What’s on my iPhone?

I’ve got a bit of a tech theme going on here lately, so why not continue it with a post about what’s on my iPhone? ¬†And why not on the day Apple announced the newest iPhone models?

It takes about 5 seconds of knowing me to know I’m an Apple girl. I’ve been using Macs since I was 2, and while there were a couple years that I used PCs, in high school, I went back to Mac and never looked back.

I’m now on my 3rd iPhone, so I’ve tried my fair share of apps over the years. I had originally planned to go over all the apps on my phone, but despite being pretty strict about what apps stay on my phone, I still have over 90 apps – much too many to review each and every one, so I figure I’ll give you an overview of how I organize the apps on my phone, and then I’ll go over some of my most used apps.

Let’s start with the home screen. These are apps I like to have quick access to or be able to glance at quickly.


iPhoneHome

  • Across the top row you’ll find Calendar, Weather, Things, and Fitbit. These are all apps I like to check in the morning when I’m getting ready.
  • Next is Clock, Calculator, Phone, and 1Password. These are all tool/utility type apps I like to have quick access to.
  • The next two rows don’t exactly have a specific category. They are just apps I use frequently or like to have on my home screen. So here, you have Pocket and Reeder. Camera+, Light, and Waze.
  • And of course you’ll find the App Store and Settings.
  • In my dock, I try to keep apps I use most frequently or need quick access to in the car like Spotify.

Now onto the rest of the apps. I only have one page of apps aside from my home screen. Any more than one page, and I start freaking out. I also like to keep them all in folders mostly organized by activity.

iPhoneFolders

  • First up we have the Apple folder for all those apps Apple insists on putting on the phone and won’t let you remove.
  • The next folder is Files. This is where I keep all my cloud storage apps.
  • I’m not really into playing games on my phone much any more, but I do have a folder where I keep a few should I for some reason actually have nothing to do.
  • I keep any fitness apps in the Health folder.
  • Misc. is my folder for anything that doesn’t really fit in the other folders. When this folder starts getting full, it’s usually time to consider adding a folder or getting rid of some apps.
  • Any apps related to books or audiobooks are stored in my Read folder.
  • The $ folder has any shopping, bank, or credit card related apps.
  • Social is of course for social networking apps.
  • And last but not least Watch holds my video related apps like Netflix.

So which apps are my favorites? {By the way, I’m limiting this to non-Apple apps. If you use an iPhone you already know Apple’s apps.}

  • Spotify without a doubt gets used the most. I use it to listen to music in the car. I also use it stream music to my stereo when I’m at home.
  • Mailbox has revolutionized the way I deal with email. It’s also finally given me a way to take a break from work emails when I’m out of the office.
  • I’ve bragged about Things in the past. I’ve used this app for years on my phone, iPad, and Mac, and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. It’s my favorite task management app, and I’ve tried quite a bunch.
  • 1Password is by far the best password management app I’ve ever used. In fact, I love it soo much, it was first piece of software I ever paid for on my Mac. When the latest iPhone version was released, I even stayed up late to get it when it came out. {Not even embarrassed about it…}
  • I’ve posted about how Pocket has changed the way I read content on the internet. Spotify
  • Reeder is by far my favorite RSS reader for iOS, and I’ve tried quite a few.
  • My go-to navigation app is Waze. In fact, my car has a nav system built in and I still use this one. I also love trying to figure out who around me is using Waze when one of the little Wazer icons pass mine.
  • Health-wise, my favorite app is the recently released Blogilates app. It’s well worth the $.99/month to get the calendar. Every day you get a list of video workouts and you can check them off as you go. Super simple.
  • and last but not least, I’m a big reader, so I use GoodReads to update my reading progress and keep track of what I’m reading.

Well that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed my quick tour of my iPhone.

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Inbox Zero… It Does Exist!

