Monday, July 31

💡 Running, listening to books, podcasts and taking notes with Apple Watch

People on Twitter and listeners to The Podcast keep asking me how I use the Apple Watch for running. Especially that I like to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while doing sports. I also take notes directly on the Apple Watch, here’s how:

Running, listening to books, podcasts and taking notes with Apple Watch

Running with Apple Watch

I use Runkeeper app to track my running and I always launch it directly from my Apple Watch. This way I can track my heart rate, especially now that I’m preparing to break the 45-minute barrier on a 10k run.

Listening to Podcasts

I use Overcast: Podcast Player to listen to my podcasts and just recently this app lets me upload a podcast episode to the watch directly. I usually upload an episode of ATP directly to watch and just take my Bluetooth headsets - Mpow Enchanter with me and I leave my iPhone 7 Plus at home! Isn’t that cool!?

Note: this Overcast feature isn’t ideal - only one podcast episode and sound is pretty low... but it works and lets me run without my phone. I found that with the above-linked headsets I get a decent sound.

Listening to Audiobooks

I use Audible to listen to audiobooks - check out my list of books I read and recommend - and unfortunately I can’t upload a book to the watch so I have to carry my iPhone with me when I want to listen to a book.

Taking notes on the Apple Watch

I created a workflow - Add to Book Notes that lets me just tap on Workflow app and tap again to start talking to my watch to dictate notes. This then is being transcribed and added to my text file called "book.txt" in my Dropbox folder. It’s really neat - this way I can add an important note even in the middle of my run!

I love my Apple Watch!

The latest Apple Watch Series 2 Nike lets me run with it, swim and bike with it... and listen to podcasts and even take notes while listening to audiobooks... and the battery holds almost two full days... and takes only a short while to recharge.

Hope this was useful - if you have any questions, ask them below or ping me on Twitter - thanks!

Question: How do you use your Apple Watch for sports and other things?

Sent from my iPhone 7 Plus

Monday, December 19, 2016

✔ Apple Watch Only – a day in my life with the Series 2 Nike Apple Watch

I bought my first Apple Watch in May 2015, right after its world release. Even though the first version of the watch wasn’t perfect – both the software and hardware left a lot to be desired – I saw a huge potential in this product. It later became my gadget of the year. I just really loved the way I could access lots information “straight from my wrist.” Today, after a year and a half, WatchOS 3 and Apple Watch Series 2 are available, meaning that the potential has increased significantly! In this post I want to show you how much impact this device has on my life in a simple day-to-day scenario.

Apple Watch

Note: The following article appeared first in the 12/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

In this article I’d like to show you how much stuff I get done every day on my wrist. Especially now, after purchasing the Apple Watch Series 2 Nike version, I’m really beginning to discover the “smart” part of “smartwatch” and I’m seeing a wider range of capabilities on this platform. So, here’s one day out of my life with the Apple Watch. And it’s not just a hypothetical day! This is an account of what really happened on Monday November 21, 2016 - a day before I initially wrote this article. Here goes:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

★ My Tech Gadget of 2015: The Apple Watch

Last year brought lots of things from my favorite fruit company (Apple) into my life: iMac 5K, iPad Pro, iPhone 6s Plus, new Apple TV and an Apple Watch. And without a doubt the gadget of the year for me was the small computer on my wrist:

AppleWatch

In 2014 I was blown away by my gigantic iPhone+ but in 2015 I was surprised at how much I fell in love with wearing my Apple Watch.

Yes, it's still pretty slow, the apps are not there yet, the battery life is rubbish... but I still love it for communication, fitness and being a dashboard:

  • our Nozbe complication rocks - especially when it's zeroed out at the end of the day (see photo above) and staying on top of things with my iPhone in my pocket or even left in my home office just rocks
  • fitness circles still motivate me. My the podcast co-host even signed up for gym because of them
  • talking to the wrist when calling to people is not only cool but also very practical

At the end of the day, this gadget changed my habits and improved my life. I bought it initially out of curiosity but I've grown to love this device and I'm so used to wearing it on my wrist every day that I feel naked without it.

And I can even speak to it to add entries to my journal. (If you want to do the same, here's my workflow). How cool is that?

Question: What's your gadget of 2015?

Sent from my iPhone+

Monday, November 9, 2015

★ 3 Things I love about the Apple Watch: communication, fitness & dashboard

On Wednesday we'll be publishing the latest episode of The Podcast where we'll also talk about Apple Watch and I was trying to convince myself and my co-host that it really is a compelling device to own and use. And not just a cool gadget. Now that I thought about it more I'd boil it down to three reasons why after almost half a year I love my Apple Watch:

3 Things I love about the Apple Watch

Communication - talking to wrist and sending emojis

Yes, I can leave my phone in my pocket and still receive calls and reply to messages quickly. This also creates a new dynamic when in the afternoons I tend to leave my iPhone on my desk when I'm playing with kids. If an important call or message pops up, I'll know. And if not, I'm busy looking at my kids and not my phone.

Fitness - circles, sleeping and a wrist alarm clock

The Apple Watch really forces you to stand up regularly. To be more active and fill out the circles... And now I discovered I can actually sleep with the watch on my wrist and it'll wake me up silently with a vibration on a wrist. Not waking up my wife in the process. And it can measure my sleep quality, too. This thing really motivates me to be in shape.

Dashboard - glancing on the wrist to know it all

Just looking at my wrist I know what's the weather like, my notifications, where I am with my fitness status, what's the time here and in Nee York, and how far I'm behind in my productivity (just look at the photo above - it's our latest Nozbe glance coming soon, also comes with a new complication - this was my situation after I came back from my vacation).

So yes, my watch is a dashboard on my wrist and as a CEO I like dashboards :-)

Question: Any of this appeals to you to make you get an Apple Watch. Or not really?

Sent from my iPhone 6S Plus

Monday, September 28, 2015

✔ Apple Watch 2.0 and thoughts after 4 months wearing it

I've been wearing an Apple Watch every day for the last 4 months since I un-boxed it and set it up. I quickly fell in love with it and now that the major upgrade to its operating system is out, the watchOS 2.0, I think I can honestly say what I think about this gadget and if after all these months I'm keeping it.

Apple Watch 2.0

My friend Michael Hyatt loves his Apple Watch for 5 things: he thinks it's a beautifully engineered gadget, it's very often less intrusive than the iPhone, he loves the activity tracking, the focused information he gets from it and he says it's just fun to use. I can't agree enough with him. But there's more:

Monday, July 20, 2015

☆ New video with yours truly - how to get things done on your wrist [on: Nozbe.watch]

We've just released Nozbe 2.1.8 with amazing new features like a native widget for Android and a totally redesigned app for the Apple Watch. As you know I'm a big fan of this new gadget from Apple and I think my team did an amazing job with the Nozbe app for Watch so to celebrate it we launched a dedicated web site for this:

Nozbe.watch

Nozbe for Watch

This site explains what is important in creating a "wrist app" and how we think you'll get more things done with Nozbe on your Apple Watch.

Video showing off dictation, force touch and more:

To prove my point, we recorded a promo video with yours truly, showing the power of dictatation, force touch and much much more... what do you think?

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Jump to check out the site showing you how you can get things done on your wrist »

Thursday, July 16, 2015

☀ Michael Sliwinski Magazine #3 - Apple Watch & Time

Do you know you can read my blog as a magazine on your iPhone or iPad or Android phone or tablet? You didn't know? Well, you can, thanks to Remag. I've just published the next issue of my very own magazine and I encourage you to sit on your favorite armchair, grab your mobile device of choice and start reading:

The latest issue of Michael Sliwinski Magazine

Issue 3 - "Apple Watch & Time"

I've included the following posts and videos in this issue:

You can get my "Michael Sliwinski Magazine" for free:

Question: Are you reading my posts in a dedicated app?

Having my own magazine is a totally new experience of sharing my blog posts with you. This is what my new venture: Remag is all about. Please do let me know what you think about it in the comments below! How's your experience been so far? Thanks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

► Apple Watch Q&A with Space Grey unboxing and Nozbe for Watch demo - Productive! Show #96

Unboxing on Periscope again, this time with my personal review of the Apple Watch as I've had it for 1,5 months. I'm giving my "old" Apple Watch to my wife as I'm unboxing and getting the new Space Grey 38mm one. I'm a fairly short guy with small wrist, so 38 is a lot better for me than the 42 watch - I tried both sizes in the Apple Store. In this video I take viewers questions and demo some Watch apps, like also our very own Nozbe app.

