iPhone Apps…What’s on Your Top Page?

by Daniel Hayes

I love the iPhone.  To me, it’s one of those pivotal pieces of technology that has changed my life for the better.  It’s like a digital Swiss Army Knife.  Used correctly it can do so much to increase your productivity.  While I like to try many different apps there are some that are my true “go to” apps; ones that I use as part of my workflow.  Therefore, I like to know exactly where they’re at when I need them.  Part of productivity is organization; knowing where things are, right?  Another part is repetition and taking actions consistently. So, I keep my most important apps right o on the first page of my iPhone.  You likely already know how to arrange your icons but if you don’t, check out this post.

So, here are the apps I keep on my home screen.  I’ll let you know what each app is and why I use it.  Hopefully, this will give you some ideas on how to increase your productivity by using your smart phone for good instead of using it to play Angry Birds all day. The links will take you directly to the App Store to get a better description and allow you to download the app if you’d like. The apps that aren’t linked are system apps that come preloaded on the phone.

Messages:  This one is where I receive texts to my personal phone number.  I like to know exactly where this one is so I keep it in the top spot for convenience. System App, comes with phone.

MapQuest: Love this app…all the benefits of an external GPS, with live updates and turn-by-turn instructions if you want. Free.

App Store: I go there a lot! System App, comes with phone.

Camera:  I have other camera apps on the phone but I use this one the most.  I keep this one in the top corner too because I hate to miss a pic because I’m stumbling around looking for my  camera app! System App, comes with phone. Note: I have recently updated to Camera+. I find it has a bit more functionality than the standard camera app. I figure, if it’s important enough to take a picture of, you might as well get the best picture you can, right?

Dropbox:  I use Dropbox for file syncing and really appreciate the functionality of having access to my docs when on the go. Great for sharing files, too!  Free app! I pay for extra storage to handle the large amount of files shared with clients, but you don’t have to. You can sign up for this awesome FREE service here.

1Password Pro:  I don’t miss the days when I recklessly used all the same passwords because I don’t have the grey RAM necessary to remember 100+ passwords.  1Password handles all that for me and also serves as a secure digital wallet.  I use 1Password Pro on my iPhone in conjunction with my desktop and laptop…and the all stay synced! $9.99 for the iPhone version.

Scanner Pro:  I like to have a damn good scanner app for my phone.  While I use Evernote for “scanning” receipts, it’s nice to use Scanner Pro to get a top-notch scan of full documents that rivals a flatbed scanner. $6.99

Google Latitude:  Another Google product that my wife and I use all the time for security purposes.  She’s an active runner and she always tells me the route she’s taking so I can track her when in neighborhoods and trail runs, both for safety and so I can take her water, etc, on the long runs.  We also work often at clients’ homes and business locations.  We have SOPs (Standing Operating Procedures) to let each other know where we are (again, for security purposes), but we also use Latitude to track one another.  It works pretty well.  Both the service and app are free.

Twitter: I use the standard app most of the time but I also use TweetDeck, which is on another page. Note: Actually, since originally writing this post I moved TweetDeck to the front page (more of the functionality that I need).

Google Voice:  I use this for my business phone number and texts.  It sends a voice mail to my email and also so pretty hilariously wrong transcription.  Free.

Layar:  Cool augmented reality app. Used in conjunction with other location services it provides “layers” that tell you services in your phone’s field of vision/vicinity. Free.

Clock:  I don’t wear a watch, don’t have an alarm clock, don’t have one of those Italian Pomodoro thingies, and sundials are a pain when it’s cloudy…I use this clock for all my timekeeping needs. System App, comes with phone.

Facebook:  I’m using Facebook less and less these days. Still, I’ve tried other “social media combination apps” and I prefer the standard FB app.  Free.

Evernote:  My external brain.  I’ve been an Evernote user since it was released and am a total Evernote evangelist.  This is the ubiquitous capture tool for anyone concerned about productivity.  If you haven’t been introduced to Evernote yet then you’re missing out.  Gotta check it out.  The app is free and so is basic Evernote.  I’ve been a Premium user for two years and it’s worth so much more than the $5 a month I spend on it.

Google:  This is the app for nearly the entire Google suite of products.  I use almost all of them daily. The app is free.

Google+:  This is the newly released app from the iTunes Store.  Before this I was using the downloadable one from Google’s mobile site.  Google+ rocks and now it can only get better with a solid mobile app.  Free.

VoCal Voice Calendar:  You’ll notice I have VoCal in my dock.  I love this app for all my reminder needs.  While I’m a Google Calendar freak, I really like a voice reminder for “on the fly” tasks that need to be done at a certain time.  There’s a free version but I paid the $2.99 for the Premium app.

Safari:  My browser of choice for the iOS system.  Like I have much of a choice…  I wish Chrome was available as a browser option. System App, comes with phone.

Phone:  I won’t insult you intelligence by going any further on this one…

Mail:  I prefer the functionality of my Gmail app within the Google suite app, but I still use this Mail app for a quick peek at my inboxes.  System App, comes with phone.

So there you have it…Page 1 of my app’s on the iPhone.  I hope this helps in some way.  I’d love to hear your top app recommendations…

By the way…what apps do you have on your first page?



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Johnathan Cranford August 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Saw you commented on Tim Ferris’s blog. I like your website and was hoping I could get some advice from you as well. I have a product that debuted at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in front of millions of people but am having trouble gaining traction here in the US. As a fellow 4-Hour fan please check out my site share your knowledge and opinions.


Suselew May 30, 2013 at 11:07 am

I ran through this post for suggestions for what “types” of apps that could be useful, rather than the specific app used as I’m an Android user. Although I freely admit that many apps are enhanced more for the iPhone/iPad, I don’t care for the iOS at all. Unless you jailbreak the phone, you cannot customize the interface far enough. And, then there is Swype. I’m a huge fan of that keyboard…oh, and widgets…..lol. Anyway, this post was informative in that I really do need a password protection app so I downloaded mSecure for my phone and am going to try it out to see if it’s worth the ROI (investment mostly being my time and learning curve). And, I’m enthused about learning more about Evernote. I look forward to your posts on that app because I can see its usefulness.


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