen.
LinkedIn: I know. You already know about LinkedIn. Yawn, right? WRONG. Get the app if you don't have it already for this simple reason: it allows you to export all your LinkedIn connections directly into your contacts, all phone numbers, email, contact information, even your contacts' profile pictures, within a few clicks. Brilliant.
MyNetDiary: If you would have told me a few years ago that some day I would be tracking every food I eat and every fitness attempt I make, I would have laughed. A good, wholesome belly laugh too, not one of those minor chortles or anemic, slight snickers. (Snickers. Chocolate plus caramel. Peanuts. Yum ... I digress). Losing weight is a numbers game; once I understood this, losing weight became manageable. But I don't have time for it to consume much mindshare. MyNetDiary allows me to get in and out and on with my life. I'm new to MyNetDiary but I've used MyFitnessPal and LoseIt before. (In just over a year I dropped forty pounds, in large part - pun not intended - due to simple calculation and tracking everything). All of these apps have a comprehensive food database so that you can search for the foods you are consuming and they each automatically calculate nutritional information. So far, what I like about MyNetDiary is its simple interface and the graphs, charts and reports.
Amazon: Another self-explanatory app. I use Amazon primarily as a book buyer. When I see a used book I want, I quickly look it up in Amazon while in the store or at the book sale to see if I can buy it cheaper or to determine value. I use the wish list feature extensively. Again though, as with all of these apps: in and out and on with my life. Love it.
Twitter: I've used HootSuite, Twitterific, Twittelator, Tweetie and maybe a few others but I like the new official Twitter app. Simplicity is best. Uncluttered and unobtrusive. I prefer HootSuite for the desktop but so far, I really like the new Twitter app for the iPhone. Now that it is an official Twitter product, I also expect we'll see a host of improvements on this app in the near future, might as well get used to the interface now.
That's it. My favorite, front page, don't-clutter-my-life productivity apps. I'm always looking for great ideas to help me become more productive, leave me a comment and let me know yours!
I hope you enjoy this monthly compendium and find several articles that are helpful to you:
Don't forget, Twitter has become a great info aggregator for many of us. You can access anyone's favorite articles by typing in their Twitter profile name and then "/favorites", (example: http://twitter.com/bobbylehew/favorites); this is an exceptional way to peek inside someone's head and discover what articles and comments are of most interest to them.
Speaking of peeking inside someone's head, this has nothing to do with marketing or social media (or does it?), I just thought this was cool: a Vanity Fair article entitled Inside Dylan's Brain.
Thanks to Chris Brogan, I now have a way to introduce you to people whom you should follow that fits my style (that of an obsessive curator) but more importantly, allows you to bounce to the respective sites you prefer (such as LinkedIn or blogs, as opposed to Twitter only). As Chris mentioned, it doesn't hurt that you are also here on my site as well. This format is more than self-serving though as many of my readers are not on Twitter (or at least not frequently) and they read my blog updates via email.
For my first Brogan Style #FF, I'd like to introduce you to some smart local peeps (even if you are not local, there are no geographic limits to smart people you should follow!):
Scott Townsend (Twitter I YouTube I Blog I LinkedIn) Due to Scott's guiding hand, United Linen has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes and many regional and local publications. Most recently featured in a "how to do it right" webinar by video guru Steve Garfield, Scott has taken the social media world by storm and turned the world of napkin sales into a symphony of fascinating tweets, blogposts and videos. I follow Scott for the same reason you should - his work, works, beautifully.
Brian Blake (Twitter I Brian's Blog I LinkedIn) Brian is the incoming President of our local AMA chapter and someone who is 1) a strong leader 2) a great recruiter 3) a superb encourager and 4) last, but certainly not least, someone with exceptional musical taste (Beatles mania notwithstanding). I like to think of B2 as B3 because I have a feeling we're about to witness a serious Brian Blake Breakout very soon simply because we've only witnessed a fraction of the wealth of his talent (but get ready) ...Kevin Jessop (Twitter I Evolve Research I LinkedIn) The Brit with the brain for serious research. There are some people you wish everyone could hang out with, Kevin is one of those guys. Smart, outrageously funny with a razor sharp wit. It's people like Kevin I try to stay close to, (the witty ones always win). Plus, in an age of unprecedented do-it-yourself research, you need someone like Kevin, an objective thinker, to help break it down and decipher what it all really means so you can put it into action. I also understand he is a bit of a keyboard virtuoso, having recorded a project back in the motherland (this true, Jessop?)
Patrick Allmond (Twitter I Blog I LinkedIn I facebook I Wild West Online Marketing Show I Patrick Live I OkayByMe) The fact that there are several places to find Patrick online shows you just how prolific this networking giant is. His output is enviable (would that we all could be even marginally as productive) and he dreams big. Patrick has built a substantial network but most importantly, (in a land full of disingenuous friending), Patrick truly connects with an open hand by offering his expertise generously, online and off. Tune into any of the channels I've listed and you'll quickly see what I mean. Patrick's the real deal.David Lewis (Twitter I The Emerging Leader I David's Book I LinkedIn) I love hanging out with serious thinkers. David is not only a serious thinker but a serious doer. To have amassed the experience and skill that he has at such a young age is an impressive feat. When I tackle a project, I'm more of a slow burn. David's initiative and enthusiasm is so vibrant and his capacity for good ideas are seemingly boundless, he's more spontaneous combustion. Keep an eye on this one because you will be seeing his name frequently some day.
Mike Koehler (Twitter I Blog I LinkedIn) Mike is the New Media Director for Schnake Turnbo Frank. But beyond the PR firm, beyond being mayor of Twittertown in OKC, Mike's a smart guy who has as good a crystal ball as I've seen when it comes to future development in media. You would expect this from a New Media Director, right? There's something you should know: the title followed the passion. Mike was recruited because of his ability to spot, wrangle and finally harness the wildness of new media and translate this into something functional and effective for his clients, a near-desperate need for many large businesses and organizations. Want to know what you should do when it comes to social networking (or new media in general)? Ask Mike. He knows.
Probably the clearest definition of social media (social networking, social mayhem, whatever term you prefer) that I think I've heard. The whole video is prime because ... well, it's The Swell Season, but the definition comes in at about 6:50 into the video: