The Apple Watch gets a lot of flack for not being very useful in a business setting. As a very very busy entrepreneur running a quickly growing company, I couldn’t disagree more with that evaluation. I too thought it may only be Apple arm candy when I first bought it, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I use it in my everyday life, both business and personal. Apple Watch stands between me and the chaos that is my always ringing, beeping, notifying iPhone. Here’s how it has become my trusted assistant, notification bouncer, and secretary:
Calendar notifications on the iPhone are just too easy to ignore. Apple Watch’s Time Travel feature lets me get an easy to digest snapshot of my day, confident that I will get, and actually see, the notifications when I need to.
Multitasking is something that every entrepreneur learns to do with finesse. Time is money, and time savers are money and sanity savers. The Apple watch has proven to be a tremendous tool for multitasking. When I am at my desk neck deep in a must-complete-now project, I can also tend to any number of incoming text messages, be it from the kids, or from the office, via the voice transcription feature. I don’t have to divert all my attention to another screen, just lift my wrist and talk.
Not only do I get to feel like Captain Kirk or Dick Tracy, but I save a ton of time by not having to slowly type out every message. A great idea pops up, and I immediately can get my thoughts down anywhere I am. On my especially busy days, I can crank out emails like Bradly Cooper did movies this year, all the while getting other stuff done.
This feature is amongst my favorite of the Apple Watch. It lets me get a lot done especially while I am driving. Equally nice is having voicemails played back to me, erasing that awkward iPhone moment where you hold the phone to your cheek while inevitably hitting mute or hang up. And having voice control means less fiddling through contacts and more multitasking while I make calls.
To avoid a constant flood of notifications, I made a few key people VIPs so I never miss them when they need me. My managers, my wife, kids, and other important business contacts all get my attention when they need it. This way I don’t have to spend tons of time weeding through nonimportant matters every second of the day.
Staying in Shape
It is easy for hours to pass by with my mind staying busy while my body stays stationary. This is not a healthy lifestyle, and one I actively try to negate by staying active. Apple Watch gives me a friendly little nudge when I have been sitting too long. Plus filling in those little circles for the day and tracking my steps makes me more conscious of staying in shape for the misses.
This feature often gets used with a romantic angle, but I love to sardonically send my business partners my racing heartbeat when they occasionally stress me out as a joke. Production is delayed by how long?! Heartbeat sent. It makes a humorous impact.
To Do List & Kids
Sometimes I think kids have more appointments than adults. Trying to track them is a constant juggling act between my wife and I, with four children and about a million times that in appointments and activities. As I do them, I can check them off and see what’s next without forgetting anything. Or at least that’s what I aim for. Not even Apple Watch can fill the holes in a memory.
Map Guidance, Apple Pay, and Weather
Although not as often used, these come in handy when needed. And I have to admit, it is pretty fun to pay with my watch at Starbucks. As a self-proclaimed weather nerd, I really like the Carrot Weather app for keeping up on what to expect, which living in Minnesota, is usually just snow, snow, snow, with some potential snow, but it is still fun, or maybe more accurately a coping technique for the horrors of winter. Plus when I'm on a business trip the map guidance app comes in very handy guiding me to the best burger joint in San Francisco.
Making a Statement
An Apple Watch really draws the eye. Everywhere I go people comment on it. It tells people that I am in the know, and it adds a bit of authority. It doesn’t hurt that my company makes gorgeous leather bands for the Apple Watch. So it is a great opportunity to share one of my products in action, in a public way. What started out as a statement piece evolved into an essential tool in my everyday working life. Apple Watch, you are My Girl Friday.
Best Apple Watch Apps For Business
Here are some apps for the Apple Watch I’d highly recommend:
Apple Watch Apps For Utilities and Organization:
App in the Air: If you travel a lot, this is a must. It is your own personal assistant for flight tracking, even giving you security wait times. Free.
Clear: Set up a to-do list with reminders, by voice. $4.99
Cruncher: Apple saw fit to omit the calculator app, so what choice do we have but to download one. It’s handy for cranking out numbers on the fly. Free.
Deliveries: Keep track of your deliveries. $4.99
Invoice2Go: Make beautiful looking invoices or estimates, and even take or make a payment on the spot. Free.
PaybyPhone Parking: Helps you keep track of parking and avoid the car seat desperate search for coins. Free.
Salesforce1: If you are someone who really likes graphs, this will tickle you pink. Real-time analytics, updates, and notifications.
Apple Watch Apps For Recording:
Just Press Record: Voice recording app that is great for when a client or business contact launches into a detail-ridden tirade that you need to remember. This recorder is not reliant on the iPhone but synchs with it when you want it to. $2.99.
Apple Watch Apps For Fun:
Sky Guide: This is just for fun. It tracks moon phases, when the ISS is overhead, and what constellations you are looking at, and it integrates with Time Travel. $2.99
Twisty: Brainless, time killing, fun game. $.99
Apple Watch Apps For News:
BBC News: The BBC never disappoints. Free
Apple Watch Apps For Music:
Shazam: This app makes me feel like I am in the future. What is that awesome song playing in the coffee shop? Shazam knows.
Apple Watch Apps For Catching Up:
Instapaper: Have articles you need to catch up on, but don’t have time to read, read to you. Sure it’s not what Siri was destined for, but it works. Free
Apple Watch Apps For Fitness:
Carrot Fit: This is the silliest fitness app because it has you do things like a dragon mating dance and celebrity face punches for an intense 7-minute workout. $2.99
Hole19: Keep track of your golf game and stats. Free
Apple Watch Apps For Security:
1Password: Save your sanity and time and skip the “Forgot Your Password?!” dance. Store all your passwords securely. Free
TL;DR: John Gruber is missing out