Question: Did you get an Apple Watch? Which one? What do you think?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:

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Watch and comment on YouTube

Video: Download VIDEO of this episode

Audio: Download AUDIO of this episode

If you have enjoyed this episode of the Productive! Show, please subscribe:

Subscribe to VIDEO podcast | Get VIDEO from iTunes

Subscribe to AUDIO podcast | Get AUDIO from iTunes

Thursday, July 2, 2015

► Unboxing Apple Watch - Productive! Show #94

To celebrate my one month with apple watch I decided to post my unboxing of it which I did on periscope. Back then I was excited and now I still am. I love this device.

Check out my posts about Apple watch and tips and tricks of setting it up:

https://sliwinski.com/tag/AppleWatch

Question: did you also get one? Which model? Why?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:

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Watch and comment on YouTube

Video: Download VIDEO of this episode

Audio: Download AUDIO of this episode

If you have enjoyed this episode of the Productive! Show, please subscribe:

Subscribe to VIDEO podcast | Get VIDEO from iTunes

Subscribe to AUDIO podcast | Get AUDIO from iTunes

Monday, June 29, 2015

▷ The Podcast #2 - Two Apple Watches that don’t belong to us

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we're explaining why we're wearing Apple Watches... that actually don't belong to us:

The latest episode of The Podcast

We also talk about other WWDC 2015 news like App Thinning, iOS9, why App Store still has the discovery problem and why we should/shouldn't be threatened when Apple, Google or any other big company starts competing with you.

Jump to listen to the episode »

or

Subscribe through iTunes

And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

P.S. And if you really like what we're doing, don't forget to rate us on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it! :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

★ Setting up your Apple Watch for the first time - tips and tricks

As I wrote a while ago I'm really happy with my new Apple Watch. It's actually been a while since I set it up for the first time and I've been tweaking the setup ever since so today I decided to share with you my tips and tricks. Hope you'll find them useful:

my apple watch setup

Tip 1: Wear your Apple Watch upside down. Seriously. When you unpack your Apple Watch and put it on the wrist, the default way is having digital crown on the right side of the Apple Watch. Well, this setting can be changed and it's actually more natural to use the digital crown with a thumb. Just go to your Apple Watch app on the iPhone and go to Settings and Watch orientation and change to "digital crown on the left side". I've set this a few weeks ago and I love it.

Tip 2: Make the current app your main Watch-face. Let me explain: you pull out the Apple Watch and open an app, after a few moments with it you stop using the watch, it goes dark, now you pull out the watch again and you see your watch-face, and not the app you've been using before. That's the default behavior. I prefer to see the app again. This way I can open my Nozbe for watch app and have my priority list of tasks open every time I pull out the watch. This way my Nozbe app becomes my watch-face. Go to "general", "activate on wrist rise" and choose "resume previous activity".

Tip 3: Disable notifications gradually... on both the iPhone and the Watch. I wrote about notifications before. When I got my Apple Watch I wanted to really disable notifications on it right away. Only to leave the most needed ones. In the end I just didn't do anything and let all the notifications arrive to my Apple Watch. When I saw a notification on my watch that I didn't want to receive, I'd think twice and usually also disable it on my iPhone. Now, after a few weeks I've greatly reduced the number of notifications I receive on both devices. Sweet.

Note that you can set up your notifications in iPhone's settings app and in the Apple Watch app on the iPhone separately.

Question: What are your best Apple Watch tips and tricks?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

★ 5 days with Apple Watch - time is on my side

After 5 days with Apple's latest gadget I had to write this mini review. Couldn't wait. The bottom line: love it, already used to having it. Why? Here goes:

apple watch Mickey

Love the form factor

I'm wearing my wife's watch (38mm) as mine (42 mm) is in hands of our Nozbe developer who's fine tuning our Watch app and I like how it looks on my wrist. I'm a short guy so the smaller size might be actually better for me...

Love the watch faces

I'm usually using Modular, sometimes switching to Chronograph and when I'm with kids I switch to... Mickey :-)

Love the apps

Although 3rd party apps only stream what's on the iPhone, the ones I use I really like! I use mainly Nozbe to manage my task notifications and Overcast to listen to podcasts. Apple watch is a fantastic remote control for your iPhone!

