A day in the life of my iPhone 3G

The iPhone has been available for an while now and folks have made it a part of their daily lives. Now, with so many applications, surely people are using the iPhone for more than making phone calls. So, I thought I would outline how I use my iPhone 3G on a daily basis. Ready, here it goes!So let's start of with first things first...

  1. Alarm: I use the iPhone for my daily alarm. I set mine for 4:45AM everyday. I am out the door by 5:00AM to begin my daily walk/jog
  2. iMapMyRun: I use this app to track my exercise progress. It uses the GPS functionality in the iPhone to now only track my pace and time, but it also records my travels on a map and tells me verbally where I am in my work out and my pace. Not bad for a free app!
  3. iPod: On my drive to work I listen to a smorgasbord of music from my library, to podcasts, to audiobooks, I really use my 45 minute commute in the mornings to catch up on news and relax.
  4. Evernote: Once I am at work, I use Evernote on my laptop to take meeting notes, etc. However, the iPhone version of Evernote comes in really handy to take pictures of whiteboards or flipcharts. The added benefit of Evernote's OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology means I can contextually search those pictures at a later date. very handy!
  5. Getting Things Done (GTD): After my meeting, I usually need to add some tasks to my projects, so I add them to my new favorite app, Things for iPhone. It follows David Allen's GTD methodology and really helps me to stay organized.
  6. Calendar: What usually happens after a meeting? You schedule a follow up meeting! Again, iPhone to the rescue...
  7. Social Networking: Of course when I have time between meetings and work I check out what is going on with Facebook and Twitter. I use Facebook's native app and Iconfactory's excellent Twitteric app too keep up with my fellow Tweeters!
  8. Lunch: Sometimes we might order out at work, but don't know the number or directions on where to call or pick up our food. Google Maps on the iPhone comes in really handy! Of course the recently updated iPhone-optimized Google search is nice too.
  9. Documents: Of course, it is very handy to have some documents available and accessible when you need them. If you are a MobileMe subscriber like I am, the free version of MobileFiles allows you to access your iDisk and save files locally for quick retrieval. I use this feature to access our shuttle schedule at work. We have several shuttles to transport us to different parts of campus. This is a huge time saver!
  10. News: On the shuttle ride I usually catch up on my RSS feeds. I do this with one of two apps: Bloglines (web app) and NetNewsWire (native app). These are two awesome apps to for on the go news reading.
  11. Jott: On the way home, I might have an epiphany or remember a todo I completely forgot about. Jott allows me to audibly record my note which I can review later and add to Things if needed. Truly a life saver for when you are brainstorming and can't write anything down! The value Jott brings to the table over Evernote (Evernote can record audio notes too) is that Jott transcribes your audio note. Cool. (Note: Jott has recently delisted the iPhone app, not sure why. You can still use the 1-800 number, which is probably better anyway)
  12. Dinner: My wife and I aren't great cooks, so sometimes we need a little help with dinner. All Recipes Dinner Spinner has a great app that allows you to enter what "ingredient" you have (like chicken, etc) and help you with simple recipes based around time, available food, etc.
  13. Blogging: I don't blog as much personally as much as I used to, but I try to keep my blog updated as much as I can. A great way to do that is with WordPress for iPhone. This app is awesome and there are some really cool features coming soon to help me be even more severed from my iMac.
  14. Relax: After dinner my wife might want to watch something on Apple TV, so I kick it on the couch and watch one of my own TV Shows or Movies on the iPhone before retiring for the evening.
Well, that about sums it up! Of course there is always time to play the endless amount of gaming to be had during free time, but that is a given! So, how do you use your iPhone on a daily basis? After writing this post, I am not sure how I would survive without mine!

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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There are 20 comments. Add yours.

Moe says:

Here's mine:
Weather: I check the weather when I first wake up in the morning to get the kids ready
GTD: I check Omnifocus to see what I have pending and mentally plan my day/week
Social Network: I check my Facebook account and update my status and check on some friends.
Music: I listen to music on my way to the train station and while on the subway.
Bible: I read the Bible via youversion Bible app, to get my daily spiritual feed on.
RSS: I periodically check my feeds via NetNewswire throughout the day
Google Maps: check places to eat at my new work location in NYC
Financial: log in all my expenses via iXpenseIt app (love it)
Take notes: I use TakeaNote whenever I need to quickly write something down or record a voice note (cool app)
Weightbot: Trying to lose weight and keeping track weekly, I log in my lbs on this great looking app.
Gas Cubby: if I need to fill up the car with gas, I record gas activity on this app. Good perspective on how much I spend on gas and the rise and now, the fall of gas prices.
IM: I usually spend about 1 hour on Beejive to catch up with some IM friends. Love the app and personally think it's the best IM app available today.
That's pretty much it. iPhone FTW!

nick says:

great article . look forward to see how you use your iphone day to day. helps others compare it to their work flow and can possibly learn of new software or ways of doing things.

