The 10 Best iPhone Productivity Apps September 2021

Today we are going through 10 of my favorite productivity apps for the iPhone here in 2021. though I’m actually going to start this list out with a productivity feature of the iPhone that isn’t actually an app but is useful nonetheless

it’s this little magnetic wallet thing

that you can get from apple that just

snaps onto the back of your phone but

the cool thing is it’s got this little


sliding thing where if you have a credit

card that you frequently use or in my

case an office access key

it’s very easy to slide it up scan it

wherever you need to scan it and put it

right back on your phone

just like that so i figured i’d mention

that because i’ve been enjoying this

and it’s definitely a purchase that i

don’t regret let’s get into the list of

apps and the first app we’re going to

talk about is called

otter which is an amazingly good ai

voice transcription app so as a youtuber

i get a lot of ideas for content often

at times when i can’t easily either

write something down or pull my phone

out to take notes

and in those cases i take a lot of voice

memos but a lot of times i would love to

have those voice notes translated into


so i can then port them over to notion

or use them and actually you know go

through the text and

edit it and things like that otter is

freaking amazing at doing that i’ve

tried a ton of other apps some that have

apple watch integrations which i really

would like for otter

but they use this built-in siri

dictation which is just

not that great at translating your voice

into readable text

meanwhile otter does not as far as i can

tell have a real

human shoved into your phone who’s

literally you know acting as a court


and typing out your text but it might as


the transcription is nearly as good as

the human transcription that i actually

pay for

for these youtube videos which means

that when i speak something while i’m

driving or i’m out on the bike

i can basically guarantee that when i

come and read the text later on

it’s going to look pretty much like i

said it it also keeps

the audio file it’s not quite as high

quality of an audio file as you get with

regular voice memos so i don’t use it

for song ideas but it does keep the

audio file which is nice because it

allows me to export both the audio file

and the text into drum roll please the

very next app on our list which is

you saw this coming notion so notion is

an app that i talk about a lot in fact i

have a entire second channel called

thomas frank explains

full of notion tutorials link in the

description down below if you’re curious

and if you haven’t heard of notion it is

basically an all-in-one workspace app

which allows you to take

notes it allows you to manage tasks it

allows you to do pretty much anything

you want

and at this point i’m using it fully for

running my channel for managing my tasks

for running projects

and for taking all the notes that i want

to take and for writing all the scripts

for my videos the last time i talked

about notion on my channel there was no

actual official widget but now

there is and in fact there are a couple

that are very useful which i want to

show you right now the one that i keep

right on my home screen here is the

favorites bar

and a trick that i use is i keep a

dashboard page with links to a lot of

things i’m working on

because i often have more links than

will fit on this widgets

area i think it only keeps about nine

links at one time

so using this dashboard i can actually

create like a central place

for all of the important things in my

life including my tasks my notes

content with my channel with thomas

frank explains my other channel

and ongoing projects and i have like

this hub page that allows me to easily

get to anything i want to get when i

want to add something or reference


the other nice thing though is there’s

another widget which i keep over here

on this quick access area which shows

you your recent pages

so instead of relying just on your

manually created favorites bar you have

all of your recent pages right here and

i can get to

say the research and notes for this very


and look there’s otter there’s notion

and there is our third

app which i’m going to now smoothly

transition into so authy is a manager

for two-factor authentication codes that

functions a lot like

google authenticator hopefully you are

using two-factor authentication

on any account that offers it in

addition to your passwords if you care

about your online security

now one thing you might not know about

two-factor authentication is there’s two

different types

sms based or text message based and

app-based like google authenticator or

in this case

authy sms-based authentication is

actually a lot less secure because

identity thieves and you know hackers

and people like that have been known to

spoof your sim card essentially calling

up your phone company convincing them

that they

are you and convincing them to set up a

new device with the exact same sim


so they get the text messages that

you’re supposed to get including

to factor off messages which is why

whenever i have the choice i use

app-based authentication

instead of text message authentication

but there’s a problem

with app-based two-factor auth

especially with google authenticator at

least last time i used it

it didn’t sync between different devices

which means if you accidentally drop

your phone down an elevator shaft you’re

out of luck and you have to spend a ton

of time doing password resets

or hopefully pulling you know backup

codes that you had for your two-factor


it’s a whole big mess so that’s why i

like authy because you can log into your

account and get your two-factor auth

codes back

and as long as you’re using a secure

password for that account i think it’s

