iPhone productivity thread

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by M. Gustave, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #1
    The iPad forum here is full of red meat threads where people fight to the death over whether the iPad is a "laptop replacement" or not, and how well it does "productivity" tasks. It's funny because the iPhone can do most of the same tasks, runs virtually the same iOS features (minus split screen and pencil of course), yet I never see those kind of arguments in this forum.

    I guess the iPhone flies under the radar as a "productivity" device. But I use mine about 90% of the time now (6s+) compared to my iPad Air, which is largely our entertainment device when away from home. And I've been "pc free" for 7 or more months now.

    On my phone I scan documents, I take and edit my photos, print, set up meetings and calendar events, manage my to-do lists, use MS Office, write, take notes, manage a hobby eBay selling account, use ApplePay, clip digital coupons, shop for our groceries, navigate in the car, surf the web, podcasts, Apple Music... and so much more. I almost never think I wish I had my iPad for this task. And yes, my iPhone is a "laptop replacement". I changed my approach and mindset, and I've become twice as productive as a result.

    So for those of you largely running your digital life from your phone, let's hear your stories, workflows, etc.
     
  2. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #2
    Yeah, NO. I use it as a phone, for messaging and emailing, as a camera, and I travel a lot overseas so I pop in local data SIM cards to stay connected.

    I just use the iPhone when out and around OTHERWISE I use an iPad and iMac - be damned if I'm going to use a telephone for any heavy going.
     
  3. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I don't do heavy duty computing tasks period. So I am able to use my iphone to do 95% of the things I need. I use it to browse the web, read the news, Internet banking, Apple Pay, online shopping, keeping my schedule, reminders, messages, social media,listening to podcasts and audiobooks, listening to music, watching videos, checking the weather, currency conversions. I have an iPad and a MacBook but my iPhone is by far my most used computing device.
     
  4. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #4
    Anyways, I actually do a lot of multitasking on my 6s Plus. It's a great device for basic tasks, especially E-mails, video's, ect. The 6s Plus is more so like a powerhouse phablet. But anything when it comes to movies or long handed documents, I will divert to my iPad Pro. It is a great in between my iPad and laptop when I need to have quick access or simply to accomplish smaller tasks. But my heavy lifting is in the sense of my iPad and laptop.
     
  5. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #5
    My iPhone 6S Plus is quite nice.

    But it's my amazing Nexus 6P that is far superior for getting things done. A high speed multitasking machine, it has been a highly valuable time saver for me.

    The lightning fast single touch capacitive back, home and recent buttons are Google's secret.
     
  6. adam_fox macrumors member

    adam_fox

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    Mar 27, 2016
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #6
    While I make regular use of my iPhone SE, I find it challenging to be very productive. The small screen and on-screen keyboard work fine for me for occasional use. However, I am much more efficient on a laptop. As a pseudo-minimalist, I love the idea of only having one computing & communication device. An Apple equivalent of the Andromium concept would be awesome.
     
  7. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #7
    Exactly why I went from 5s to 6s+.

    I'm into minimalism as well, Adam. That was one influence for me getting rid of my laptop, and all those wires, external drives, etc. I love the iPad, especially for more detailed photo editing, and writing projects, but I could easily live with 'one device to rule them all'.

    Now I'm in the process of scanning in old documents and photos, then throwing them away. I've also sold and donated whole closets full of stuff. It's liberating.
     
  8. adam_fox macrumors member

    adam_fox

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #8
    Ahh ... I've got a bit of a head start on you. I digitized everything a few years back, with great results. I only wish that I didn't need to have paper versions of these last remaining items: birth certificate, social security card, and auto title. While each of these items could potentially be re-obtained in the future, there's a hassle factor I'm not willing to undergo. You are likely finding out that our most valuable possessions are usually our memories: photos and videos of family or friends. When we reduce clutter in our lives, we often end up focusing on what's really important to us. /soapbox :)
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #9
    [MOD NOTE]
    Please stop the bickering, a number of posts were removed.
     
