You might already guess that this post isn't about WordPress. It's not the ordinary WordPress tutorial I tend to publish. Instead, it's about a massive shift I'm currently going through.
This year it finally happened, I switched from iOS to Android. For the past six years, I was an iPhone fanboy, loving everything about the iPhone and bashing all Androids.
However, things started to change after the death of Steve Jobs. Yes, it's cliche.
But ever since Jobs passed away, I felt Apple had lost his sense of innovation. Maybe even already before that. And thus, the new iPhone 7 didn't excite me.
Yeah, new camera, better battery, better this and better that. But real innovation looks different than what Apple is doing.
I feel Apple is falling back into old patterns, by diversifying their product portfolio instead of innovating.
Scott Oldford nailed it in his Facebook update:
When went to our local Telekom shop to renew my contract and get the iPhone 7+ (128GB), I lost it. Even though I pay 70€ per month already, I was told that the monthly charge would increase to 75€ (with 6GB data volume instead of 12GB) and the phone would still cost me 420€.
That's fucking nuts. Yes, I dropped the F-bomb.
After going back and forth about this decision for a few days, I decided to order my first Android device ever, the Galaxy S7 Edge.
It took me a few days to get used to the new user interface. But now I own it for a few weeks, and I like it more than any iPhone I had.
How the Galaxy S7 Edge impacted my freelancing business
Switching the phone operating system forced me to uncover new apps. I'm sure most of those have iOS versions as well, but I only found them (or started using them) after switching to Android.
Here are some of the apps that I now use on a daily basis and that helped me increase my productivity.
NirvanaHQ is a great app for the Getting Things Done task management system. I'm implementing this system for the past two years now, and it's a true game changer.
The first time I heard about it was in an interview that Jaime Masters did with David Allen on her site Eventual Millionaire.
Using GTD is extremely hard if you don't have the right tool at hand. I tried it several times and fell off the wagon after a few weeks. Then I found OmniFocus for Mac and iPhone.
Since I don't have an iPhone anymore, I had to find a replacement. And NirvanaHQ is SO MUCH BETTER (and cheaper) than OmniFocus.
I don't look back. It's the perfect solution for me.
Yeah, Evernote has been here forever and isn't an Android app. But I never really used it on the iPhone. For some reason, I just didn't use Evernote.
To be honest, I can't tell what's changed. But now I'm using Evernote every single day, and I could kick myself for not doing this earlier.
I guess it's due to the strict GTD mechanism I'm using in NirvanaHQ. GTD clearly divides between task-relevant information and reference files. Both now go in their respective notebooks in Evernote.
On the Galaxy S7 Edge, it's super easy to create notes. I just add Evernote to the sidebar as a favorite app, making it super fast to open and start typing. On the iPhone, I first had to search that app on my full home screen. Maybe that's another reason why I'm using it more now.
Boy, this app is a game changer. Did I already tell you that I HATE dealing with paperwork? I just think it's outdated nowadays, maybe except for contracts that need notarial certification and things like that.
With my iPhone, I never used camera apps that convert images to PDFs. Maybe because I only tried apps that didn't work well, messed up text recognition, and had other issues.
However, since the screen of the Galaxy S7 Edge is so much better (thanks, AMOLED), I tend to spend more time with the camera. That's how I found CamScanner, and a few days ago it saved my life.
Paperwork was piling up on my desk, as I do batch processing for all files that go to the archive. If I were to scan 20+ papers manually, put them into my scanner, start the process, name the file on the Mac, and then remove the paper, I would have been bored to death.
If I were to scan 20+ papers manually, put them into my scanner, start the process, name the file on the Mac, and then remove the paper, I would have been bored to death.
With CamScanner, I simply took pictures of those papers, which were converted to PDF files and then uploaded to my Dropbox. It took less than 20 minutes to process all documents.
I'll never use something else again.
I'm a strong believer that consistency is the key to success. Let me give you an example:
In January this year I started the routine to empty my email inbox at least once a day. And I set up a goal in the Coach.me app to track my progress and hold myself accountable.
For the past 280 days or so, I never missed a single day. And zeroing my inbox every morning had a tremendous effect on my business.
I'm much better in responding to clients, I spend less time on email processing, and worry less about the stuff I have to do.
The tasks from my emails go directly into the GTD system so that I can focus on the next task at hand.
I highly recommend this combination of zeroing your inbox and managing your tasks in a system to everybody.
Doesn't need to be the GTD system, but find something that works for you. You'll feel much better and get more stuff done!
Recently I'm getting into meditation. And the Omvana app is something I stumbled across after watching this fantastic TED talk about meditation.
I'm yet making this a daily routine, but the guided meditations from Omvana have quite a positive effect on me already.
Especially the "6 Phase Meditation" is worth trying. I guess I'll write another post about this topic when I have more experience with it.
One of my favorite apps on iPhone was the Forest app. It's a beautifully designed productivity app that makes you grow a tree for as long as you have the app open.
You can set the time for how long you want to grow the tree and keep the app open. The side effect: you don't use your phone for anything else and can focus on work.
Once you close the app, you kill the tree. And who'd want to do that?
ClearFocus is a similar, yet simpler focus app for Android. It only shows a timer and has no "negative side effect" like killing a virtual tree once you leave the app before the time is over.
However, it seems to be a good replacement for Forest (until Forest comes out with an Android app).
Enki is a great app for all nerds and developers reading this post! You can set with coding languages or frameworks you want to learn, and then the app presents you daily "workouts" to enhance your skills.
Each workout is divided into a few questions or tasks that you have to answer or solve. Thus, it's teaching you new functionalities or tricks every day.
If you already have experience in the field you chose, sometimes you'll know the features already - but who cares? I already learned a few new techniques for efficient web design from just using it throughout last week.
Wait, that's a game. How does a game contribute to a business?!
It's simple. Alto's Adventure helps me relax. It has great design and super simple controls. You're a guy riding down a hill on a snowboard, catching lamas.
You have to jump over cliffs and rocks, skate on walls, and escape from "elders" trying to catch you because you woke them up.
My favorite feature is their "meditation mode." No scoring, no game overs. You're simply riding down the mountain, enjoying the excellent soundtrack and the beautiful graphics.
I play Alto's Adventure multiple times throughout the day, usually for five minutes or less. Especially when switching the tasks I'm working on or going from "execution mindset" to "organizing mindset," this game is great "reset" for my brain.
Now, that's an entirely different post and I wasn't too sure about posting it on WP Mastery. However, I want my personality and brand to shine through, and I think this post gives you a good idea of how I'm using technology in my daily life.
Let me know on Twitter or Facebook whether you'd like to read more contents about my daily business and workflows, or whether I should keep the topics closer to WordPress!