There's no doubt that smart phones, and in particular iPhones, have revolutionised the way we communicate and the way we work. I catch the train to and from work every day and, like everyone else, my eyes are either staring at my iPhone, my ears tethered to my iPhone, or both. Why?
When we emmerse ourselves in this mobile technology, do we lose the ability to communicate with each other, in person? Well, that, I think, is a whole other topic.
When I'm emmersed in my iPhone, I'm usually reading blogs, listening to podcasts or, jotting down ideas and updating my task lists.
I've always been a big fan of cloud computing and cloud applications and I've recently become a productivity nerd after reading Getting Things Done by David Allen. At first I was scouring the App Store looking for "the best" cloud productivity apps that will make me the most productive. I've since learned that an app isn't going to make me productive, that's up to me to do. But, I have found a couple of indispensable apps along the way that help me to track and reach my productivity goals.
Wunderlist is a simple task management app. I manage multiple lists each with their own set of tasks. For example, I have a list called '@Work' which is all my work related todo's; a list called '@Home' which lists all my things to fix and clean etc at home; a 'Personal' lists which helps me track all the odds and ends I need to do for myself, and a few other lists. All I need to do is jump into the list and type the task in. If I want to, I can also add reminders, due dates, descriptions and mark a task as a high priority.
There are many task management apps around on the App Store, but I've found Wunderlist to be the best for me. Not only is it easy to use and has a great design, but it has a matching versions for iPad and other mobile devices as well versions for Mac, Windows and a web interface... and it's all 100% free. No ads or Premium version. Just plain free. On the train, I simply enter a new todo item and Wunderlist automatically synchronizes my lists and tasks up to the cloud. This means that I can use the web interface on my Ubuntu Linux netbook, or the Mac version on my work MacBook and all my tasks and lists are up to date! I love that all my tasks are stored in the cloud so that if say my iPhone breaks, I don't lose all my tasks - they are safely stored for me elsewhere.
I don't know how I ever used to survive without Evernote. It is by far the single most valuable application that I use. If you've never heard of Evernote, I recommend you take a look. I was a bit skeptical at first, but now I use it constantly. I have a really bad memory, so with Evernote, I can store everything that I should remember. It keeps my blog post ideas, work projects, web projects, family information, even my entire filing cabinet lives within my Evernote account. I can take a photo and store it in Evernote. I can record a sound and store it in Evernote, or I can type in a note and store it in Evernote. And, just like Wunderlist, there are versions for most mobile devices as well as Windows, Mac and a web version. And, they all synchronize with each other. So, on the way to work, I can review the status of the projects I'm working on - including any photos or PDF documents stored inside the note. On the way home from work, I can add new blog post ideas, or even write my blog posts entirely. It's incredibly powerful. All my notes, photos, recordings and everything else are safely stored in the cloud, so I'm not worried if my iPhone or MacBook is covered with a glass of water (yes, it has happened to a colleague), all the information I care about is safe.