  10. HEK Suspended

    HEK

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #10
    My iPhone 6s Plus is my on the move, go to device.checking client appointments, updating status, emails, texts, watching videos during slack times. Checking airline flights, tail numbers, delays, airport weather conditions. Staying in instant touch with family, via texts and calls. Mapping, traffic conditions, looking up locations. Keeping my finances and payroll accurate. All tasks done from my 6s Plus. Apple Music is constantly on bothe direct or via Bluetooth in the car.

    I will say when at home, watching videos, texting, forum surfing, I go to my iPad Air 2. Enjoy the larger screen. But I don't carry it around. I find the 6s Plus more than adequate both screen size, resolution, speed when on the go even for those videos.

    Actually it is almost scary how dependent for constant daily functions having this portable computing device has become.
     
  11. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #11
    My iPhone becomes jack-of-all-trade device. Replying email, checking calendar events, making phone call, checking news, gaming, checking train timetable, lookup words...
    Thanks to 5.5" screen, everything looks a lot better, rather than on smaller screen phone.
    iPad? I still fail to justify the need to buy one, even though it looks just so cool. I just don't think I really need one.
     
  12. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #12
    I used my 6s for calendar, alarm, weather and reading some websites. I have Things and few personal finance apps plus few games. It is my productivity tools, but I spend a lot more time with my Kindle when I get bored and be productive while waiting or commuting.
     
  13. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #13
    I use Things as my "to do" list app also, since 2010 when it was a Mac application. I like that it's lighter weight than most others.

    Things by Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG
    https://appsto.re/us/fmf_q.i

    I thought about using Mint to track spending, but they want access to all your bank accounts and credit cards. That just scares me with a third party, even a well known one like Intuit.

    Mint: Money Manager, Budget & Personal Finance by Mint.com
    https://appsto.re/us/wBu5r.i

    Can anyone suggest a good app that allows painless quick entries of expenses, and good-looking analytics at the end of each month? Mint does have a very nice looking UI.
     
  14. BLUEBLASTER macrumors regular

    BLUEBLASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    #14
    I don't see phones as productive devices. I see them as media devices. Music a few films/tv shows and some games. Sure I will answer some emails but I still prefer to do stuff on my PC.
     
  15. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #15
    I use Next.

    Next for iPhone - Track your expenses and finances by noidentity gmbh
    https://appsto.re/sg/sp9IJ.i

    I think people generally don't expect a smartphone to replace their PC, so anything extra you can do on it is considered a bonus, rather than being expected. I managed to prepare a simple keynote presentation on my iPhone once. It would probably have been easier on a tablet with the larger screen size, but hey, I got it done.
     
  16. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #16
    First and foremost they're communication devices. Then media/entertainment devices. Then productivity. I know that M Gustave prides himself on doing everything solely on iOS, and yes, smartphones can be used for a number of productivity purposes, but it's hard to make the argument that they are the best tool for most work. The only advantage that they offer over tablets or laptops/desktops is that they are pocket sized and therefore easy to always have on you, but of course, their small size is also their weakness.
     
  17. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #17
    No one in this thread has made that argument.

    That is a huge advantage.

    I literally can do any of my computing tasks while out running errands or sitting in a coffee shop. Because I moved all my workflows to iOS, and all my files, documents, and photos to cloud storage - I'm no longer tied to home, or any one device. In that sense, I'm actually more productive.

    There are any number of use cases and applications one could mention that are more difficult, or even impossible on an iPhone, and that's OK. Use what works best for you.
     
  18. geta macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Location:
    The Moon
    #18
    You can do many things these days with smartphones, but calling it a "laptop replacement" is a joke. People that says their phones are "laptop replacement" don't need computers from the get go.

    First of all it's my communication device > phone calls, texts & messages, then productivity and media device (why somebody would like to watch a movie on a tiny screen is beyond my understanding).

    Other daily use would be - checking weather, shopping & to-do lists, clock, calculator, casual games for killing time and quick info search on the go.

    And of coarse its my one n’ only duck face selfie device. :D

    For anything else i would use my MBP.
     
  19. M. Gustave, Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016

    M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #19
    A truism, and not very enlightening. Yep, someone who replaces their laptop with something else, didn't need the laptop. We're both on the same page.
     
