A few days ago I read M.G. Siegler's Medium post on his 2016 Homescreen which provoked me to think about the apps I use on a daily basis. Siegler does a really great job explaining not only how his workflows have changed but how the changes in tech are affecting his daily app usage. I thought it would be a good idea to do something similar but instead look at the apps with which I'd like to interact more over the coming year based on my goals. Below is my list, which is primarily focused on reading more efficiently, interacting with a new, evolving platform, and contributing content to both my personal and professional networks.
- Kindle - I've always preferred real books to e-books but this year I am looking to read more on my iPad. Depending on how much I enjoy a particular book I'll still purchase a hard copy and transfer my notes there to have a permanent record. This should give me a second chance to digest important content as well. Audible was an option I considered here but I love to take notes and while I could increase my throughput of content I'm not sure the quality of consumption would be the same.
- Alexa - I've had an Echo Dot in my kitchen for about 6 months now and still only use it for music. Like most, I see voice becoming a more prominent AI in 2017 and it'll be important to get a sense of what third-party apps are doing particularly well on Echo and Google Home.
- SoundCloud - As a frequent podcast listener I've always struggled to find an app that syncs across multiple devices. Despite a lackluster mobile UI and search, SoundCloud works seamlessly across multiple devices and operating systems. There's also a social and discovery component to SoundCloud I really enjoy and want to interact with more.
- Evernote / Bear- These are two notetaking apps that I already use almost as much as any app on my mobile devices but I plan on writing more in the coming year. Each of these apps serves a unique purpose, Evernote is great for collecting and organizing information / ideas while Bear is a clean, distraction-free writing app. Additionally, this is an app category that has always interested me. Between these two apps, Wunderlist, To-Doist, Trello, etc... there is still not one app that serves every function I'm looking for in a great productivity app. The perfect combo for me would be Evernote's organization with Wunderlist's to-do list structure combined with a word processor similar to Bear. Instead, I'll live with all three apps on my phone for now.
- Instagram- Here's another app that I already use almost daily but only for keeping up with my friends and family without much engagement. My goal is to share a bit more and begin to generate more personal and professional content across multiple platforms. Instagram will be my primary mode of sharing with my family and friends much in the way I plan on using Twitter and Medium to distribute content relating to my professional interests.
There you have it, the apps I plan on engaging with more in the coming year. This is something I plan on revisiting yearly to hold myself accountable and also to see the evolution in tech much the way Siegler has over the last three years.