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My playlist is an eclectic collection of tools that help me approach my work as play. My hope is that they’ll do the same for you.

Object: Having the right tools at hand for the project at hand.

What Didn’t Work: Trying to remember the tools I had for various tasks, scrolling through iPhone screens filled with apps and getting frustrated or distracted, spending more time finding apps than using them.

My Aha! Moment: One day, I took out my bead kit, opened it up, and started working on a bracelet. There’s something so satisfying about a kit with compartments to hold each type of bead and each type of tool. Rather than spending time running around the house looking for scissors, thread, or the findings, I could clear the table, relax, and create.

As I worked, I began thinking about work projects, such as making the social media rounds. If I could have a kit for those tasks, how much more effective might I be? I imagined putting various apps in a basket, laughing a little at the absurdity of the idea. But as I kept thinking, I realized the idea wasn’t out of the question. I finished my bracelet and started researching. Finding the iPhone app, Launcher was a delight. This app allows you to create customized widgets that you can access from your notification screen. Abra-cadabra … little baskets for my apps!

How I Play:

  • I started by thinking of activities that require a number of apps as well as focused attention.
  • I created a widget for each of these activities and added the apps so they quick-launch when I tap their logos.
  • I played with the custom timing so that when I go to the notification screen, I see the most relevant widgets based on the day of the week and the time of day.

Player’s Notes:

  • There are many options with the Launcher app. Some apps have supported actions. In this way, you can shortcut key actions. Explore options, but don’t be overwhelmed by them. Don’t feel the need to be a power user … use what helps you most.
  • If you’re not an iPhone user, there are likely similar apps for other smart phones. Explore and share if you have great options!

Take it to the Next Level:

  • Consider how this concept might relate to other parts of your digital world. I’m exploring ways to use my Macbook dashboard in a similar way. My goal is to be able to open a screen and see all the tools needed, but none of the ones that might distract me.
  • Consider how this concept might relate to other parts of your non-digital world. What kinds of “kits” might you make yourself?