As a wellness entrepreneur and new Mom, my time is precious. When it comes to my efforts to raise a newborn, run two juice bars, and write a blog (plus get back in shape, do my fair share of household chores, and find time to relax), I need all the help I can get.
I rely heavily on my Apple Watch, and earlier this month I started researching its lesser known features. Over several weeks of experimentation, I identified many ways that my watch can replace other gadgets, help me work more efficiently, and eliminate the need to constantly look at my phone.
There are hundreds of ways that you could use an Apple Watch to help you as a work from home entrepreneur – I’ve compiled ten of my favorites.
This post is not sponsored; I just like my watch and want to share what I’ve learned in order to help you be more productive.
1. Ping your iPhone from your watch.
Five minutes before an important call and you can’t find your phone? The Apple Watch can help. From the watch face mode (the one your watch is normally in when you’re not actively using it), swipe up. Then touch the image of a vibrating/ringing phone to make noise so you can find it.
I love this feature, and I used it yesterday.
As with other Apple Watch features, this only works if your watch is in Bluetooth range of your phone (around 30-35 feet), so if you left your phone at the other end of the house – or if it’s not even in the house – this feature won’t help.
2. Reply to text messages from your watch.
When your phone is across the room and you don’t want to interrupt your task to retrieve it, you can reply to text messages through the Apple Watch. There are three primary options. First, the watch comes with preset messages like “Talk later” and “Hold on a sec . . .”. Second, if you find that the presets don’t sound like you (they don’t sound like me), you can also set your own quick replies from the Apple Watch app on your phone. Third, you can reply to messages with “scribble,” which lets you write out the letters to your reply on the watch face and translates them into type with remarkable accuracy.
3. Be notified when it’s time to move.
Working from home, it is less likely that stand up to walk to a meeting or to your colleague’s office down the hall. The Apple Watch can remind you to stand up for a least a minute every hour, which is beneficial to your overall health.
If you don’t want to be reminded to stand, you can turn the feature off in the “Activity” section of the Apple Watch app on your phone. Even the reminders are on, you can mute them for the rest of a day from within the Apple Watch (the option appears immediately below each reminder to stand).
4. Automatically unlock your Mac from your watch.
You can adjust the settings on your Mac and pair it with your watch so that your computer automatically unlocks when you come near it with your watch. To do this, make sure that both Bluetooth and WiFi are turned on on your computer, that your computer is using two-factor authentication (not two-step verification), and that your computer and watch are signed in to iCloud using the same ID. Finally, within Security & Privacy Preferences on your Mac, select “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.”
5. Use the watch to control the camera on your phone.
If you work from home, you may not have a colleague around to snap a picture of you when you need one. In this situation, you can use the Apple Watch as a remote to take pictures with your iPhone camera. Set up the shot using the camera on your phone and then open the camera app on the watch. You can see the shot on your watch to make sure that it looks the way you want it to (for example, that you’re centered in the frame). Then, take the picture by pushing the circle in the app, or set a 3 second delay by pushing the circle with a 3 next to it. The latter option is great because it allows you to avoid self-portraits where you’re pushing buttons on your watch or looking down at your wrist. The phone and watch will both show the countdown so you know exactly when to be ready.
This trick and the next are easiest if you have a tripod for your phone, but you can make do by propping up your phone with books or other small objects. If you want more advanced camera features like adjusting the settings or taking pictures in low lighting conditions, check out the ProCamera app for Apple Watch ($5).
6. Use the watch and camera together to monitor what’s going on in another room.
Whether you want to see what your dog is up to, watch your toddler who fell asleep in the living room, or see whether anyone comes in your front door, you can use your iPhone and Apple Watch together to monitor the situation. Open the camera on your iPhone and make sure whatever view you’d like to monitor appears on the screen. Then open the camera app on your Apple Watch – you’ll have the same view!
7. Communicate with your team through Slack.
In order to use Slack, you’ll need to download the Slack app to your watch. However, it’s a convenient way maintain light communication with your team when you’re not at your computer and don’t want to pull out your phone. You can view messages without unlocking your phone, and reply with set responses or dictate your own.
8. Track your time and create and send invoices using Invoice2go.
The Invoice2go app allows you to design and create invoices for your customers and to send the invoices straight from your Apple Watch. For entrepreneurs working at client offices and wishing to send invoices immediately, this can streamline the typical process of performing work, returning to one’s own office, and sending an invoice later.
9. Control your presentation with PowerPoint or Keynote.
There are Apple Watch apps for both PowerPoint and Keynote, so whichever software you use, you have an option for controlling your presentation through your watch. Both apps must be downloaded to your watch, and both allow basic functionality of clicking through your presentation. The PowerPoint app connects to your iPhone through bluetooth, and you must run the presentation off of your phone, while the Keynote app can be paired directly with your computer.
10. Request a ride with Uber.
Whether you’re out with a client an don’t want to appear rude by checking your phone or you simply don’t want to go digging through your bag, the Uber for Apple Watch makes it simple to request a ride. The app sets your pickup location-based on GPS and automatically uses the most recently used vehicle type and payment options.
These are some of my favorite ways to use my Apple Watch. Try them out and let me know what you think. Do you have favorite Apple Watch tricks that aren’t on my list? Please tell me about them. I always want to learn more!