A Boring Post About The Apps On My Phone

Because, if you’re a regular reader, you know I’m shit at keeping track of things.  So this is one of those posts that’s mostly for my own benefit.  That I’m burying on a Saturday night.


I have Skype and WhatsApp.  Hilariously, almost nobody has my Skype and WhatsApp IDs.

The first two screens of my phone are always the most-used apps, and the apps I kind of feel like I should be using more.  If I’d shot this yesterday, Days would have been on there, but I tried that app today, and it didn’t seem to be in the mood to let me use it, so. 

Downcast is a pretty good podcast app.  A damn sight better than having to manage them through iTunes or Apple’s appalling Podcast app that I’ve railed about before.

You may, if you haven’t passed out already, have noticed there’s not a writing app in the first two screens.  There are a couple in the back screens.  But I don’t want a writing app staring at me on the phone, demanding I write something in it.  (The WordPress app, on the other hand, is there specifically to taunt me.  I am way out of practise with this blogging shit.)  The phone is, first and foremost, a thing that gathers information.  And I live on this goddamn phone.  I can and have written on it, using a foldaway Bluetooth keyboard, and it works fine.  But I find – and here is the proof, horribly, now I look at it –- that, as much as I talk about devices needing to be equipped as communication and creation tools, it’s become a consumption device.

Which is kind of an interesting thing that I didn’t realise until I put this up here.

EDC: What I Carry Every Day

This is a Maxpedition Mini EDC Pocket Organiser.  It fits neatly in my coat pocket.  I’ve always been one of those people who just stuffs their coat pockets with the stuff they might need thirty seconds before I head out of the door.  This means, in practise, that I either overstuff said pockets or that I can’t find one thing I need to stick in there.  Obviously, the older and more senile I get, the more this will become one of those idiot problems that wastes more time and mental energy than it should.  I’m going to need that mental energy for things like remembering where I live.  Also, if I’m just shooting into London for something, I like to avoid carrying a bag if I can.  Not least because a bag tempts me to carry more stuff than I need, “just in case.”

(I like Maxpedition bags.  I also have the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack Shoulder Bag for overnight travel and, for travelling more than one night, the slightly absurdly named Maxpedition Aggressor Attache Tactical Briefcase.  They’re strong, clever and compact bags that take a beating.)

So I have this.  I don’t like the colour, but it was the only one in stock that week.  Doesn’t matter.  It’s not like anyone will see it, because it lives in my coat.  For scale, the black Field Notes notebook on the far right is five inches tall.  That’s a Pilot Frixion pen next to it: they’re erasable pens, and are nice to write with.

The shiny thing reflecting my iPhone 4S (which is always at hand) is an Anker Astro2 battery pack, which will charge the phone and everything else in the pack.  At left of that is my Sony mp3 player, which has been running strong since, what, 2009?  I choose mp3 players very carefully.  It’s the NWZX-1060, 32GB.  Monster Turbine earbuds.

The thing with the white blob above the mp3 player is, if you’re my daughter, my “douchebag ear-thing,” otherwise known as a Bose bluetooth earpiece.  Which mostly gets used to listen to spoken-word podcasts while I’m on the move, and to allow me to take long phone calls from my agents while drinking and smoking heavily.  Not that they cause me to drink and smoke heavily.  Often.  (They are the only people who ever phone me.)

Never, ever, ever be without a notebook and something to write with.  Phones are great for lots of things, but nothing beats paper and pen for complex thoughts, notes and sketches.  I wrote an entire issue of PLANETARY in a notebook on a long three-leg train journey once.  The phone is for everything else, and the mp3 player is for when everything else needs to go away.

Faintly ridiculous, all lined up like this, isn’t it?  There’s a tiny little penknife that also goes in there, but it’s, um, currently missing.  (See?)  Thing is, the business of writing doesn’t stop just because I’m travelling.  So this simple little bag stays in my coat.  For me, this is actually streamlined.