Love the messages

The dictation works fantastically. I now reply to most of my messages via the watch. When notifications come, they're usually interactive so I can reply to a task delegated to me or view the task and its comments.

Love the Watch

Love the fact how easily it became the part of my life. Now that I have it, it's become the part of my routine.

Question: did you get your Apple watch? Do you like it?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Thursday, May 28, 2015

✔ How to manage notifications and not go crazy?

There's a chance that some of you are already wearing your Apple Watches while reading this. I still don't have mine (arriving today!)... but anyway, there's a lot of skepticism regarding our new wrist computer. On the one hand, it's a nice-looking gadget but on the other, the software seems slow, there are problems with battery life and, most of all, with notifications which constantly buzz and disturb the user.

Note: The following article appeared first in the May'15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

notifications

Notifications are not just Apple Watch's problem!

I've been using iPad as my main computer for quite a long time, and the iPhone even longer... and I really like to observe how other people use their mobile devices. There are many different ways but the most important thing is to keep a cool head.

Almost every app on our devices asks for permission to send "push" notifications.

Usually we enable them because we're not fully aware how often (or rarely) we'll be receiving them. Later, we're often surprised that our phone is vibrating all the time, while another app is screaming and trying to get our attention by popping up a new notification.

It's, however, up to us whether we take control and set notifications properly or not. Everything depends on whether we allow apps to fight for our attention or decide what can and what's not supposed to disturb us. But how to approach it? Below, I'll try to present my way of dealing with notifications:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

✔ Apple Watch - a productivity review

As I was one of the lucky ones to get a preview unit of the Apple Watch... No I wasn't. I wish I was. Why not me, Apple? I really wish I had early access just like Nilay Patel or Joshua Topolsky or John Gruber... but I didn't. What I did do was study these reviews, all other pieces of information I could find on MacRumors, the Apple Watch Guided Tours and everything else I could find on the Internet... and I decided to write my review of the Apple Watch with an angle on productivity, based on experiences of the few lucky ones who did get to play with this new "magical" device from Apple... and from a point of view of a person who really, desperately wants one... and will try to get it on April 24th. Let's look at the Apple Watch from the productivity point of view and answer a question that's on everyone's mind right now - will the Apple Watch make you more productive? Or will you just become an Apple show-off? Or both?

Apple Watch - a productivity review

When Apple introduced the iPad, Steve Jobs famously said that for the device between a smartphone and a laptop to make sense, it had to be significantly better than both of these at some key tasks... and it was. It's a great content consumption device... and a great productivity device. I should know, I've been using the iPad as my main computer for the last 3 years and I'm in fact writing this review on my iPad Air 2.

Now, when Apple unveiled the Apple Watch, it didn't say why this device had to exist at all. They said all about it "being the most personal device ever", but no arguments as to what it should be great at. And from the early reviews we can learn that the Apple Watch is:

...a beautifully-crafted but quite sluggish mini-smartphone slapped to your wrist that does lots of things, but none of them particularly well.

It's a very harsh assessment of this new device so as a productivity guy who badly wants one, let's revisit all the criticisms the early reviews have raised:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

✔ The polarizing Macbook, tempting  Watch and... one more thing.

Yesterday was a big day, the "Apple Watch" day... Apple finally explained a little more the new "wearable iDevice" concept so that I think I know what and why I'm going to buy. Today, I would like to discuss with you the Apple Watch and the new Macbook and something more, here goes:

Apple Watch and Macbook

The main problem of my day job is that I need to have all the newest gadgets every year... You see, I need to "sacrifice" for all of you in order to make sure we deliver the best app possible to operate on your device. And so, I had to buy the iPhone 6 plus, I change my iPhone and iPad every year, and yes - I will absolutely need to buy the  Watch... Yeah, life is tough on me in this regard... oh wait... no it's not. I love my job and I love "having to" upgrade my devices so often :-P

And even though I'm #iPadOnly these days, I love Macs. The very first Macbook Air became my first Mac ever and I loved it. So when Apple unveiled the new Macbook yesterday I fell in love with it... and enjoyed the moment where everyone started complaining about the lack of ports on this device... this happens every time Apple makes a device that good. Here's why: