Advertising
Advertising

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

Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.

        Advertising

          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.

          5 Project Management Tools to Get Your Team on Track To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better

          Trending in Productivity

          1 Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity? 2 5 Powerful Decision Making Skills to Help You Make Decisions Fast 3 10 Essential Steps to Success to Actually Reach Your Dreams 4 How to Rebound from Burnout in Just 8 Hours 5 How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on September 30, 2020

          Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

          Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

          When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

          Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

          Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

          Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

          Effective vs Efficient

          Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

          A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

          Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

          Advertising

          The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

          Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

          When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

          Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

          Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

          The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

          If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

          When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

          Advertising

          • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
          • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
          • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

          Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

          Efficiency in Success and Productivity

          Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

          When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

          Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

          The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

          If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

          Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

          Advertising

          The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

          Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

          Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

          If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

          It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

          Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

          Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

          Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

          Advertising

          By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

          It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

          Bottom Line

          Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

          • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
          • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
          • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

          And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

          More on How to Improve Productivity

          Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
          [2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
          [3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

          Read Next