In the minds of most teachers and students summer has a special allure of freedom and wistfulness. As the summer break approaches we all get anxious to shed the skin of the past year and shift into summer mode.

I too look forward to summer with the same excitement as everyone else but I’m not looking forward to the beach and sunshine as much as I am looking forward to the time and freedom to learn something new, make something cool, or improve myself.

This summer I’ve spent a lot of time going on hikes and taking care of my physical well-being more than I have in quite some time and that has certainly been energizing but this post is about another habit that I have picked up which I believe is going to translate to a better lifestyle even when I have to be in front of the classroom at 7:30 AM.

Enter the Drafts app on my Apple Watch

At the end of the school year, I traded in my old Apple Watch Series 2 for a new Apple Watch Series 4. I was excited for the improved heart rate functionality and activity monitoring that would help track my workouts. I did not realize how drastically better the Apple Watch series for would be as an actual computing device.

The Series 4 really turn things around for how I use my Apple Watch, and hands-down the most used complication on my watch is Drafts.

Drafts is an iOS and macOS app which is great for capturing text. It has tons of things that I will talk about in future posts related to automation but the thing that is helped me more than anything else has been the ability to click on the complication and I have my watch instantly transcribing what I say into a new draft in my inbox.

Collecting these thoughts and action items as I go throughout the day has been so frictionless, because of the improved processing speed in my series for Apple Watch, that I am capturing everything that I need to and my mind is free to do fun things. Especially helpful is the ability to jot down an interesting thought that I have while I am on a long walk.

Later when I have some downtime with my phone or on my Mac I can go through each of these different drafts and put tasks in OmniFocus, run Shortcuts, or send a message to a friend.

My Drafts Inbox (and this Blog Post)

This little tweak to my daily routine has had a liberating effect on my mind and I have had the healthiest, most productive, and least stressful summers ever.

I would encourage anyone who uses an iOS device to install Drafts. But if you have a Series 4 Apple Watch and you don’t have the Drafts complication set up you are asleep at the wheel.