Steve says:

I use my home and work computers WAY more than my iPhone. I'm not one those people who sits around at home or at the office using a mobile device to do things that I can do on my computer. I guess I just don't understand that, and never will.
So, I'll just list my apps in order of most used.
Phone (LOVE visual voicemail and the ease of adding conference calls)
Calendar (I record ToDos as events (and use the alerts)... it's awkward, but I feel Apple is going to add ToDo support in June, so I'm not paying $60 for Things... yet) I use MobileMe, which is awesome and is only going to get better.
Contacts (anyone who doesn't use this everyday lives in a cave)
mSecure Password Manager (I use this A LOT!! I have hundreds of logins and passwords for web accounts - I don't really need desktop sync)
Beejive IM (I have a lot of business associates who can't use a phone for some reason)
Caravan (I use this to FTP tweaks and updates to my two ecommerce sites - also to upload any supported files from my computers to my iPhone... no matter how big) No need for AirSharing anymore.
PayPal (to check my incoming orders and balances on-the-go)
Maps (how did we ever survive without this?)
Checkbook (for daily personal checking account activity - great app!)
Clock (I use the Alarm for waking up every day, and use the Timer for treadmill workout)
LogMeIn Ignition (I use this for Dreamweaver edits and for updating QuickBooks Pro on the go. Not very often, but it's awesome when I need to)
iTalk (great for making voice notes while driving)
Mobile Safari (I use it only when away from the home or office... but often in bed sometimes)
Weather, Calculator, Notes, and Photo apps (very rarely)
So far, I've never once used SMS, Camera, iPod, iTunes, Stocks, or YouTube... but I may get some TV shows and movies going on the iPod soon for working out! :)

Mary says:

What is the app pictured that looks like a tuning fork?

Chris O. says:

then ≠ than - please do a grammar check.

Kris S says:

I am a student at one of the largest schools in the nation, The Ohio State University, and I thought I'd give an example of an average day with my iPhone 3g:
Clock/Alarm - I have an alarm clock next to my bed, but it's more soothing to hear my favorite iTunes song as a wake-up alarm.
TheWeatherChannel - A recently new weather app, which I use daily to check the conditions outside prior to leaving my apt. for the day.
iPod - For listening to music and podcasts on my way to class and between classes.
Safari/Email - I've combined these two because most emails I read end up being opened in safari to read anyways (News, Account Statements, etc.) I also have all my favorite sites bookmarked, including TiPb! Also, I use iGoogle and safari google search instead of the google App.
The majority of my day out of my apt is spent in class on my iPhone, other than news and email, I use the Facebook App and SMS for chat, and play a multitude of games, favorites include LuxTouch and TapDefense.
These are the Apps that I use on a daily basis, other frequently used apps are Notes, Calander, Camera, Wordpress, and Loopt.
And of course, Phonebook and the Phone for making calls, but I prefer to use SMS instead of talk in most situations.

ANA says:

Alarm clock- To help me wake up in the morning!
Ipod to listen to tunes driving to work/school/wherever
Email/safari- I work in a computer but i still check my e-mail on my Iphone.
Safari- Waiting for a class to begin, when i get into bed
Maps-
AIM
Ipod & YOUTUBE- I love watching music videos as i work out.
Money Tracker- to help me manage my money
I use all the features on a daily basis- phone, phonebook, SMS/swirly MMS, Camera, Cycorder

Andrew says:

Nice article. haha You use your iphone as if it was your heart. I can't live without this awesome gadget.

Chad Garrett says:

Thanks for the added thoughts everyone! Some of you mention some apps I also use like Weightbot and Beejive (V2 rocks!)

