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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 338 : My two favorite productivity apps

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Today, I dive into two simple yet powerful productivity apps on the iPhone. More at

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Less is a lot more

When it comes to my phone, I'm a regular on business and investing apps like Poshmark and the Stocks app. But if I had to rank the two that I use the most, it would be the Notes and Reminders apps. These are very simple yet powerful apps that are native to the iPhone. And my guess is that they are also among the most forgotten and overlooked.


I use the notes app daily for many tasks, from grocery lists to monitoring my blood pressure. For business, I draft Poshmark messages and when we have a large number of orders, I'll create a note with a list of USPS tracking numbers, which automatically turn into live links to the USPS tracking site. Incidentally, I use notes to draft my show notes for each podcast episode. Since I'm extemporaneous, my episode notes are skeletal, making the notes app ideal for jotting down themes and bullet points.

Notes for episode 338.

If you take a look at the notes for today's episode, you'll see that it's a twofer. I have the guts of the episode outlined and a short demo of the newer features that serve as a reminder to call them out on the episode. Speaking of, the notes app has added some incredible enhancements over the past few IOS upgrades.

Take a look at the picture below, in particular the menu right above the virtual keyboard.

Every app should have a shortcut to lol.

Newer features and enhancements:

  • Charts

  • Font settings

  • Check lists

  • Scan a document

  • Doodle

Most of all, I love how the notes sync real time between my phone and Macbook via the iCloud. While I have other apps like Microsoft Word, Excel and OneDrive via the 360 suite, the notes app is my go to virtual "scratch pad."

Reminder (plus Siri)

My second favorite productivity app is reminders. I'll use Siri to schedule a reminder with a specific date and time to take tasks out of my brain so I can free up my noodle for more important things. I find reminders particularly helpful for scheduling times to reply back to important emails or calls.

Certain tasks I schedule on repeat, including investing into a IRA account or to check Poshmark messages. Others are one-off reminders, ranging from upcoming meetings to coupons that are about to expire.

You can also use Siri to schedule blocks on your calendar, which I should do more often. Regardless, I find the reminders app plus Siri to be a great virtual assistant for scheduling my time (despite the many autocorrects and typos).

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