  20. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #20
    Sure, but the fact that it's small and always on me is only so much of an advantage, in my opinion. For instance, I do a lot of work with MS Office. Sure there's an office app on my phone, but the much greater difficulty of creating or modifying documents or presentations on a pocket sized screen with no mouse/touchpad and keyboard means that I could complete the task far more efficiently if I do it when I have my laptop.

    No offence to you, Gustave. I understand and respect that doing everything on your iOS devices works for you, but to me it's like saying, "why not use a toothbrush as your only cleaning tool because it's pocket sized?" I could scrub my floors with a toothbrush and free myself of the hassle of needing a mop and bucket, but the mop and bucket make the job so much easier. The toothbrush is great for much smaller tasks or even larger tasks in a pinch, but would never be my go-to solution for serious cleaning.
     
  21. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #21
    Of course. Who's saying otherwise? That's why I also own an iPad.

    Legacy thinking is definitely "I need a mop and bucket to clean floors". My thought process was more like, how can I shrink the floor space, or improve the floor itself, to eliminate the need for the clumsy, outdated, oversized mop and bucket.

    By the way, I'm not trying to convince anyone to work in any particular way, or use any particular device. The point of this thread was just to explore doing Real Work™ on our iPhones, the mere idea of which curiously upsets some people.
     
  22. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #22
    But to me, in this metaphor, the iPad is just a larger toothbrush...

    I'm not upset, nor did I think you were trying to win anyone over. As I said, I fully respect that you've managed to adjust your workflow in such a way. I like your analogy of improving the floor itself. I actually hadn't thought of it that way. But still, for me personally, it's more a case of if it's not broke don't fix it. I see no reason try and overhaul the way I work and the work that I do just to make it fit into an iOS framework. It's not even like abandoning traditional computers is more cost effective. Most iPad Pro configurations cost the same as or more than a decent Ultrabook PC, especially when you add in the accessories you need like a keyboard and Pencil to achieve comparable functionality.
     
  23. M. Gustave thread starter macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #23
    Agreed. My 6s+ cost more than a MacBook Air. That's not a reason to go "iOS only".

    Although... if you were able to eliminate your traditional computer, then you only have the cost of the iOS device(s) every two or three years, which you might be buying anyway. So in the long term it can obviously be cheaper to reduce the number of devices you're buying.
     
  24. DarkExistence Suspended

    DarkExistence

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    #24
    Use my phone for social media, texting and internet browsing. Thats about it. No way would I use it as a place where I type college essays.. heh
     
  25. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    I think the point is more that we didn't really need a laptop in it entirety, but used one anyways because that was the only option available at the time.

    Remember back when we had to wait till we got home to check our email on our desktops? Then came laptops and allowed us to check our emails anywhere, with caveats. It's not that I enjoy lugging a laptop around for this purpose, but that at the time, there was really no other alternative.

    That I have replaced my laptop with my smartphone for emails doesn't make my laptop a redundant purchase to begin with, it just means it has since been replaced by a device better at said task.

    A smartphone has its compromises and limitations, but the convenience and accessibility it affords can make certain tasks worth the while if we value them more. I have crafted lengthy emails on my iPhone simply because I was too comfortable lounging on my sofa and could not be bothered to go to my room and boot up my Mac.

    I have updated blog posts on school trips using the Wordpress app on my phone, because I was on a bus and had the time available, and it was more convenient with all my photos available on my device and all. Way more convenient than waiting till we were back in the hotel room to update the school blog, the content is more detailed because the details are more fresh in our minds, and parents appreciated the timely updates (we brought the students overseas on an exchange programme).

    I have taken my students' attendance using Google sheets on my smartphone because it's more portable than lugging a laptop around, and there's no wifi in the school field.

    I have created assignments and posted them in Google classroom from my phone. Again, because my phone is always with me and I can do this while walking from one class to another.

    I have even created simple video clips on my smartphone, saving me the need to open up iMovie on my Mac.

    In summary, there are many tasks which count as productivity-related for me which I don't really need the full computing power of a PC for, and which a smartphone or tablet would easily suffice. Not only have they sufficed, but they have also made my work more convenient, and I guess that's really what I needed - ease of use.
     

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