Buddhism tells us that the origin of suffering is attachment. In a very un-Buddhist way I’ve become terribly attached to my iPhone, and I’m hoping the suffering won’t be too great when I have to go cold turkey when I set out again across the Pacific. Here is how frighteningly integrated into my day my iPhone has become.

[If you don’t have an iPhone, there are still some goodies here that run on other smartphones. But be warned – it might make you go iPhone…]

My most-used apps on my iPhone home page

7am: Wake up when iPhone alarm clock (standard iPhone app) goes off. Bell Tower is my sound of choice – not too traumatic. If I’ve woken up before the alarm, I might have spent a few minutes lying in bed checking emails and Facebook – on my iPhone. Review VisionBoard and decide how I can move closer to my goals today.

Get up, weigh self. Wince. Record weight on iStayFit.

Go to gym. Check iStayFit to see what workouts I’m doing today. Cardio first – put in earbuds and listen to podcasts on iPod app, or music on Last.fm. Use PushupFu, CrunchFu, and SquatFu (all available from GymFu) to set workouts and count reps using the inbuilt iPhone motion sensor. Record reps and resistance of weights session on iStayFit.

Home for breakfast. Record calories on DailyBurn.

Head to office (aka Dog River Coffee Shop). Check in on FourSquare. Notice that Brennan is still beating me on points. How does he do it?!

Review To Do list on Things. Synchronise between laptop and iPhone to upload the To Do items I recorded on the phone during yesterday’s meetings. My flight itinerary to the Galapagos has arrived from the TED organisers. I email it to TripIt.com, which will automatically generate appointments in iCal for my flights, and will alert me to any last-minute flight delays.

After working for a couple of hours, drive into Portland for a meeting. Pick out destination from Contacts, and the TomTom application shows the route and verbally gives me directions. I have a few brainwaves during the one-hour drive. Record voice messages on Note2Self, which get saved as MP3 files and automatically mailed to my email Inbox. Think of a few emails I need to send, so I use iTalk2Email to record and send them to the relevant people.

Arrive in Portland. Manage to find a parking space, but it’s a distance from my meeting. Use G-Park to record the location for later reference. Set the alarm to alert me when the parking meter will run out. Use Google Maps to navigate myself on foot to my meeting.

While I’m walking a text alert comes in via TrackThis to tell me that my new solar recharger has been delivered to the house in Hood River.

I arrive at the meeting a bit early so I wait in reception. I’ve had some ideas while I’ve been driving, so I jot them down in a mindmap using iThoughts. The app sends the mindmap in multiple formats to my email account, so I can work on it in Novamind later on my laptop. I still have some time to spare, so I catch up on some articles I didn’t have time to read while I was online earlier. I use one-click buttons in the Firefox browser to save them to Evernote if I’m certain I want to keep them long-term, or Instapaper for things I will read once and discard.

The meeting begins. Instead of exchanging business cards, we Bump our iPhones together and our contact details are automatically posted to each other’s Contacts. Someone doesn’t have an iPhone, so I borrow her business card and use Cardreader to take a photo and the app scans the details into my Contacts using optical character recognition. At the end of the meeting I take a photo of us all with Gorillacam – it has a self-timer so we can all be in the picture. I use TweetDeck to post the photo as a Twitpic to illustrate my Tweet about the meeting. I also send it as a postcard to my mother, using Postino. She likes to know where I am and who I’m meeting.

I’d promised to give Brennan a shout so we could get together to do some more work on our Eco Heroes website, so I check on Vicinity to see what coffee shops are in the area. You’re never far from a coffee shop in Portland. That one looks good, and only 146 yards away – a review on Yelp tells me it has free, fast WiFi. Oooh, I get 5 points + 3 points travel bonus on Foursquare! I use Over Here to send Brennan my location via email. He clicks on the link from his iPhone and it shows him where I am on Google Maps.

During our discussion he suggests a book I might like to read. I use the Goodreads app to add it my to-read list and check out the prices online. This will get synced up to my account on the Goodreads website. I see the book is available second-hand on Amazon at a really good price. Oh, why not? I go ahead and order it for delivery within 48 hours.

After my meeting with Brennan I decide to treat myself to a movie. I check out the top movies on IMDb and try to decide between Sherlock Holmes and Invictus. I watch the trailers on Flixster. Both look good, but I am more in the mood for Invictus. Flixster tells me it’s on at the Lloyd Center at 7.05pm. Perfect. There’s a piece of music in the film I really like but don’t know what it’s called. I surreptitiously turn on my phone and use Shazam to identify the track and download it off the iTunes Store. I’m so impressed by Morgan Freeman’s performance I pick him to win the Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role in my Oscars app.

I head back to Hood River, listening to the Invictus soundtrack. I curl up in bed with my iPhone to check up on a few Facebook friends. I log the day’s progress against my goals in the Habit Factor, and count my blessings using the Gratitude app. I finish unwinding by toying with the lava-lamp-like and mesmerising Bloom app for a few minutes, set my iPhone alarm, turn off the light and fall asleep. Another day in iPhone heaven.

