Application overload

Posted on by Mike Evans

It is just so easy to download iPhone applications that most owners have page after page of apps, many of them seeking to do the same job. I see there are now over 10,000 applications to choose from. Many are free (which surprises me, given the amount of work that has been done) but the majority are cheap (under £5). 

It's fortunate I am not (yet) into gaming. Everyone else seems to be. But so far I have restricted my downloads to what I consider productive or useful applications. I like to be organised. I have tried several check-list or shopping list programs, a clutch of book readers (more on that in another post) and two or three outliners and mind-mappers. At first I was a kid in a candy store but I've now realised I have a large number of applications that I acquired in enthusiasm but have seldom used. 

Here is my current list of most-frequently used apps for the iPhone (and iPhone Touch). These are the ones I use every day without fail:

  • Omni Focus, a superb task manager and GTD (Getting Thing Done) application that synchronises seamlessly with OF Desktop on any number of Macs. This is by far the best GTD system for iPhone and Mac users.

  • Evernote: This is without a doubt the best note-taking system which can be synchronised (via the web) with Macs and PCs or can be accessed on Evernote's web site.

  • iBlueSky: Simply the best mind-mapping app for the iPhone. Maps can be exported into PC or Mac systems such as MindJet Mind Manager.  

  • Bloomberg: An essential free app if you want to keep up with financial information or check your portfolio during the day.  

  • NetNewsWire brings together all your RSS feeds and is a quick way of browsing all news sources. 

  • Splash Money: I have been a long-time user of the Splash Wallet suite on Palm and Windows Mobile devices, so it's good to find Splash Money, Splash ID and Splash Shopper available for the iPhone. All synchronise with desktop applications. I use Splash Money daily to enter cash transactions. At the end of every month I transfer the totals for each category of expense to my main accounts system on the Mac (MoneyDance).  

  • Mental Case: A quirky one here. Mental Case is a fantiastic flashcard application for studying anything. I'm currently using it for improving my Greek and have downloaded a large number of flashcards from the Flashcard Exchange. 

  • Typing Genius: No doubt, this is the best typing tutor for the iPhone keyboard. I've increased my two-thumb typing speeds and accuracy dramatically in the last two weeks.  

In addition to these stalwarts I have a dozen or so excellent applications which I use less frequently; but I know they are always there on standby in case I need them. We've come a long way from the days of Windows Mobile and Palm.

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