Ed­i­tor's Mes­sage

iPhone Life Magazine - - Contents - Donna Cleve­land Ed­i­tor in Chief iPhone Life mag­a­zine, donna@iphonelife.com, @schill­cleve­land

Like many peo­ple, I spend a lot of time check­ing off items on my to-do list. While fin­ish­ing a task of­fers a tem­po­rary sense of ac­com­plish­ment, an­other job al­ways crops up to take its place. Tend­ing to your ca­reer, home, fam­ily, friends, and, in my case, a ram­bunc­tious boxer mix can keep a per­son busy! The chal­lenge be­comes, how can you meet your pro­duc­tiv­ity goals with­out let­ting a to-do list rule your life?

Avoid­ing the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Trap

As a writer, I had to make peace with dead­lines a long time ago. Whether at home or at work, likely you too have many daily du­ties to ful­fill and peo­ple who de­pend on you. But hid­den among all those ur­gent tasks is an in­sid­i­ous pro­duc­tiv­ity trap. You know, the one where you're con­stantly busy but get the sense you're putting what's most im­por­tant on the back­burner.

Defin­ing Pro­duc­tiv­ity for Your­self

If this all sounds fa­mil­iar, it might be time to re­con­sider your pro­duc­tiv­ity strat­egy. For me, that shift oc­curred when I be­gan set­ting clear pri­or­i­ties. Defin­ing my pri­or­i­ties al­lowed me to ac­knowl­edge my lim­i­ta­tions and put a more re­al­is­tic sys­tem in place that en­sures I get the most im­por­tant stuff done. Build­ing in enough room to en­joy the process is key. After all, it doesn't make sense to con­stantly strive to­ward your fu­ture at the ex­pense of en­joy­ing the mo­ment you're in. While my pro­duc­tiv­ity strate­gies are a work in progress, I've found that chang­ing my fo­cus has helped put the never-end­ing to-do list in per­spec­tive. As it turns out, it feels OK to fall short of your goals as long as you do what you've iden­ti­fied as most im­por­tant.

Let­ting Your iPhone Help You

At iPhone Life, part of our job is to test out all of the best apps out there and re­port back to you with our top rec­om­men­da­tions. Dur­ing this process, we've dis­cov­ered so many amaz­ing tools that can help you or­ga­nize your life, no mat­ter your ap­proach to pro­duc­tiv­ity. In this is­sue, we've put to­gether a spe­cial sec­tion of our fa­vorite pro­duc­tiv­ity picks that can help you in what­ever en­deav­ors you un­der­take this sum­mer. Whether you're launching a new prod­uct line at work or you sim­ply would like to keep bet­ter track of events on your cal­en­dar, we have app rec­om­men­da­tions that can help you.

We've tested out cal­en­dars, mail clients, to-do lists, and note­tak­ing apps that can help you man­age the day-to-day tasks in the most ef­fi­cient man­ner (page 31). For those longer-term goals that can be dif­fi­cult to grap­ple with, we've in­cluded a roundup of time-track­ing apps that can help you fo­cus long enough to get your project off the ground (page 38). Pop­u­lar so­cial me­dia apps can also make pow­er­ful pro­duc­tiv­ity tools. On page 44, you can get a crash course in Face­book, Twit­ter, and In­sta­gram, and on page 53, you'll find sto­ries of four amaz­ing women who have built busi­nesses us­ing In­sta­gram as their pri­mary mar­ket­ing tool. After read­ing this is­sue, you may just feel a re­newed in­spi­ra­tion to pick up a hobby or start a busi­ness your­self. With your iPhone in hand, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less.

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