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About a year ago, I ran across a term, inbox zero. After a bit of Googling, I discovered that the term Inbox Zero is the term people use to describe having no emails in their inbox. Apparently, some people really struggle with obtaining this “Inbox Zero” which was a surprise to me because I usually had only a few emails in my inbox at most, but then again I’ve also seen coworkers with 1,000+ emails in their inbox.

So how do I achieve Inbox Zero?

Let’s start with some background. I’m not one of those people who doesn’t use email. I have 5 Gmail accounts that I use daily. I get on average around 400 emails a week+ spam not even including work/school-related emails, but at the end of the day I rarely have more than 10 in my inbox.

Maybe you’re thinking, “5 accounts?! You’re crazy.” {Maybe just a little… ūüėČ } But they each serve their own purpose.

  • Main account – I sign up for accounts using this address.
  • Personal account – If I know you personally outside of work, you get to use this address.
  • School/Work account – Anything school or work related goes to this account.
  • Survey account – This is the account I use to sign up for offers and such. It was originally just for paid survey sites.
  • Blog account – Lastly, this one’s pretty self explanatory. If it’s blog-related, I try to use this account.

The great part to having multiple email addresses is that each address can serve a particular purpose, but that also means you have to check them all. If you use a mail client like I do, you also run the risk of sending messages from the wrong address. {Sending an important work email to a client from my personal address is something I prefer not to do.}

I’ve tried consolidating these addresses in one way or another more times than I can count, and I’ve failed each time up until recently.

So what did I do differently?

Rather than forwarding ALL of my emails to one account. I only forwarded some of the accounts. All emails from my personal, survey, and blog accounts get forwarded to my main account. Since I work at the same university I study at, those two are already consolidated. I then have two email accounts to check: my main account for personal things and my school/work account for professional things.

Why I didn’t think of this before is beyond me, but it’s so simple that it just works.

Now onto what I use…

Right now, on my Mac, I use Sparrow as my mail client. Sadly, Google bought up this app and development for it stopped, so I’m still looking for a better alternative should Sparrow ever die completely. Everything I’ve tried so far is too cluttered.

For my iPhone and iPad, I’ve fallen in love with Mailbox¬†which I mentioned in my February Favorites post. For anyone who has coworkers that like to do all their work at 10pm on a Friday evening, you’ll love this app. Given that my boss has told me I’m under no obligation to respond to messages outside of work, I take full advantage of Mailbox’s snooze feature. When a work-related email comes in, it gets deferred until I’m back in the office. Similiarly, I can also defer personal emails until I get home.

The last service/app I use is something I stumbled upon recently. It’s called Sanebox. I purchased the 2-year “Snack” package which works out to be around $.06/day with a promo code I used. Right now, I’m only using this on my “Main” email account, so this only affects my personal emails. I prefer to get my work emails as they get sent. With Sanebox, non-important, newsletter-type emails get moved from my inbox to a “SaneLater” folder. Then, once a day, I get an email summary of anything that’s been moved to SaneLater. From that email, I can choose whether to move a particular email back to my inbox, choose to always send emails from a particular sender directly to my inbox instead, delete the messages, or archive them. Once a week I get a summary email with fun graphs and numbers like how much time I saved. Now, I’m not even close to using Sanebox to it’s full potential. It can do other things like save attachments to Dropbox or Box, or integrate with social networks. You can set up other folders too, but the real beauty of it all, is that this does’t require special apps or anything. It’s just folders! If something should have ended up in SaneLater, I just move the message to that folder in whatever I’m using to check my mail (Gmail, Sparrow, Mailbox, etc.) and Sanebox learns.

So to summarize my recipe for Inbox Zero…

Gmail Accounts + Mailbox app + Sanebox = Inbox Zero

Now obviously it’s not that simple, if it were, everyone would have empty inboxes, but for those of you who are inbox-zero challenged, here are some tips that will help even if you don’t use the apps mentioned above:

  • Have one account that you use to sign up for things. Even if you don’t have 5 accounts like I do, just this one will keep your junk mail in one place. {Be sure to use different passwords… nothing worse than someone like an ex getting access to one password and having access to ALL of your accounts!}
  • Delete, Do, Defer. This is my one rule for keeping my inbox count low.
    • Delete what you don’t need immediately.
    • Do anything you can take care of within 2 minutes immediately.
    • Defer any emails you can’t address immediately until later. {Gmail’s star function works great for this, so do folders. Just get it out of your inbox into a place you can check later.}

Is your inbox out of control? Do you use any of the apps/services mentioned above or something similar? Do you have tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below!

