That Mac Nerd

Posts - Page 9 of 13

Top 10 iOS Apps for Productivity

  • 3 min read

This is an updated list of iOS apps for fall.

My list of most used apps has changed since I last wrote an article on the Best 10 Apps for Productivity on iOS.

I have tested old tools and stuck with them and abandoned new tools.

My list of tools should be different than yours. If they’re not, that’s okay, too.

My Top Apps

Most of my top apps are a rehash of the previous article. I am just going to list what changed.

  1. AirmailThis is the power user option against Spark’s email client. Airmail has a ton of integrations built in. You can essentially send an email to OmniFocus or Evernote. Evernote integration isn’t the best; the format of the email is stripped out and the Airmail x-call-back URL is added in the note body. But there are a lot of other integrations.The read receipt feature that Spark took out of their app is in this app, as well as Send Later and now, Undo Send. Send Later is only available for Gmail and Outlook accounts at the moment, but it is still a very worthy investment.
  2. EvernoteI tried to abandon Evernote. I really did. But from the moment I deleted my old account, I immediately regretted it. It was the cornerstone of all my information and plain text systems as well as DEVONthink Pro Office wasn’t cutting it the way I wanted it to.Evernote is in some dire straits, and I may have to jump ship eventually. But for now I paid for the Premium subscription which I got a generous discount on. I want them to stay in business so I gave them my money. It’s a fact of business: a brand build a product. You don’t give them money to sustain that product, the product dies. It’s that simple.
  3. OmniFocusThe big gun of productivity apps on the Apple platform. They are pricey apps but worth it.I went with Todoist for half a year and it was a great system but I eventually got bored with the incentive system and the lack of power user features, even with the premium version. I went back to OmniFocus as now I know how to actually use it and the GTD method. Both of these together are something powerful.
  4. PocketCastsI was a staunch Overcast user and patron. But when PocketCasts, my previous podcatcher got similar features that drew me to Overcast, I switched back. The interface just looks better— sleek and modern.One thing that really bothers me is the Episode Filter. It isn’t intuitive to use and it is reflected in the reviews. You can play the whole playlist, or episode filter, but you have to tap the three buttons by the title: of your playlist and hit Play All. It is a quirk, but a minor one. Now that I know how it works, it is a definite Overcast replacement.
  5. AudibleI just recently found the value of audiobooks. Most of the books I read this year, all 48 of them, have been audiobooks. I am on the Platinum plan so I get two credits a month and I always use them.Audiobooks are great for commutes and gym time, a perfect time to learn something. If you don’t think you’d enjoy audiobooks, give it a try. If you like it sign up.


All the product links on this page give me a tiny commission if you purchase them. I would appreciate it if you used these links to purchase them, if you decide to. It helps with the maintenance of this blog and other expenses.


What are your favorite iOS apps currently for Getting Things Done?

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You Are Not A Machine

  • 1 min read

Optimized-machine I am trying to remember this:

You are not a machine.

[Tweet “You are not a machine.”]

Working late into the night, working on weekends: it’s killing us.

We’re unhealthy. We don’t take time to exercise and eat right and how could we? There’s just no time. From emails, Slack messages, crises at work, staying late at the office, time is a lost commodity.

But there’s hope.

Setting Yourself Up for Success By Saying “Yes” to You

You should be the focus of everything you do.

[Tweet “You should be the focus of everything you do.”] Taking care of your body is only going to give you more energy to get things done.

Sleeping seven to eight hours a night and going to bed at a reasonable time can help you focus and ready to start your day. There’s nothing worse than being sleep deprived. Your eyes glaze over and you can’t focus.

Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy and alive. I know when I come out of the gym, I feel incredible. I am trying to lose weight and get fit. The more I push myself to exercise the better I feel about myself. I have more confidence I have to tackle any of the school/work/life problems. Endorphins matter that much.

Eating healthy is super important to feeling good, as well. When we put good foods in our system, they fuel us and give our brains much needed energy.

Learn to Say No To Others

I struggle with this. I say yes to a lot, as someone who is in school and trying to get ahead in life faster than I did when I was younger. I would go to school, drop out, go back in an attempt to keep relationships. I was struggling with self-confidence.

Today, I have learned to say no to a lot of projects that have come my way. Saying no to other commitments, you’re signaling to others that your time is valuable. This will boost self-confidence and lead others to respect your time.

You Matter

Remember this. If you allow yourself to let others influence your behavior, you compromise your well-being.

[Tweet “Remember this. If you allow yourself to let others influence your behavior, you compromise your well-being.”]

Have anything to add? Let me know in the comments.

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The Importance of Getting Up Early

  • 2 min read


I admit— I am usually not a fan of getting up early. I would stay up until 3 in the morning and get up around 12 PM. The alarm would blare Junior Senior’s Move Your Feet, a catchy tune that implies a good day ahead. I would lay in bed for hours and scroll through email or Twitter and Facebook, and waste half the day. Then I would muster up the energy to go work on something.

This is, as many would tell you, the absolute worst thing to do. First, that time you’re scrolling through email and Twitter is time that you could be using to do the big tasks that require you to eat the frog first, or get to something far more important than triaging email.

There was some research done a few years ago about this: a lot of when we wake up or our chronotype is genetic, but it isn’t immutable.

Early Bird Gets the Worm?

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.”_shrink


There is something to be said for getting up early.

In the HBR article, it found that while night owls were on average smarter and more creative, business success and better grades were a characteristic of those who get up early.

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.”-1_shrink

Since your chronotype is not a fixed part of your circadian rhythm, there are steps you can take to get up early. This is what I am doing, as a lifelong night owl:

  • Small steps: I am trying to get up an hour earlier every week. This way I can get my body acclimated to getting up earlier in more manageable intervals.
  • Find something you enjoy doing in the morning. I enjoy researching articles to write, going through the day's news in Reeder, Instapaper, Flipboard, and the like. I also cook a healthy breakfast to start my day and then head to the gym a couple hours later.
  • Get an alarm clock. I am working on this. Don’t use your phone to wake you up. There are some benefits to this, like the iPhone app Sleep Cycle which is a wonderful app to help you gradually wake up. But if you’re anything like me, you wake up and close the clock app and open your email app, your Twitter client, and Facebook or Tumblr. Getting an alarm clock and placing your phone on the charger across the room or in another room will go a long way to getting you up and out of bed.


Have Anything to Add?

Are you a night owl? An early bird? What techniques do you use to get up and start your day?

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