Saving Time: Three IPhone Apps That May Help Trim Time Off Your Routines

Is your workload increasing? Have you noticed that the number of hours in a day hasn’t gone up to compensate?

I feel as if I have less time in my day than I did a year ago.

To reclaim the extra minutes spent running through my routines:

  • Capturing notes
  • Managing my time
  • Capturing Ideas
  • Reviewing the top items that need to get done today…

I’ve incorporated several Apple IPhone apps that have helped me slash extra minutes spent maintaining my daily routine.

Memories…

The first of these apps is Day One.

Day One is a diary app that lets you make entries as short as a line long without feeling guilty for leaving the blank space.  To be honest, this really isn’t a project management app, but this app provides an easy way to capture accomplishments, dates and times.  It can also help you capture your thoughts and lessons learned from closed projects.  I think what really sold me on the app was the interface, which gives you the ability to view your entries in 3 ways: by the year, as one-liners grouped by month or in a calendar view where each day with an entry is highlighted.

You can also star key entries to forever mark them electronically. I am of two minds about starring entries – I’m not sure whether I really want to remember some of these moments, but I star them just in case I change my mind and want to review my thoughts for a lessons learned session.

The app can be synched to your ICloud if you want to back up your journal) or you can access them from your Mac.

Moving Toward a Paperless Workstyle

Evernote is the second app that I’ve been using to save myself some steps between a pad of paper and my keyboard. As an example,  we seem to have a password for everything nowadays – from logins to ticketing and company tools. Nearly each one of these blessed passwords need to change every 90 days – and keeping up with them as well as remembering them is one of the minor aggravations that slow me down.

The password keychart (www.passwordchart.com) that helps me generate passwords used to be printed and carried around with me.

To lose the printed page was to lose my password.

Now I just generate the password chart and take a snapshot of it in the Evernote app to keep it safe.  My biggest concern is the delay in getting my IPhone 3GS to crawl to the Evernote repository. Evernote has also become the keeper of my personal “processes” (Checklist on How to Ramp up on a New Project, for example), Notes from PM classes I took for review, and Notes on improvement ideas.

I’m still finding new uses for Evernote, both personal and professional.  I could spend a separate post just explaining how Evernote works and what goodness it has for you, but better yet – just go get it.

Calendar for Time-Obsessed People

Finally, the third app that I’m recommending is the MiCal app.

Now, I have to be real here. The biggest sell for me is that this Calendar gives you a full 52 view of the year and a weekly view with a cell split out for the month.


Time is always on my mind. Whether it’s my time or the time I have left to complete a project.  For some reason, occasionally, it makes me feel better to see the remaining weeks I  have left.

Granted, there are some things that I don’t like about the app – the monthly view, for example, but the little things (Daily Temperature, the Week of the year and, wait for it, the time in large font on the daily activity screen!) have totally made me buy the app and move the IPhone pretender calendar off the main Icon bar.

While there is a drop down slider screen that provides date, time and weather in IOS 5.1, I rarely remember to use the functionality.

 

 

 

 

As a peace offering to Apple, I do actually use the Calculator and the Reminder functionality to track action items (opening tickets, setting up meetings that fall out of conversations into my action item list, updating PMO Issue tracker, etc).

That’s all I have for now. I’m sure there are other IPhone apps out there that I haven’t discovered yet. If you’re using one that cuts any of the routine out of your day, please leave a comment or send me a tweet. My id is jgodfrey.

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