When sitting down to write this editor's message, I got to wondering: What have I learned about productivity that I didn't know last year? Naturally, our team at iPhone Life has tested out and reviewed new apps (pg. 34) and gear (pg. 36) that are powerful tools for any professional endeavor. And we've also talked to professionals across a variety of fields to discover the strategies that are making them more productive than ever (pg. 30) and that you can easily incorporate into your own routine. Yet the biggest lessons in productivity I've learned have been of a more philosophical kind. This past year, I've begun to think differently about a foundational activity for many productive people—goal setting. I'm questioning the “work first, play if there's time” approach to life that's embedded in our culture but that may be shifting. As Michelle Obama pointed out in a recent interview with TIME, she schedules what she calls “her life” (including workouts, date nights, and vacations) before she fills her work calendar. “We have to start setting the priority of allowing people to put their lives before their work,” she said. Author Danielle LaPorte shares a related idea in her recent book The Desire Map. LaPorte points out that when you strive for a goal, you're usually “seeking the feeling you think you'll get once you get there.” Her solution is to flip the goal-setting process on its head and craft your goals around the feelings you'd like to experience more of in your life. For me, this has meant experiencing happy moments in my life as an end in themselves (I've started journaling about them using Day One, which you can learn to use with managing editor Rheanne Taylor's helpful guide on pg. 42). In my professional life, it has meant taking on more responsibilities in areas I gravitate toward and that therefore don't feel like work, and refusing to do the tasks that I don't enjoy (Just kidding! That's not how this works). The point is, we can all find small or maybe even big ways to optimize for enjoyment in our lives. And here's the beauty of it: regardless of whether your approach to productivity is similar to mine, your iPhone or iPad will make an incredible tool to get you where you want to go. Turn to our special section (pg. 29) to find new ideas and tips that will help you get to that feeling of accomplishment. The special section of this issue is dedicated to productivity, but let's not forget that it's also our summer issue too! To celebrate warmer days, our feature web writer Conner Carey has found the best camping gear for you to take on your next outdoor adventure (pg. 68). We've also included a selection of top golfer-approved apps to improve your game (pg. 65), gardening gadgets to help you achieve your most bountiful harvest yet (pg. 56), and wellness-related accessories that will keep you moving all summer (pg. 71). The issue wouldn't be complete without looking ahead at what Apple has in store for us. On June 4th, Apple will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, where each year CEO Tim Cook debuts all the new software features coming to our iPhones and iPads. In preparation for WWDC, we've compiled a list of the features we're expecting and the ones we're hoping to see with iOS 12 (pg. 22). And for any of you considering buying Apple's new smart speaker, our CEO David Averbach has written a hands-on review exploring whether the HomePod deserves a spot in your living room (pg. 19). Cheers to campfires under starry skies, sneaking out of work for an early tee time, and a year of setting goals that you love going after.
“I've begun to think differently about a foundational activity for many productive people— goal setting.”