still pretty secure now the next step

that we’re going to talk about is the

only one

on my list that doesn’t have an android

equivalent this is an app called command

which is actually a web browser and it

has a killer feature that you

probably know about if you saw my ipad

video earlier this year

that feature is that you can highlight

text within

any web page and then once you highlight


not only is it going to stay highlighted

or highlit

i’m not sure how you’re supposed to say

that when you refresh the page but you

can also tap your highlights and you can

add journal entries which allow you to

essentially take notes

on the highlights you make i have

written entire articles

inside commands journal feature because

i’ll take a highlight from something i’m

reading on the web

get inspired and then i’ll just you know

think i’m going to take a little bit of

a note and then it

balloons into a huge article the other

thing that i love about command is it

actually can send the highlights that

you take

to your read wise account and i guess i

should just talk about read wise now

because it is the next app

on our list so read wise is basically a

highlight manager for

the knowledge that you intake from

various sources

books kindle books podcasts using an app

called air which i will talk about a

little bit later

even tweets and content from your web


now there is a way to sync highlights

from mobile safari to read wise but it’s

kind of a

friction full process and command makes

it much

much easier so i love doing research and

doing highlighting using the command

browser when i’m reading blog posts and


but coming back to read wise read wise

is essentially a highlight manager that

can resurface and help you recall the

knowledge that you gathered over time

it’s got this daily review area which

will actually give you a collection of

different highlights so you can

remember them more usefully i don’t use

that too much what i actually do is i

kind of use this as a database

for a lot of the highlights that i take

in books and other pieces of media but

the thing that i really love about raid

wise is that not only does it

store all of my highlights here like

these highlights from the book askiwata

that i’ve been reading really recently

but there is a native integration with

both notion

and with rome research and also with rem

note i believe

so whenever you take a highlight from

kindle or from the command browser or

from even the safari extension or


read wise to roll up a tweet thread

it’ll send it to read wise and then read

wise will dutifully kick that highlight


to your integration platform in my case

it’s notion so i have

a beautiful raidwise database on notion

where i’ve got all of my highlights from

books and articles and

all kinds of media sources and then when

i’m doing research for an article

i can pull in my highlights into my

research areas and actually now with

notions synced blocks feature i don’t

even have to copy and paste i can just

create a synced block

and port content over from my highlights

area into

whatever article that i’m writing which

is pretty sweet next up on our list is

one called tide which is my favorite

pomodoro timer for the iphone now it’s

got a ton of different features it can

track your stats it’s got all these


sounds so you can create these

soundscapes to help you focus personally

i just like the way that it looks i like

the fact that it’s free and i like the

fact that i can open up i can hit the

focus button

i can choose 25 minutes and i can start

a pomodoro session

and like i’ve said before the pomodoro

technique is one of the most powerful

short-term productivity techniques there


because it externalizes the

self-discipline that you need to keep


but it also reframes your task from

output based to input based

as in i have to write a paper which is

really daunting and scary too

i just need to work on this paper for 25

minutes and then i’m allowed to take a


the next step on my list is actually a

built-in app in the phone so if you have

an iphone you already have this

and it’s the fitness app or i don’t know

if it’s called fitness or activity but

this is absolutely a productivity app

for me

because when i’m active when i’m moving

when i am exercising every day i also

feel more energetic and i get more done

and i work

with more focus exercise is absolutely

associated with cognitive performance

and if you want to learn more about that

there’s a great book by dr john ratey

called spark

highly recommend that especially if you

like books full of scientific studies

but having this app and specifically its

integration with the apple watch

and the face here that shows me around

my rings every time i look at the apple


encourages me to get my exercise done

i’ve actually got

the trends thing activated here so i can

see that pretty much all my trends are

on the

up i’ve been moving more i’ve been

exercising more i’ve been standing more

walking more all kinds of stuff one of

my favorite things about the fitness app

is the sharing aspect of it

so if we go over to the sharing tab

you’re going to see that i actually have

shared my fitness data and vice versa

with some of my friends brian from real

engineering who probably forgot to put

on his apple watch today

my friend chris who wrote the

productivity project in hyperfocus

my agent dave and also renee ritchie

from the channel renee ritchie who talks

a lot about apple

so using the sharing feature we all get

notified when we work out we send each


fun emojis to encourage each other we’ll

sometimes check in and be like hey how

come you haven’t gotten your workout

done today

it adds some nice accountability into

your daily exercise routine even if your

friends are far flung across the globe


next up on the list is audible which is

