My Home Screen Setup Dilemma

I’m on the train home. My new phone is waiting for me! (It delivered, I checked) I’m realizing that I’m going to have to figure out 4 icons to go on the home screen. I keep two rows open on mine. I’m pretty confident that 3 free on the 6 will look odd.

I’m a power user. I always look for faster ways to do things, especially on my phone and laptop. (I’ll have a daily hacks series starting soon on my blog) How on earth could I get away with all that wasted real estate? 3 simple words. Launch. Center. Pro.  My designer friends (I work in the web-agency world) kept telling me how good iPhones looked missing the bottom row of icons. Ok, whatever. I didn’t care too much about it even after a lot of prodding. But, I wanted to get better at using LCP, so I started cutting. I removed a full row, then took it a step further and removed two. If you want to see how I use LCP to replace those two rows and do a LOT more, check out this post.

Lets break down what I did leave. These are the apps I just can’t live without. I go in and out of them a lot. (Or they don’t have a URL scheme that LCP can use).

Phone - Honestly, this one is mostly here so I can see if I have missed calls or voicemails I haven’t listened to yet. If someone has actually bothered to dial me up and leave a message, it’s probably important. The only people I actually call are my parents or my wife if one of us is traveling for work. Both of these dials have shortcuts in LCP

onTime - I take MetroNorth into Manhattan for work and this is my schedule app of choice. It’s definitely not the best but the killer feature for me is it tells you how long until each train. I don’t have to do any quick calculations in my head. I know it takes me about 25 mins to get from my office to Grand Central so I just glance and see when the next train is that leaves over that amount of time. This app would be perfect inside LCP but it doesn’t have a URL scheme.

Trello - I used to be a heavy, heavy Trello user. I knew some people who worked there, it’s gorgeous, and it lets me map things out in the way that I think (Kanban style). But, the mobile app, while pretty, is hard to do things fast. Even with hotkeys on the web version, it’s hard to do things fast. I found myself using this less and less for my every day as I started using Listacular. My recent dive into OmniFocus (Hi Clay) has all but killed my daily Trello use. I still use it to organize project based things but, it's spot on my home screen is on the chopping block.

OmniFocus - This is new. I’ve been hearing about OmniFocus for a very long time. I got into the beta for 2.0 to try it out. It’s intimidating. I didn’t have a lot of free time to devote to trying to learn it so it fell by the wayside. It’s popped up on a number of podcasts over the past few months. Then I read a pretty good tutorial on it and liked what I was reading. A lot. I found 2 video tutorials on Screencasts and watched them using the free trial. I went out and bought the Mac app the next day and was hooked. I’m now using it for everything: work tasks, dept. planning, follow up on emails, personal life, chores, and general reminders. This will definitely be getting its own post in my Daily Hacks series

Evernote - This is my notebook. I take a lot of paper notes during the day (Yes, physical paper. Paper helps me take notes faster in a meeting and organize them after the fact, and it’s less distracting. You’ll pay more attention in a meeting without a laptop in front of you.). Even the paper things make their way to Evernote. I’m still trying to figure out an organization scheme (Or if I even need one. I use the search heavily and I generally name things that I’ll remember how to find them).

Check the Weather - This has been my weather app of choice since day one. It’s fast and elegant. No distractions.

Day One - I’ve been dabbling in journaling over the past year. It helps me process my thoughts, rant, or just explode to get something out of my system. It’s a beautiful app and stays on my home screen to remind me to use it.

Listacular - My favorite “text list synced over dropbox” app. All kinds of lists in here. Packing, meeting agendas, formerly a todo list, comics to read (I keep track of pros books in Goodreads), movies to watch, app ideas, etc.

Overcast - I have a podcast problem. I’m pretty sure I spend more time listening to podcasts than TV or reading combined. (I read a lot) In order to keep up with the shows I want to listen to, I listen to most of them at higher speed (1.5-2x) Overcast’s SmartSpeed greatly helps with this. I get through more, faster, with much less “chipmunk effect”

Tweetbot - I’m a completionist on Twitter. This means I read my whole timeline (95% of the time, I probably declare bankruptcy one day a month). Tweetbot is great at remembering where I was in my timeline. I read in chronological order. Prior to iOS8 extensions, it has the best sharing capabilities. Mute. I use mute pretty heavily: hashtags, keywords, certain people if they are at a conference I don’t care about.  mmmm it sounds like I need to do a mute filter post too…

Instapaper - Like I said, lots of reading. I had this in LCP but kept going into it just WAY too much. Same with Tweetbot

Calendars 5 - This is the only calendar app I’ve found that can deal with my work calendar (People regularly try to triple book me and I need to see what’s what) Fantastical is the best general purpose calendar app.

Launch Center Pro - The cornerstone of my whole setup. Center stage, on every screen

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