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February 2013 Favorites

Hello everyone! This post is going to be all about the products I loved this month. It’s a fairly random list of things including everything from makeup to apps to pet products.

{Disclaimer: I purchased all of these products on my own and was not paid or asked to review any of these items.}

Make Up, Hair & Nails

  • Gel Eyeliner by MicaBeauty – This was my first time trying a gel-based eyeliner. I was always too afraid that I’d screw it up, but it turned out easier to apply than I had anticipated. This stuff was awesome for my nights out when I wanted to give my eyes a little more {well a LOT MORE}¬†oomph.

  • Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer – I typically use Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless primer, but this was another Ipsy product I enjoyed using. I think it’ll be a toss up between what primer I order now. The Pixi primer is available at Target for $29 or through Ipsy with a 20% ¬†, but I typically shop at Sephora so I’ll likely reorder the Too Faced primer.

Mac/iPhone/iPad Apps

It seems like more and more lately I’m replacing the stock apps on my phone with other third-party apps.

Sunrise Calendar App

{Image from Tech Crunch}

  • Sunrise – This app is a wonderful calendar app that really took me by surprise. It as a great look to it. It also has Facebook integration which is wonderful for wishing your Facebook friends a Happy Birthday which some of you may remember is one of my goals for this year.

  • Mailbox – This app claimed it would revolutionize the way you used your Gmail accounts and boy did it. I feel like I waited an eternity for this app, and almost deleted it because I was tired of waiting in line. I don’t necessarily agree that the idea of downloading the app to “reserve your place in line” to get to use the app was the best roll out method, but I’m glad I waited. I have a few coworkers that like to send out emails at 9pm, so being able to mark those emails to return to my inbox later when I’m at work is great. It did take a bit of time to reconfigure my Mail app on my Mac so that everything worked together nicely, but I decided to take the time to do it and clean up my folders in the process.

  • Jasmine – I watch a lot of YouTube videos if you hadn’t caught on to that from my “My Week” posts by now. Watching them on my iPad or iPhone is one way that I catch up on them. I tried a lot of Youtube apps and this one is by far the prettiest. It does have some glitches at times, but this is still the best in my opinion.

  • Pocket – I had this app on my computer for a while, but never actually used it. I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds that I read on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac using my favorite RSS reader, Reeder. I typically run through the feeds and star what I want to read so that I can come back to them. Pocket seemed redundant until I started using it. Now I typically send things I want to read straight to Pocket. When I’m reading, if I find a link to something else interesting, I save that link to Pocket and continue reading. This works wonderfully for Webfinds. I open up the Philofaxy post, and save all the finds to Pocket and I can read them later.

Pet Products

  • PetGuard Leaf and Flower Organically Grown Catnip – I got this from Petflow’s Spoiled Rotten box. I’ve since unsubscribed from it because I don’t think the products were ¬†worth the money, but my cats did enjoy everything in the box. One of their favorites was a tin of organic catnip. Only my two younger cats are usually affected by catnip, but this time even Abu joined in on the fun. Within minutes, they were acting crazy, and at one point they were following me around excited like I had canned cat food for an oil filter I was carrying to the garage.

Stationary & Such

  • Schedule Stamps from Etsy¬†– I picked up two sets of stamps from the Etsy store,¬†bysiuc. The first set was weather related. The second set contained various events like date night, movie, etc. It doesn’t look like the event type stamps are still available, but there is one left of the weather related ones, here. {Check back Monday for how I’m using them in my Filofax.}

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