an app that i’ve been using for a very

very long time but i’ve actually been

using a lot more heavily recently


i am now riding an e-bike to my downtown

co-working office on any day where i

don’t have to sit

in this chair and film videos in my

studio and i absolutely love

riding my bike getting out of the house

going somewhere else to work

and that whole process of writing

actually about 40 miles on the e-bike

gives me a ton of time to listen to

things that i can use to educate myself

so audible is probably my number one

resource for that since i love listening

to audiobooks and one thing that i did

want to point out on the iphone now that


home screen widgets feature is live is

that audible has a widget which allows

you to scroll down and basically resume

the last book that you were listening to

or pick one of the four that you

listened to most recently other than

that one so it’s a nice way to just

launch into a book that you were

listening to recently without having to

open up the app and wait for it to load

next up on our list is an app called

adobe scan which is probably the best


document scanner app on the iphone this

is going to look really weird because

you’re going to see a camera and i’m

moving it around

hi other camera anyway this is a great

app for scanning

paper documents and then exporting them

as pdfs or as

picture files and porting them into your

knowledge management system in my case

it’s going to be notion

it might be rom research or evernote for

you but it’s really nice to have a

document scanner app on the phone

next up we have spotify for podcasts

yep i have finally switched over to just

using spotify as my default podcast

player i resisted it for a very long

time i was a pocket casts fan but

it’s good enough now in spotify they’ve

got the speed controls they’ve got the

sleep timer function

and uh it’s fast that’s really nice

thing now

i really wanted to recommend an app


air instead of spotify in this slot in

the video

air is a really cool podcast player that

has a

killer feature my friend ali abdull

actually turned me on to this app so you

may have heard him talking about it if

you watch his videos

but air is not just a podcast player

it’s also an app that integrates with

read wise and it has this really cool

feature where if you’re listening to

something in a podcast episode

and you want to make a highlight of it

you want to save it you want to add a

note to it

you can do that by hitting this little

quote button here

and it’s going to save either last 30

seconds or last minute you can change

the duration if you want and you can add

a little note and it’s going to send

that to raidwise which again would send

to notion or roam research or rem note

if you have that integration created

it is super cool but the performance of

this app is just

it’s just not great right now it’s slow

if i want to like rewind 15 seconds

it takes like five seconds just to do it

and start playing again

so i’m really hoping that they’re going

to improve the performance of this app

and once they do that

i’m going to be probably switching over

to using it because i really do want to

use that read wise feature i just need

it to be faster now if you’re watching a

video on my channel about iphone apps

then i would say it’s probable that you

also watch one of my favorite tech


marquez brownlee aka mkbhd and if you do

i want to let you know about a new

course he just launched over on

skillshare all about how to create great

youtube videos

i cannot think of many other people who

i would rather have

teach me how to make a great youtube

video than marquez especially because

his quality is well let’s just use the

term that he uses it’s absolutely crispy

it’s amazing i’ve taken a lot of

inspiration from his setup his

gear the way he films things to improve

the quality of the footage

on my own channel and if you want to

learn how to upgrade your own youtube

game or even start a channel if you

haven’t done it yet

his course over on skillshare is a great

place to start

and the wonderful thing about skillshare

is that when you join you don’t just get

access to marquez’s class you get access

to thousands of classes that can boost

your skills and your creative abilities

in a ton of different areas

including productivity because i have

three different classes on skillshare of

my own

one on building a productivity system

that combines apps to make sure that

nothing ever falls to the cracks

also on skillshare you’re going to find

classes in graphic design in video


in music production in storytelling and

public speaking there is a ton that you

can learn on skillshare and it’s also a

very affordable platform

in fact if you are one of the first 1

000 people to sign up for skillshare

today using the link down below

you’re going to get a one month free

trial which means that you can go take

my classes you can go take mkbhd’s class

for free and test out the platform for a

month before you have to pay

anything it’s a great platform i really

think you’re going to get a lot of value

out of it and you’re going to want to

keep paying for it after that trial


is over but you’ve got that trial to try

it out so once again go to that link

down in the description below

sign up be one of the first thousand

people to get that free one month

trial thank you for watching this video

hopefully you found something helpful

here and i would also like to hear from

you what are your favorite

apps that i did not mention in this

video leave them down in the comment

section below and we can all try new

things out

and uh you know probably end up spending

too much time on our phones and not

actually being productive whoops

anyway i’ll see you in the next video


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