by Bill French on 15/04/10 at 5:00 am
Editor's Note: As the authority of iPhone (and now iPad) in the enterprise, I decided to ask each editor what iPhone apps they use for business and personal productivity. I mean, are we drinking our own Kool-Aid? keep checking back as other members of the iPhoneCTO team weigh in.
I do a significant number of reviews concerning iPhone and iPad applications, so I have a large number of apps that I do not necessarily use on a day-to-day basis. I keep these apps segregated into separate configuration pages and I look forward to the new folders feature coming in iPhone OS4 this summer to simplify my numerous page views.
I maintain a number of configuration pages that contain apps that I use frequently. Since I have both iPhone and iPad, I keep both devices synchronized to a certain degree in terms of screen configurations
– this helps with overall productivity. The configuration pages are divided into seven categories.
- Operational – generally apps that involve finding information, communicating and collaboration with others. In addition to the usual apps that I can't live without (camera, maps, email), I have separate icons for Google calendar, Google voice, and Google wave. Did you notice each is a web app? Additionally, while most would consider Dragon Dictation a utility, it is part of my operational category, because I use it so frequently. Rounding out this category is the most important app I use… Things.
- Social networking – this
category contains applications to interact at a social level, personally and for business use. Linkedin, Facebook, Gist , HootSuite , and CinchCast are the most predominant apps I use to stay productive. I also use the Buzz and Wave Web applications from Google.
- Rich media – in my business, the ability to capture and distribute rich media such as video, pictures, and audio is managed by a small collection of apps dedicated to this requirement. Managing large files such as video is accomplished with PogoPlug, which gives me the ability to create and upload larger video and audio files produced with ReelDirector and Voice Memos. While I use Cinch for the bulk of my casual podcasting, there are times when I'll record a lengthy audio session for an interview or an important business meeting. Voice Memos is far better for this task and being able to upload the content to PogoPlug is highly productive. Broadcast and capture apps from both UStream and Qik round out the rich media category.
- Business applications – my business applications include tools that allow me to move documents around freely between desktop and mobile devices as well as access private business information. Droppler (for Drop.io) is a key mobile resource management tool that I use all the time. DropBox is also essential business application, because it allows you to synchronize all of my mobile devices with my Mac and virtual instances of Windows XP. Insight (for Basecamp) is also key to my mobile collaboration and management activities. On the fringe of this category is Roambi (for business analytics) and QuickBooks online; both apps provide significant and seamless access to business information about customers and finances.
- Innovation – this category is relatively new and somewhat inspired by iPad. I spend a significant amount of time developing new innovative thought for clients and for my own firms. Apps such as StoryPages , Outliner, IdeaPad , iThoughts and SketchPad HD are helping me become more productive with planning.
- Content – this category keeps me abreast of what is going on in the world and specifically about business. I enjoy being informed about news and other information important to my business activity as well as personal interests. I use Stitcher to create focused collections of news and information relevant to my business. The app saves me a lot of
time, because it not only assimilates information I care about, it transforms it into a personal radio program that I can listen to while working. Other apps such as All Things Digital , TED, and Mac OS Ken, provide comprehensive insight into news that I care about.
- Utilities – this last category is a catchall for tools that I find important from time to time. Without question, the most important utility that saves me the most amount of time is LogMeIn for remote desktop networking (even more important now that iPad has arrived). Evernote is also at the top of the utilities foodchain for capturing and sustaining knowledge. Nomina is a very useful and productive tool for researching web domain availability and brand names – I use it more often than I thought I ever would. I also find myself frequently using Flashlight, Groceries, PDF Expert (Readdle) and Analytics.
Missing from the seven categories above is any mention of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. It is safe to say that I am on the fence with regard to specific choices concerning applications such as QuickOffice , DocsToGo , and the new iPad business application suite; I’m waiting for new iPad app announcements from QuickOffice and DocsToGo. I’m also experimenting with Apple’s suite of business applications and my early use with Keynote and Pages on the iPad has been enjoyable, although I’m somewhat biased towards these applications at the moment since I am writing a book about using iPad for delivering compelling business presentations.
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