Chris O. says:
  1. Alarm - wakes me up every morning.
  2. Facebook - staying in touch with friends all day.
  3. USA Today - Get my news there throughout the day.
  4. Balance - Use this every time I make a purchase with my debit card.
  5. Twinkle, Loopt & WhosHere - Talk to other iPhoners in the vicinity.
  6. Bejeweled & iBowl - The games I play during downtime throughout the day.
  7. Night Stand - Use it as a clock for my nightstand.
  8. Safari & Email - surfing and communicating with the office and accessing web-based scheduling system my company uses.
Tiffany Womack says:

My iPhone Day Goes a little something like this:
ALARM: I wake up to Beyonce's song "Work It Out" at 5 a.m. and start the hygiene regimen.
SMS: My mother had all girls and we are really close knit. I live in Austin. My mom and my youngest sister live in Mississippi, and my sister in the middle lives in Baton Rouge. I text all of them blessings and wish them a wonderful day. My mom is a teacher, my youngest sister is a senior in high school, and the middle sister is an attorney so they are sure to need it. Dad is a firefighter in Chicago and isn't as hip with texting so I have to call him...lol!
TWC: I check the weather channel for Starkville, Mississippi, Chicago, Illinois, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Austin, Texas just to make sure everyone in my family is ok.
EMAIL: I check my GMAIL, YAHOO, AOL, and AT&T accounts before I hit the door for my jog.
PANDORA: I listen to my set channels on Pandora while I burn some calories.
WEIGHTBOT: I use Weightbot to track my weight loss.
NY TIMES: I check the news over breakfast to see what new world horrors we have accomplished while I was sleeping.
FACEBOOK: I update my status and check for messages and notifications.
TWITTERIFIC: I post my daily happenings on twitter with all my friends.
PHOTNASIS: I snap a quick wacky photo and email it to friends, family, and iRovr for a quick picker upper.
EVERNOTE: To take pictures of anything I run out of throughout the day and week so I can go shopping.
IGN: I am a HUGE gamer so I check the latest reviews and see whats the next hottest game on the market.
FLASHLIGHT: This little sucker always comes in handy at one time or another.
ORB LIVE: I use this app to access all of my files, photos, and music. I also use it to watch live television and set recordings when I am away from home.
CYCORDER: I use cycorder to film random interesting parts of my day. It is really easy to sync with DiskAid and remove them later in excellent quality for YouTube or whatever. Night shooting is a bit tricky however.
GAMES: I play Diner Dash, Fieldrunners, Daycare Nightmare, Chocolate, and loads of others throughout the day.
iTranslate: I live in Texas so this baby is REALLY helpful.
AS SPANISH: Since I am in a majority Spanish speaking place I have opted to learn a bit.
iDO: I use this to keep track of things I need to complete. It is simple and to the point.
BIBLE: I use the bible throughout the day because it is a manual that has the answers for everything I need.
BINAURAL BEAT: I use this at the end of the day to wind down and relax. I don't know if it was the womb that did it, but I just love water sounds...lol!

Tony says:

Mary,
The app that looks like a tuning fork is "Stay In Tune"

thebrain2u says:

It's funny because I wrote a similar aercile before on my blog. Here's the gist of it.

  1. Alarm - who doesn't use it? I set mine to two hours before I leave the house, because I hate rushing in the morning.
  2. Safari - I log onto Google Reader and check on a whole bunch of RSS feeds. This takes a long time cause there's a lot and I read slow.
  3. AIM - to chat with some friends who may be awake in their timezones.
  4. Mail - I'll check my email and shoot off some replies. Usually this is done in bed.
  5. iPod - I'll use this to listen to music while I brush my teeth and listen to podcasts while driving.
  6. Calendar - to remind myself what I have planned for the day and to put in new appointments.
  7. The wheather channel app - great way to check weather to know what to wear for the day. Also to check the local weather where my friends are at.

Absolutely love this magnificent piece to technology.

Alphonso says:

Nice article! Not to be critical; but no one mentioned how much time they spend charging their iPhones. I use mine much the same way as mentioned by others, and I always have to bring along my charger so my iphone won't die.
Next iPhone should have a fuel cell!

Chad Garrett says:

@Alphonso
Good question about the battery! I charge my iPhone before I go to bed because in the AM when I walk, iMapMyRun uses GPS, so I have to make sure it has a full charge :-)
When I get back, I place it in the charger again, to "top it off", then if needed I might charge it more in the car. When I am at home, I leave it on EDGE and Wi-FI, when I leave the house, it stays on 3G. I find that 3G will typically last me all day, but sometimes I still need to charge it at my desk.
When I get home, back on the cradle it goes! The key is managing the radios so they don't suck the power dry!

http://www.extremejohn.com says:

Absolutely love this magnificent piece to technology.

Chris says:

I use a variety of apps including:
Accounts - very good app for keeping a running balance of all my bank accounts and credits where most banks don't have apps.
Safari/Mail/SMS/AIM - these all keep me in touch
Calendar/Shopper - keep me organized and prevent that feeling you forgot something at store

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