Sorry non iPhone users this one isn't for you 🙏

Notifications can control your life if you're not careful.

Now, I would definitely consider myself as someone who is addicted to technology, I've fallen into the trap of being constantly distracted by it. Throughout 2017, I took extreme measures to recalibrate, organise, and alter my approach to tech.

Near the end of the year, I found myself running people through some of the steps I've taken to regain control and be more mindful in how I use my iPhone. I thought rather than repeating the conversations over and over I would start writing.

This was reinforced by something Robett Hollis said recently on a LinkedIn Daily video:

"You can't scale the one on one conversations"
- Robett Hollis

This comment really resonated with me. Those of you who know me, will have at some point had to sit through a detailed explanation (even if you didn't ask 💤) about all the benefits of an app or product. In the essence of scalability and simplicity I'll start by sharing three of the many apps that changed the way I interact with my iPhone! 👍

#1 Bear


Bear Writer has given the way I capture and organise notes a complete overhaul. The past has seen me using the likes of Apple Notes, EverNote, OneNote, Google Keep, IA Writer, Sticky Notes, and of-course physical notebooks. All of these have their pros and cons and I settled for some messy middle ground which as you imagine or have experienced means your notes are all over the place.

I discovered Bear when it popped up on the Apple App Store as part of the editors choice showcase. I immediately downloaded the free version because I liked the look of the logo. Once installed the simplicity of capturing notes, articles, and links made Bear an immediate hit in my books 💯 (the fact that it supports Markdown is a bonus).

After some seriously heavy usage I really got the hang of the modern organisational system that Bear uses. Rather than creating folders and dragging notes into them you tag everything using our good friend the Hashtag (#). I believe this is powerful because it means your hands don’t need to leave the keyboard to archive and organise your notes.

I’ve since moved on to the paid annual subscription to make use of full iCloud sync which means I have now fully integrated this app into my workflow. ✅

Try it out for yourself 🐻

#2 Medium


Medium... where do I start? Medium is a platform built for people which allows you to write and consume quality original stories. A commonly untapped resource by many people I meet.

During 2017 I made a small shift, I deleted Facebook from my iPhone. I found my thumb kept going back to the same spot after unlocking my device, so I downloaded the Medium iOS app placed it right where my thumb wanted to go, voila! Thanks to the addictive habits Facebook instilled into my daily routine I’ve now started digesting large volumes of content via Medium.

You are able to customise your interests and control the reading experience in a way that I hadn’t seen since “flipbook” is that what it’s called? I can’t remember because it doesn't matter.. Medium wins🏅.

Another feature worth mentioning is the Audio playback functionality which I didn’t know existed until recently (after becoming a paid member). Being a big fan of audio content such as podcasts and audiobooks this was a great addition to an already solid app.

Consume all the words you can here 📖 🎧

#3 Pyro


Pyro is Serato's latest game changer, it connects with your library (Apple Music or Spotify) and plays a seamless mix from your playlists. In my mind the app has two use cases (of course there might be more for you):

  1. Extroverted Party Mode 🚀
  2. Introverted Productivity Mode ✍️

In short, Party Mode is when your phone is connected to sound system at an event and you want to keep the momentum, tempo, and flow. You can take requests and create a mix on the fly but still remain in control.

Introverted Productivity Mode is perfect for when you've got a batch of repetitive tasks to smash through such as clearing email. You can add one of your dance floor banger playlists using the beautiful user interface and hit play, Pyro takes care of the rest.

Start a fire 🔥

If I help one more person than I normally would discover something new then this blog post was a success.

Thanks for reading.

— Shane