New iPhone? Here are the apps I use and recommend


A Facebook friend posted that they just got a new iPhone and wanted suggestions for apps. I just went through my screens and jotted down the apps I use the most and thought I would share them with you.

I’ve downloaded hundreds of apps, most of which I quickly abandoned. Some had a steep learning curve or were confusing. Some duplicated apps I already had that did the same thing, only better. And some I just didn’t like.

Of course everyone has different needs and preferences. This is just my list and it is by no means complete. Just the apps I use the most.

I’ve included a few excellent apps I don’t use that much. Dictamus is one example. You can replace your expensive dictation machine with this app. iA writer is another. I don’t do much long form writing on my iPhone. Small screen, small keyboard, old eyes. I make notes on my phone and do my writing on my laptop.

I try new apps all the time because I’m always looking for better and easier ways to do things, and because it’s fun. I like apps that are well suited for the job, and actively developed and supported. Many of my favorites are at or near the top of their categories.

I’ve organized my list by category. Please let me know (in the comments) if you use these apps, and if not, what you use instead.


  • Evernote (Essential. Nuff said.)
  • Drafts (Great for quick notes that are uploaded to other apps (including Evernote).
  • Workflowy (I’ve been using this a lot lately; great for outlining. I use the web app mostly, and tweak my outlines on my phone; if you sign up for a free account through this link, you’ll get more free space (and so will I).
  • iA writer (Simple, distraction free writing with few options. Sync to Dropbox, iCloud, other devices.)


  • Dictamus (Best dictation software; try the free version and you’ll see)
  • Jotnot Scanner Pro (I have others but mostly use this)


  • Easy Calendar (Simple, quick to update)
  • Pocket Informant (Used this for a long time. Very capable, but more than I need; find it in Productivity)


  • Instapaper (Must have; anything saved for later reading, but not in Evernote, goes here)
  • Newsify (Google RSS)
  • Stitcher Radio (Live radio, podcasts)
  • Flipboard (News, social media feeds)
  • Zite (News, blog feeds, great for finding sources you don’t currently follow)
  • AppAdvice (For finding new apps and reading reviews)

Social Media

I have the native apps for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but don’t do much updating on my phone. When I do, I usually post from other apps (i.e., Drafts, Flipboard).


I also have (and use) Youtube, Google, and Kindle. I have several apps for document downloading, storage, (Dropbox, etc.) and editing, but I prefer to use their desktop or web app equivalents. I listen to Pandora and Spotify. I don’t download games any more, but I do play Words With Friends.

So that’s my list. How about yours?

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