One of my favorite regular features that LifeHacker publishes is called “How I Work.” It provides an insightful look at the tools of industry professionals and what helps makes them productive so they can accomplish the incredible projects they work on. I’m always fascinated at the different mobile apps or online services others are using to make their lives easier and also to accomplish more in a given day. In fact, it’s where I learned about IFTTT, Jing, TalkTo and others.
The features initially started off with just showing off what apps were on each individual’s home screen. To me that was exciting enough. Everyone was using Evernote and Instagram. No one had LetterSlider though. (I say that in jest.) I thought it would be fun to do the same and show you what my iPhone 5’s home screen looks like.
Without further ado, here’s what 24 apps are displayed each time I power my phone on:
Camera+: Point. Shoot. Click. That’s what this does. Plus, it has many more features than the standard camera to help enhance the picture quality. I own an SLR camera, but end up taking way more pictures with my iPhone. (Download)
StockWatch: I went with StockWatch to track my portfolio. The preinstalled Stocks app was only good to show you if something went up or down. Now I can see the value behind the movement compared to what I invested. (Download)
Google Maps: Thank goodness for this app. The troubles behind Apple’s map app are well documented. Searching “pizza near new york, ny” would give me trouble. Not anymore. (Download)
Podcast: Some “talk radio” in the car or while I work is a great way to de-stress a little bit. I’ll be writing about some of my favorite podcasts in an upcoming post. (Download)
The Weather Channel: Is it going to rain or snow? How hot is it going to be? That’s all I really need from a weather app. The Weather Channel just presents that info beautifully. (Download)
1Password: No longer do I use an Excel sheet to track all my passwords. 1Password is highly rated from a security standpoint. It can also log you in automatically to websites accessed through the app. I’m very dissapointed they are charging for their latest version upgrade though. (Download)
Moves: This is the newest app on my home screen. Moves tracks how many steps I take, how long I’m in the car and other types of movement throughout the day. My 38 minute ride to work sure felt quicker than the 36 minute ride home. (Download)
HootSuite: There are supposedly better social apps out there than HootSuite, but I’m just fine with this. I don’t spend a lot of time on social networks and this allows me to easily check out and respond to Tweets. (Download)
Pocket: Up until a few weeks ago, I used to use Offline Pages. The interface and UI was just lacking though. I came across Pocket and have been extremely happy ever since. Now I don’t bookmark articles or blog posts on my MacBook Air. I just add them to Pocket and read them later on my iPad or iPhone — without all the clutter around them, too. (Download)
Feedly: I had been looking for a great way to tap into my Google Reader feed on my phone for quite some time. I found some paid options, but could never pull the trigger. Then, I found Feedly. This is an ascetically pleasing way to go through my feed quickly and keep up with my favorite blogs. (Download)
Safari: There are only two sites I visit regularly on Safari for iPhone: ESPN and Yahoo. I can get both of them in apps, but then that creates clutter. Safari is a quality Web browser for my phone, suiting its purpose.
TalkTo: This is an invaluable research tool. On the day after Thanksgiving my wife asked me if we should get our Christmas tree that night. I used TalkTo to reach out to four local businesses to see if trees were in stock and get pricing… all while still at the dinner table. (Download)
Dropbox: The cloud storage leader is a must have. It allows me to access all types of documents from my iPhone, from wherever I am. (Download)
Good: I use Good to access my corporate emails. It’s much better than the Outlook browser website, which isn’t even optimized for mobile. (Download)
ChainCal: Have you ever heard of the “Break the Chain” method? It’s where you try to build a streak of doing a task or goal in hopes of not breaking the chain. I definitely have broken the chain more than once in this app, but it’s still great to see I worked out about 25 days last month. (Download)
Tempo: I had been looking for a replacement for Calendar for a few months now. I saw a lot of apps promoted on blogs and in the Top 25, but nothing ever really excited me. I even bought a few of those aforementioned apps. Then, this week, I came upon Tempo and am thrilled. The calendar app looks great, syncs perfectly with my calendar and is an all-around quality productivity asset to my phone. (Download)
Catch: I use Evernote to capture a lot of notes, but sometimes I just need something for those quick thoughts. That’s what I use Catch for. The app looks great and allows me to record my thoughts or to-do list without much effort. (Download)
Evernote: There’s no better note-taking program in the world. To think, at one time, I tried using something else because Evernote was overwriting my content. Stupid me. (Download)
LetterSlider: Everyone’s favorite word-finding slider puzzle game is a must on any home screen. I’m very proud of LetterSlider and hope you consider it for prime placement on your device, too. (Download)
Phone: I make calls with this.
Mail: I check email with this. (Yes, I tried Mailbox.)
Messages: I check texts with this. Sorry, there really isn’t much to say about these last three.
OmniFocus: The premier to-do list app on the market today. It contains everything I need to do on a project or one-off basis. It’s the most expensive app on my phone, but is well worth the costs. (Download)
Well, that was a lot. It was actually a few less when I planned writing this article while as an iPhone 4 owner a few months back. If you think there are any apps that accomplish the same tasks, but better, than the ones I’m using above, definitely reach out. I’d love to hear from you.