When the 1st generation iPhone came out in the summer of 2007, it has changed the way people interacted with technology. Suddenly, everyone was connected online at all times of day, playing games, catching up on email, or researching where they want to go to lunch, all while walking down the street. While elements of the iPhone were, and in many ways still are, a distraction, iPhone apps streamline productivity and put greater capabilities at your fingertips too.
Wearables are the latest trend that wants to pervasively integrate technology into your daily routine. The average employee checks their phone every three minutes, for a total of 200 times a day. Some of those checks may be for a purpose, but many are simply habitual. The Apple Watch has the potential to bring your focus back to productive tasks through apps that funnel only important information right to your wrist!
Many of these apps have desktop counterparts, but to keep them functional on an interface as small as a watch, app designers have kept the psychology of wearables in mind and stripped the app down to its core, most basic function and streamline its processes for ease-of-use.
If you’re looking to boost your productivity in 2016, here are 7 essential Apple Watch apps that you should be using today:
1. Do Button
Created by IFTTT (If This, Then That) for the Apple Watch, Do Button allows you to set up “recipes” for communication between apps or devices in the simple setup of “if this happens, then that will happen” scenarios. The possibilities are nearly endless. Whether it’s automatically uploading new documents to Dropbox every time you use a task manager or connecting your smart home devices to your wrist, there are numerous ways Do Button can boost your productivity through the automation of simple tasks.
Evernote’s app for Apple Watch is the easiest way for you to keep track of new information as you learn it. With the push of a button, you can dictate a message to the app, and Evernote will translate it to text and save it for later. You can also use voice search to find a specific note in the app, making navigation much more manageable despite the Apple Watch’s small screen. If you need a quick reminder of something later that day, you can schedule notes to be sent to your watch screen too.
Slack is known for its incredibly popular and colorful desktop app that serves as a chat platform for teams with a need for multiple communication channels. If your chat is very active, this app could very well distract you more than it aids you. However, for the Apple Watch, Slack pares down its functionality somewhat and limits access to messages, so users can keep their sanity. The app will only notify you of direct messages or mentions. This means that if someone needs to get ahold of you to ask a question or vice versa, they can, but you won’t be overwhelmed by group chatter either.
The organizational tool Swipes utilizes an elegant interface to funnel your to-do list directly to you. The app sets itself apart from other task management apps by focusing on your priorities. Users can connect their tasks and assignments across different platforms and communication channels and send actionable tasks directly to their Apple Watch to make sure that they keep track of all their projects. Perhaps the most useful feature of Swipes is that users can customize snooze options and task types, so, for example, you could snooze any communications-related tasks during Tuesday afternoons to give you a chunk of time to work on personal projects without being distracted by other responsibilities.
Similar to a task management application, Productive lets you schedule your days around your priorities and can act as an aid to remind you of tasks that need completing. However, beyond task management, Productive is a habit tracker. Want to start waking up an hour earlier to build that side project you’ve been talking about? Productive will send a reminder to start the task to your Apple Watch, and if you’re ready to begin, you tap the message. To encourage increased productivity in the future, the app will show you how many days you’ve met your goal in a row, pushing users to meet the challenges they set themselves.
Tired of entering the same passwords, again and again, every time you log on? 1Password can save you that hassle by keeping all of your log-in information in one place and then letting users sign into their accounts with just a single tap on your Apple Watch. The app utilizes a browser extension and many supported mobile apps to autofill user’s information into sign-in fields. You’ll never have to type again, just swipe and tap on the watch. While keeping all of your information in one app sounds risky, 1Password is encrypted and possesses strong security measures to make sure your treasure trove of private information isn’t discovered by anyone else.
CloudMagic, an email app with over 4 million users, has made waves with both critics and users for its speed and minimal design. With its latest addition of an Apple Watch extension, the best email app for desktop and mobile brings its platform to your wrist. CloudMagic is faster, more efficient, and boasts a better interface than any other email tool out there. The app integrates with every main email platform too, and you can save your emails to a number of different apps. If you need to check email on a regular basis, you don’t have to look any farther than at the CloudMagic on your wrist.
Boosting your productivity through an Apple Watch is as much a matter of understanding your needs as it is using apps for efficiency. If you don’t need a to-do list or the ability to chat anytime with co-workers, then those apps will prove a distraction to you rather than help you become more productive. Explore different combinations of apps for the Apple Watch to find out what helps you stay productive most effectively, and use them to your advantage to respond faster, stay on top of your schedule, and get more done.
Featured photo credit: Shinya Suzuki via flic.kr