Oh, and sometimes I even use it for making phone calls. But that’s so last century….

Other great apps:

Google for iPhone: the voice search is excellent. Alone among voice recognition apps, it seems to understand my accent!

Urbanspoon: great for finding local restaurants.

StarWalk: gorgeous augmented-reality app for identifying stars and constellations.

Tetris: the classic game. I have to limit myself to no more than one game a day as it’s the most entertaining waste of time ever!

Seafood Watch: to find out if your seafood is sustainable and healthy.

Locavore: find your local farmers’ markets, and what foods are in season in your location.

Odyssey and Distant Shore (both by Blimp Pilots): beautiful and for a good cause.

And last but not least, the RozTracker app from Archinoetics. Get it now for tracking Pacific III!


  • Thank you for sharing. I’m honored that 2 of the apps I have you use. Gratitude, Vision Board.
    In exchange, I am adding Habit Factor for keeping my (oh look bright shinny object) mind on track and Gorillacam for the added photo taking features of my phone.

  • It looks as if the network load will ease considerably when you launch, Roz! iPhone users consume so much bandwidth that the carriers have been forced to upgrade networks at a cost that we basic cell phone users have to share.

  • John, just fyi, Portland and Hood River are so well provided with Wifi hotspots that I am usually able to use these networks, rather than inflicting extra costs on you poor dear basic cell phone users.

  • Roz,

    What an awesome post on the real life use of the iPhone. I am checking out a few of those apps, thank you. Another good one is Grocery Gadget for grocery lists.


  • Roz, you are a wired nut…but what a way to use your iPhone…here I am checking out how good it at locating container ships at sea (so far not as good as I want) and you are keeping your life organized. Oh yes, 6 AM is wake up time 🙂

  • Excellent post, Roz. I love reading about new and different iPhone apps and now I’ve got 2 new apps that I think I will use all the time.

  • Hi Roz,
    Been awhile since I’ve checked in… sorry! Dunno what it is about you living a “normal” life like the rest of us, but I don’t read your blogs as much as when you’re rowing…. I have to say it’s an addiction when you’re out there! But I read today’s one on the iPhone… I just LOVE my iPhone and can’t image life without it… which is pretty sad! AND I thought hard about your Buddhist comment, but alas too quickly before I moved on to the cool apps you use… some NICE ones there! Will try and think about it seriously (probably when my battery’s dead on my upcoming berg hike!). Would be nice not to be so plugged in…
    Enjoyed the read today… thanks!

  • Barry – and I miss the Blue Lady. Alas, I will be in a mega-hurry to get from the Galapagos (dahling!) to Kiribati, so no time to stop in Hawaii en route. But I’ll be back one day, for sure! And you will be the first to know.

    My departure from Kiribati just won’t be the same without the Blue Lady crew to send me on my way…. You don’t fancy a trip to the South Pacific, do you?

  • eBay Store:

    I would like a T-shirt or sweat-shirt in off-white or light grey. On the front, a photo of you in your boat with rozsavage.com below it. On the back “Rowing across oceans for a cleaner environment”. Or something.



  • Thanks, John, for your request. I’ve passed it along to Carina at eBay, with my suggestions, and we’ll see if we can source such an item in organic cotton. I hope we can oblige!

  • “To all who suggest I imagine audience in underwear…”

    That only works for neophytes, Roz. For you I recommend following your usual successful approach of treating your audience as a collection of friendly acquaintances who have each separately asked you, personally, to talk about your adventures. Which is, essentally, true.

    You’ll do fine.


  • hi roz iam 12 year old girl in the 6th grade.for reading class, i had to do a biography so i went to my local library and found your book. i was instantly inspired and am doing you for my biography. i think you are amazing and will always loook up to you.

  • Awesome ad for the iPhone, Roz, and a terrific read…. I’ve just ordered myself an HTC HD2, state-of-the-art Windows Mobile 6.5. Am I a complete idiot? Same monthly cost as an iPhone, but bigger screen, and yes, I am a Windows geek. But I have to say, your piece about your beloved gizmo is as good an argument as I’ve read anywhere for stampeding with the herd, and going for Apple.

    Who would have ever thought that by going for Windows, one is supporting the underdog. Maybe that’s why I refuse to get an Apple or an iPhone or an iPad, or an iPod. I do eat them on occasion.

    Looking forward to your row, Roz, and to your report from Being Among the Big Boys and Girls. In a year’s time, we’ll be blogging too. as Sue and I head off with our tandem Sunshine on a year’s trip around the world. Really. But, on dry land.

  • Hi Mark – great to hear from you! And excited to hear about your next adventure. Does this mean Sue will still be going to southeast Asia and India this year, or are you going with her, or… what is the plan?!

    I wish you all the joy of your Windows Mobile 6.5 – but am not even remotely tempted to defect to the Dark Side!

    And do be careful when you eat those iPods. They might break your teeth….

    Much love to you and Sue.

  • Hi i am using websendsms.com  for some time now and i should say that it is
    pretty simple and easy to use. Simple notepad for note taking, note
    sharing, also you can send sms globally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *