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Making iOS More Efficient, Our Guide for the Latest Apple Notes, and More

Here are the things we published this week and last. You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Twitter and RSS.

Also, we have a weekly email newsletter that sums up all the new and cool things published to the site. If you like to stay up-to-date via email, then you should sign up here.

The Ultimate Guide to Apple Notes »

The Ultimate Guide to Apple Notes

If you were to rank all of Apple’s stock apps that receive the most number of updates on an annual basis and poll the experts, I expect you’d find Messages, Maps, and Notes coming in the top three more often than not.

Of the three, Notes is the sleeper hit — with every new iteration of iOS and macOS, Notes gains new functionality that satisfies another wide swath of users. To the degree that now, with iOS 17 in 2023, Notes has become one of the best — if not, the best — note-taking app available for all Apple devices.

How to Make the iOS Mail App More Focused and Efficient »

How to Make the iOS Mail App More Focused and Efficient

There are a plethora of fantastic email apps on iOS. We even have a list of our picks for the best email app on iPad and iPhone, and we created a quiz to help you decide which email app is best for you.

Call me old fashioned, but I personally still prefer the default email app that Apple makes. (Shrugs. Then ducks.)

But! I’m not handing in my Nerd Card. Because even though I use the stock email app (like an animal), I have made a few modifications to my iOS email setup to make email on my phone faster, easier, less distracting, and … more calm.

I’ve compiled a few of these tips and tricks here for you in the hopes that you might find them useful and that you too can save some time and be more productive with your email.

What Inboxes Need to be Calmed? »

What Inboxes Need to be Calmed?

When I say the word “inbox,” what comes to your mind?

For most people, it’s email, right? Email is the thing we think about when we think of checking our inbox. But the truth is that we all have multiple inboxes. An inbox is just anything that collects incoming bits of information that need to be dealt with.

With all of these various inboxes, no wonder we can feel overwhelmed. There are so many things to check. And so, one of the first steps toward that Calm Inbox life is to know which inboxes you have, and then you can take steps to calm them down.

How to Deal with Distractions and Protect Your Focus »

How to Deal with Distractions and Protect Your Focus

In a world of distraction, focus is hard. But that doesn’t mean we should fight to protect our attention.

In this post, I want to share some tips for staying focused — and what to do when the inevitable distractions come.

In his book Hyperfocus, author Chris Bailey shares the most effective framework I’ve ever come across for dealing with distraction. It resembles one of those 2×2 productivity grids you’re probably familiar with and is incredibly simple. On the y-axis are Things you control and Things you don’t control, and on the x-axis are Things that are fun and Things that are annoying.

How to Eliminate the Blank Page »

How to Eliminate the Blank Page

Have you ever sat down to do some writing and you’re just staring at the blank page? You’re stuck trying to come up with the idea, or you’re ready to do the work and you’re just lost. It’s the worst.

When you should be focusing on doing the creative work and doing the writing that you want to do, you’re spending all your time thinking about what to write about in the first place.

How to Create Margin For Your Thoughts »

How to Create Margin For Your Thoughts

As someone who basically writes for a living, I find it very important to have undistracted time to actually do the work — the writing. This may seem obvious, but just because the time itself is set aside in my schedule or during my day, that doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be productive time. Being able to focus for an extended period of time without any distractions is actually becoming a very rare skill. This means that if it’s something you can figure out how to do, it actually can be to your competitive advantage.

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Interesting Links From Our Friends and Around the Web »

Our Must-Have, Most Used Productivity Apps

We spend an inordinate amount of time sorting through hundreds of apps to find the very best. We put together a short list of our must-have, most-used apps for increasing productivity.

Send me the roundup »