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Use iOS 6 as Your Entire Personal Productivity System

Use iOS 6 as Your Entire Personal Productivity System

The newest iteration of Apple’s iOS brings the user some more features like Do Not Disturb, VIP notifications and email handling, Passbook, Maps, and more. Apple has also made many enhancements to other stock iOS apps to make them easier to use as well as more powerful.

As iOS matures and more and more apps are added to the stock experience, could iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) be the only device you need to create a fully functional productivity system?

Reminders

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    When Apple first announced the Reminders app I was quick to judge; “It will never be as powerful and functional as ‘’.” But, I simply missed the point and the much larger market of people that don’t need (or want) all the bells and whistles of a tool like OmniFocus, Toodledo, Remember the Milk, etc.

    Reminders lets you make simple lists of tasks that can repeat, have reminder dates, associated locations, contain notes and even links. For a simple task manager, Reminders is actually quite powerful and useful. There is also a new Reminders interface at iCloud.com.

    Most people can be very productive with a simple list of items that need done. In fact, I challenge you to give Reminders a try as the only tool you use to keep track of projects and tasks and see how much you can get done. Sometimes simplified tools are just the tools that we need to do our best work.

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    Mail

      The iOS Mail.app is not something I would deem as ideal, but it’s definitely usable and one can be productive with it. It supports pretty much any email account you can throw at it, rich text, attachments, conversation view, and now the new VIP feature. VIP is a way to have Mail notify you of email from people who you have recognized as VIPs. You can then set up VIP notifications in Notification Center. I turn off all email notifications except for my VIP contacts.

      If you have an iCloud email account you can access your email through iCloud.com and on your device making your email accessible almost anywhere you can think of.

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      Calendar

        The Calendar app on iOS 6 hasn’t changed too much from iOS 5. Calendar supports calendars from Google calendar, iCloud, Exchange, gives you agenda, day, and month views, allows you to handle calendar invites, supports multiple calendars and more. The Calendar app on iOS is the one stock application that hasn’t left my home screen. It’s

        Notes

        Notes may be one of the stock applications on iOS that I have used the least, but I’m surprised at how many “normal” iOS users use it every single day.

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          I work in a company where I iOS devices are becoming the norm, and most people rather than use Evernote or the billion different plain-text/Dropbox syncing applications stick with Apple’s Notes app. It’s fast, simple, and gets the job done. Not to mention you can add things to it via Siri.

          The simple Notes app on iOS lets you add any number notes, search all notes, send your notes via email or SMS, and even print the note to a recognized AirPrint device. For people who want to jot down a quick note and stay productive, Notes may be just the app that they need to not get bogged down in additional features.

          Can you be productive with an iOS device alone?

          At Lifehack, we have touted that it doesn’t necessarily matter what tools you use to get stuff done; it’s more about the process and steps you take to become and stay productive. Therefore, you should be able to use any device/system that has the necessary tools that allow you to be productive. Apple has made a strong attempt at creating a device/OS that has all of those productivity tools that anyone wishing to get things done would need. But, is it enough to become your entire personal productivity system?

          More by this author

          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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          Last Updated on March 23, 2021

          Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

          Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

          One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

          The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

          You need more than time management. You need energy management

          1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

          How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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          I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

          I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

          2. Determine your “peak hours”

          Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

          Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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          My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

          In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

          Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

          3. Block those high-energy hours

          Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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          Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

          If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

          That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

          There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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          Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

          Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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