This article presumes that readers have iPhone with iOS 11, iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and iMac / MacBook. I use following apps to make a perfect ecosystem of productivity
- Google Drive
- PDF Pen
- Apple Calendar
- Day One
- Notability (iPad Pro only)
Newton is one of my favourite app for managing my emails and cross-linking with other eight apps.
Emails which are received which deserves future outcome goes into Todoist, an email containing my bills, purchases, articles and stuff like that goes into my Evernote, attachments go into Google Drive, all that is interesting goes into Pocket for future reading. These all apps are deeply integrated with Todoist and ensure that I am able to immediately push them from with my email app.
Todoist has amazing too and fro interface. On one hand, it eats up complete email from Newton by making the subject as a task and the content of email as notes which also include attachments. Similarly, it takes up the task from the physical paper that is scanned from Scanbot, making the physical paper as a digital task. On the other hand, it allows team members to simply use this application to manage assigned tasks from any device they are comfortable with (a prerequisite in Government office). My team can never state they didn’t receive the task assignment as the notification goes in desktop, mobile and in an email. So no more reminder service by asking my Secretary to make a call to remind or to send a signed note as a reminder.
For sometime, I tried Airmail which has been awarded for the best design e.t.c. What Newton does, Airmail fails to deliver. Airmail just adds the link to email inside Todoist, but Newton fully imports the whole content over the task. That means working from iPhone, iPad, Mac, Window, and Android is not a problem at all. The whole content remains with Todoist and there is not dead link problem.
Evernote, simply is one place for me to add up all junk from web clipping to gathering emails, Google web notifications, integration with IFTTT and capturing all emails from Todoist containing content like bills, purchases, software keys e.t.c. I must admit that when tasks become too must in Todoist, I do end up making a list in Evernote. Once the tasks get managed, I simply abandon the list in Evernote and switch back to Todoist.
Evernote helps me to see and collect the whole digital world around me, which makes me feel that I am in control of things around me. Again, I may not use Evernote at the end of the day, but realising that you have captured everything important is a big relief for any audit for future.
Yes, this is the one which ultimately gets my job delivered. I may use Newton to capture attachments and divert them to drive, keep Todoist to remember to do, save in Evernote to feel that I am in command, but what finally takes the centre state is Google Drive and its associated apps like Google Docs, Sheet, and now Google Slides. Google drive makes things happen for me in a most collaborative way. Getting a notification of a google doc which contains the draft letters shared by my team when I am sitting in front of my boss saves my day.
The Pocket is for surfing the important articles in the evening. Articles curated from the web, Newton emails all go and safely rest here. I usually don’t use for office work though but for helping me improve myself. Interesting reads also find a place here. When the article or a news is of profound importance, I curate them from the web and save it over Evernote.
This app is again closely integrated with Newton, Google Drive, Todoist and Evernote. All papers, physical mails, important handwritten notes can be scanned. Usually, a paper comes on my table, I quickly scan it through the mobile app and save it. Immediately I open my iMac and the same scan is available on the desktop for me to operate.
Transferring the document in Todoist, Evernote, or sending an email through the scanned paper document from Scanbot is really efficient.
This app in combination with its desktop sibling is fully functional and fully integrated PDF application. From merging PDF, converting images to PDF, deleting pages from PDF, to annotating the document, this application is most useful. The big daddy Adobe Acrobat though seems to be king, in practice, even the yearly subscription doesn’t make it as competent as PDF Pen. From Signing the document in the desktop to editing the metadata, PDF Pen and PDF Pen Pro in Mac Desktop delivers it all in a nicely intuitive manner which is especially helpful for the Government Officer.
The ecosystem will not make a deal if it’s not about managing your calendar and appointments. Yes, there are many good apps now available like Fantastical but the core of calendar can be performed by simply using the Apple Calendar app.
Reading month and then to year view is very simple and useful. What I did is that I had integrated Todoist tasks as calendar here. This helps in viewing the Todoist task when I am making a new appointment, and that I do not overburden myself.
Day One App will finish the loop of productivity. Any Government Officer today need a diary to write his important work of the day. The problem with the physical diary is the searching option. With Day One integrating your social media activity, tasks competed in Todoist, places visited in a day, photographs and documents scanned in the day, all goes automatically as part of the content. I use a hashtag to cross-link important matters across the timeline.
This app though is dedicated to iPad versions, especially for iPad Pro. This is an amazing app which has the potential for all most replacing Evernote in future.
From writing through Apple Pencil, taking voice notes, importing pictures, GIF, web clipping in the note to inserting stickers and sketches, it does all. Those who have Apple Pencil should surely consider Notability App for all round note taking the application.
The Senior Officer in Government, CEOs and Senior Managers should consider these suites of applications for completing the full productivity ecosystem. Of course, the basic requirement, in this case, is iPhone with iOS 11, iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, iMac / MacBook.