Learn Ulysses: Video Course  →  Learn More

Joan Erwin’s iPad Pro setup

Every week, we post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.

New setup interviews are posted every Monday; follow us on RSS or Twitter to stay up to date.


Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Joan Erwin and I’m the Senior Vice President of Expansion Operations for CleanSlate Centers. My job is to spearhead the expansion of our services nationwide in order to provide access to quality care for patients with substance use and/or alcohol use disorders. I am also a RN.

Which iPad do you have?

Joan Erwin's iPad setup

I have a space gray 10.5″ iPad Pro with 256 GB of space. I keep it protected with the Apple Smart Keyboard cover. I’ve tried several others, but nothing beats the slimness of the case. It fits very well in my carry-on and is easy to use on the plane. For prolonged use, I will set it up in the Studio Neat Canopy stand and Apple Magic Keyboard.

Where can we find your wallpaper online?

I use the stock wallpaper that is part of iOS 11. I like my wallpaper to be pretty minimalist, so I’ll switch between one that looks like the sky and a solid color.

How are you using your iPad on a daily basis?

I use it to manage and track my day. It is my daily driver and travels with me everywhere I go. It’s less obtrusive than a laptop for meetings and I take all notes on my iPad with the Apple Pencil and track projects we have in development as well as typical work stuff, emails, etc. Occasionally it doubles as an entertainment device, but its primary use is for productivity.

What apps do you use the most, and why?

  • Outlook: This is the best app I’ve found for corporate email. Easy to process and file in folders and to-dos go directly into Asana.

  • Fantastical: while I dearly miss Sunrise, this is the best app currently available to manage my O365 and Google calendars. I prefer a calendar that’s separate from my email application, so I’ve not gotten much use out of the Sunrise iteration in Outlook.

  • Twitter: I use the stock app because I really like the UI better than most of the competitors. I use it primarily to keep up with our social media campaigns and on news in the world of addiction as well as politics.

  • Facebook: primarily for keeping up with kids and family as well as our corporate social media.

  • Google Keep: this is one half of my brain. I use it to hold all of the info that wants to take up space in my head. I try to follow a GTD-esque philosophy and get stuff out of my head and some place else for safe keeping. Everything goes here that isn’t handwritten. I always keep one note pinned for “parking” so I can find my car when I fly back to my home airport.

  • GoodNotes 4: the rest of my brain lives here. I recently converted from paper bullet journaling to writing in GoodNotes, and it has been a real game-changer in terms of productivity. I can share my notes from the app and import photos, spreadsheets, etc. Handwriting recognition is good so I can also search notes and link to websites. Highly recommend it!

  • Asana: we’ve recently begun using this for my team, and the iPad app provides quick and easy access to my projects and tasks. As I process emails, this app is open in multi-task mode so that I can add tasks as I go.

  • Kindle: I do a LOT of traveling, so having easy access to books I don’t have to physically lug around is really important to me.

  • Workflow: so much of what we do every day can be automated and/or simplified. This app does this better than any others.

  • Dark Sky: best weather app around and knowing the forecast in the areas to which I’m heading is important, particularly as a northeasterner trying to flow out in the winter.

  • TripIt: this is the only way I can stay organized with my travel.

  • Expensify this is the app our firm uses for expense tracking and the mobile version is great.

Which app could you not live without?

GoodNotes 4 and Asana keep me productive in a rapidly changing work environment.


There are more Sweet Setup interviews right here.

Want to share your setup? We’d love to hear from you. Just fill out this form with some basic information and we’ll be in touch.


Get Back Hours Per Week

Discover how to improve your workflows and get more focus with this free, in-depth guide to productivity.

Download Now »