Oversharing & Under Caring

It's been a while since I shared my home screen; in fact, I don't think I have written about it for a a couple of years. I posted a home screen on Twitter a few days ago and was asked to dig into a few of the apps I used, so why not put together a blog post and perhaps help other discover some of the apps I love.

My home screen is always minimal. I never have a wallpaper that isn't black or extremely dark, and my lock screen wallpaper is usually no different. I make an effort to slim the number of apps on my phone down and quite often delete a few that I don't use as often or want to cut down my usage. I always have a good data connection handy, so if I need an app, I will download it again or use the website. Since lockdown, I have allowed a few more entertainment apps into my phone, so it's quite crowded at the minute, but you get a general idea.

Apple Mail

I still get a load of questions on why I use Apple Mail, but I still think it's the best app out there when you take into account everything I need to do. There are apps out there that do more things (Spark) or work better with some services (Outlook), but I think Apple does a great job of keeping everything simple.

I am always connected to three mail accounts, my work Office 365 account, my @gr36.com IMAP and my Gmail. The main thing that Apple mail does is allow me to move emails into folders quickly and learns what type of mail goes where. So I can move, delete or archive so much easier than anything else I have tried.

Reason number two is appointment; I get loads of emails along the lines of "…give me a call around 2 pm". In Apple mail, I can tap on the words and set a calendar event or reminder quickly. No other app does this as well as Apple Mail, so it's invaluable, and a huge reason why I won't go anywhere else.

Castro

For the last year or so, I have been using Apple Podcasts app because of its streaming and syncing service. It was by far the best one to use for me to be able to listen on my phone, Mac and also Apple Watch when going for a run. In recent weeks I have completely stopped listening on my Mac, and very limited on my phone. The backlog of episodes and lack of listening made Apple Podcasts much harder to use and cut through all of the stuff I wasn't bothered about to the things I wanted. So I switched to Castro.

It's feed based inbox makes it much much easier to use compared to anything else. I can swipe away anything I am not too bothered about and only download the things I want to keep. As a bonus, it is the only other app that streams over mobile data on Apple Watch and works much better than even the stock app.

The downside is it doesn't sound as good as the stock app and pales in comparison to Overcast, and there is no Mac app at all. I hope they do some work on this moving forward.

Reeder & Pocket

I can't decide between these two at the moment, but I think Pocket will begin to fade out. I prefer to use Reeder to both consume RSS feeds and also save posts to read later. The only thing I may miss is Pockets recommended articles - but RSS is replacing much of that.

Reminders

This is a little bit raw still, but I am having a fight with myself over the reminders app that I am using. I am already a massive fan of Todoist and use it for all my work tasks currently (I have a lot of my year planned already), but I am finding it a bit too stressful to have it on my phone. The red dot of work tasks and notifications is a little too much for me at the moment, so I have removed it at the moment.

I like Reminders and would love for it to do everything for me, but I am struggling to quite get there. The main reason for this is I love using Siri, there I said it, I find it so much easier to tell Siri to remind me from my Apple Watch and get much more done when I can. However I can't quite work out a way of planning everything work-related in Reminders to make it 100% work, I can get 70% of the way there, but things like attachments are still missing for my use case.

I can add an image to a reminder but not a PDF - I still find that weird. The fact that I can add a document scan, but not the document itself is just bizarre, and I haven't got the time to scan everything to attach it.

Others

Dropbox - syncs all my work files from one machine to another. Nothing works as well as dropbox for sharing data, sending requests and I even quite like Paper.
Headspace - everyone should use this meditation app, it's great and something I can't live without.
Lightroom - I really enjoy taking pictures in Raw and processing later, I have got some fantastic shots but mainly open this from the widget.

Anything else you spot and you’d like to know more, just get in touch.

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