I’ve had an iPhone for several years now. I switched from an Android when I was able to get an iPhone 4S for $50 when I renewed my contract. I found mine at Radio Shack when I went into for something else. I got my 2nd iPhone, an iPhone 5S, at Staples when they were offering a fantastic deal on turning in old phones.
My iPhone has become my PDA, something I missed when my Palm Pilot stopped working. Even though I love using my Erin Condren Life Planner, I always loved carrying my life with me in a neat little package. As a blogger and Mom, I have everything I need with me on my iPhone.
Protect the Phone
When I bought both phones, I made sure I bought physical protection for them. As a mom of 5 kids, I knew my kids would be handling my iPhone and probably dropping it. I knew I would drop it, too since I can be a bit of a klutz. I also knew I would be using my iPhone for tracking my exercise, and yes, I’ve had a few accidents/injuries while wearing my phone.
I used the Commuter case for my first iPhone. The only drawback was having to put a screen protector on the case myself. Fortunately for me, the guys at Radio Shack put the screen protector on the phone along with the Commuter case.
When I got the iPhone 5s, I went with the Defender case for my new phone which is a lot more rugged. The case includes a clear plastic screen that goes over the front of the phone, eliminating the need for installing a screen protector.
One drawback of the Defender case is that it is thicker than the Commuter case. I struggle a bit with putting the phone into my armband for my workouts. Also, I can’t put one of those nifty little lens on the phone to experiment with my photography. The lens need to be directly on top of the camera on the iPhone to prevent distortion when taking pictures.
Despite these drawbacks, I happily keep the Otterbox Defender case on my iPhone and I will continue to do so until my kids stop using my iPhone. Probably when they move out.
Built in Apps on the Phone
Phone/Text – This is the primary reason for my phone use. I use texting a lot for communicating with my husband and 19 year old son, and I tend to text extended family members, too. I don’t mind using the phone; I just prefer to text when I have a quick question.
Camera – Before I bought the Camera+ app, the built-in camera was my go-to camera. I still use it through Evernote for grabbing pictures of things I want to remember. I also use the built-in camera for video, something missing from the Camera+ app.
Weather – I’m a bit of a weather nerd. Before I put the Weather Channel app on my iPhone, I used the built-in app to track the local weather. I love looking at the radar!
Calculator – I use this when I’m working on our finances. I got tired of looking for the calculator because the kids had taken it, or the calculator decided to stop working. The only drawback is the calculator switches to smaller buttons when I move the phone while using the Calculator.
Podcasts – Recently I started listening to podcasts on my iPhone. I can choose a podcast through our Sonos audio system to listen to while I work. I love listening when I’m doing social media scheduling or editing photos.
Music – It took me a little while to figure out how to get music on my iPhone. When I was training for the half marathon last year, I used music during my long runs to keep my brain occupied.
Google Calendar – This syncs across all my devices. On the iPhone, I find it a bit difficult to read with my 47 year old eyes, however, I use it to make sure I don’t double book anything.
Nozbe – Nozbe functions as my Master Planning List. I can date reminders, or just put them in to schedule later. Nozbe also links to my other favorite productivity tool, Evernote.
Evernote – Life before Evernote? Too awful to consider! Evernote makes it easy to remember everything including that really cute pillow I saw at Target or a piece of furniture I found at Ikea that might fit in our living room. Like Nozbe and Google Calendar, it syncs automatically across platforms. Plus, it saves automatically. That function made me happy from the beginning of our relationship.
Camera+ – While the iPhone has a built-in camera, I have fallen in love with the capabilities of Camera+. I love to take pictures with it, edit them in the app, and post them immediately to Instagram. The only drawback for me is the lack of video.
MapMy Run – I’ve used MapMyRun since 2012, at least according to the site. I think I used it on my old Android phone, too, making me a 5-year user. I track all my running, walking, cycling, and workout video workouts in MapMyRun. Periodically, I’ve used the Nutrition tracker, though I found it a bit clunky on the phone. I have MapMyRun synced with my Fitbit, however, my steps are not counted double.
Fitbit – I’ve used my Fitbit One since 2013 to count my steps and occasionally track my sleep. Recently, I switched to the Fitbit Flex. Either way, I check my steps on the app throughout the day to make sure I hit my 10K daily target.
Wunderlist – After trying a few list apps, I settled on Wunderlist. I use Wunderlist to help me remember items I need to get at various stores. I check it every time I’m in a store in case there’s something I need to pick up beyond the obvious reason why I’m there. You can have multiple lists on this app and share them with someone else.
Sonos, Pandora, and Spotify – Technically, the Sonos app is not free since the system isn’t free, however, the Sonos app has the ability to pull in music and podcasts from my iPhone which are free. I can play the free versions of Pandora and Spotify on my car audio system. I also listen to Spotify while I’m running or walking.
Cartwheel – An avid Target shopper, I use Cartwheel all the time when I’m at the store. I love scanning barcodes to see if I can find extra savings.
Open Table – Even though my husband and I don’t go out to dinner a lot, we try to find restaurants through Open Table to earn points towards a free meal. While I usually search Open Table on my laptop, it is nice to have it on the iPhone in case we decide to go out at the last minute.
Facebook and Facebook Pages – Primarily I use Facebook and Facebook Pages on my iPhone. I like checking in on my personal Facebook feed in case someone has shared a great tip or a good place to visit. I also like to share stuff I find when I’m out with my Facebook page.
Instagram – My Instagram account functions as a semi-personal behind the scenes view of me. As a photography buff, I draw lots of inspiration for photographing the world around me from my Instagram account.
Pinterest – While I do use Pinterest for blogging, I have it on my iPhone mostly for personal use. I like to research crafts and recipes when I need something fast.
What iPhone apps do you use to stay organized?