We know you’ve heard about Apple Watch. We suspect you bought one, want one, or are at least curious. But can you justify buying an Apple Watch from a business standpoint?
As it turns out, you can. When combined with iOS project management software, Apple Watch can help you be more productive and efficient on the go. To get you started, here are five iOS apps with Apple Watch extensions.
(To set the record straight, there are no “Apple Watch apps” per se. Apple Watch needs a connected iPhone to perform the majority of its tasks. Developers add Apple Watch “extensions” to their iOS apps to enable those tasks.)
Project Management: Trello
In recent months, I replaced my whiteboard and color-coded Post-It note project management process with Trello, a free app linked to a freemium cloud-based project management tool. Trello lets you create topic-specific boards (similar to a whiteboard), with lists for each project related to the topic. Within each list, you add cards representing to-do items.
Trello has more than 8 million users who use it for everything from project management at work to planning a vacation. Trello’s iOS app enables you to take your ‘whiteboard’ and sticky notes everywhere. And now, with Apple Watch, you can manage projects without taking your iPhone out of your pocket.
Using Trello on your Apple Watch, you can quickly add new cards, view notifications, edit card details (such as due dates), and check/uncheck items in a list.
Trello’s free service is probably sufficient for most individuals and small businesses. Trello Business Class ($3.75 per user/per month if paid annually) provides extra features, such as the ability for a manager to see all the boards within an organization. For more about Trello, see “5 Ways To Use Trello & Evernote To Manage Your Personal Projects.”
Web Clipping/Note Taking: Evernote
You need information to tackle projects, and Evernote (a free iOS app) is an ideal tool for the job. The cloud service lets you clip and organize content from the Web, notes you dictate, pictures you take, and documents you scan. Think of it as your media-rich database, with sharable notebooks for each project. Businesses and individuals use Evernote for all sorts of tasks, from planning film shoots to writing a blog.
Evernote on an Apple Watch has some useful features. You can check-off completed items from a to-do list. You can also use the watch’s microphone to dictate a quick note; the note will be transcribed into text in Evernote. If it’s a time-sensitive note, you can add a reminder. Voice search lets you quickly surface information you need on the go.
Evernote is a freemium service, though many will find its free plan sufficient for their needs. Otherwise, Evernote’s Premium plan ($5/monthly) provides more features in its apps and cloud service, such as the ability to annotate PDFs or automatically turn notes into a presentation. Evernote Business is designed for team collaboration and costs $10 per user/per month. For more about Evernote, see the article mentioned above.
Email/To-Do Lists/Calendar: Handle
Email is, itself, one huge archive of data that is often useful in getting things done. So is your to-do list and calendar. Handle (free) is a bit unusual because it combines all three (email, to-do list, and calendar) in one iOS app. Worth noting: Handle currently only supports Gmail for email.
On an Apple Watch, Handle users can quickly create new to-do items using voice dictation, see what’s coming up next, view reminders, and mark to-do items as completed.
Task Management: Things
If you’re not a Gmail user, or Handle sounds like overkill, Things is worth considering as a task management/productivity tool. The $10 iOS app has long been popular with the “getting things done crowd” (hence the app’s name, “Things”), and is likely to become even more popular with Apple Watch wearers.
With Things on an Apple Watch, you can quickly view the day’s tasks and mark them as completed; view to-do items in specific projects; receive notifications of tasks that are due; postpone to-dos for later; get a quick view of how much you’ve accomplished; and use voice dictation to create new to-dos.
Cultured Code, Things’ developer, also sells a Mac app for $50 and automatically syncs tasks between iOS and Apple Watch devices and Macs via the cloud. For more information, check out the Things for Apple Watch animation.
Time Tracking: Hours
For years, I’ve used software to record time spent on both flat-fee and hourly-rate projects. The data helps me estimate the time required to complete future projects, which is extremely helpful in planning as well as in quoting rates to clients.
Hours, by developer Tapity, is among the first time-tracking apps available for Apple Watch. Using the free app on your watch, you tap a button to start, stop or switch a project’s timer. You can dictate notes to your time entries; adjust start and end times manually, if needed; quickly view a currently running timer; and receive notification reminders to start or stop a timer.
For more ideas about productivity and project management apps that work with Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the ‘Featured’ star icon at the bottom right of the screen. For consumer advice on Apple Watches, apps, and competitive smartwatch/activity trackers, feel free to use The Apple Watch Watch as a resource.
Written by James Martin