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Dec 30 2016
by Mia Renee Cole

10 Ways to Best Utilize Your New Apple Watch

By Mia Renee Cole - Dec 30 2016

If you're anything like me, this year you received an Apple Watch for Christmas! Mine has a 38mm face and is in rose gold. Plus, I bought this band to style it with. So far, I've loved using mine to text, read messages, set reminders and track my habits. Over the last couple of days, I've become more accustomed with it and am better able to understand just how to fully benefit from it. Here are my suggestions on how to best utilize your Apple Watch for productivity.

1. Make Your Face Productive

Mia Renee Cole

There are so many faces to choose from when customizing your apple watch. Some are very minimalist while others are very intricate. I stuck to something in the middle — something well organized that also had a lot of info on it. Plus, I'm able to change the "complications" on my face to show what I want to see. I have the date, time, my next event on my calendar, the current moon phase, a quick-click to my messages and the current temperature. 

2. Set Reminders

Mia Renee Cole

This one may seem obvious, but it's still just as important. Even then, your Apple Watch isn't actually set up to notify you of your to-do list. To do this, go into the Apple Watch app on your phone, go to "Notifications," scroll down to "Reminders" and set it as "Custom," to show your alerts with sounds and vibrations. This way, whenever you set a reminder on your iPhone (and set it with a time to remind you), it will remind you also on your watch.

3. Use Your Calendar

Mia Renee Cole

In this new-day-and-age, paperless calendars are all the rage. If you come from an Apple family like myself (or are just an Apple person), probably all of your electronics are from this iconic company. I use the calendar on my MacBook to keep track of all my events, meetings, exams, interviews, etc. and all of that syncs onto both my phone and Apple Watch. 

4. Only Have the Essential Apps Downloaded

Mia Renee Cole

Whereas it can be super tempting to have Twitter and Instagram downloaded on your Apple Watch, are you really going to use them on that tiny screen? Probably not. Save your social media for your iPhone and other large devices. These are for leisure — your watch is for productivity. 

5. Keep Only Your Most-Used Apps in Your Dock

Mia Renee Cole

Personally, I haven't used my dock that much (this is accessed by clicking on the button on the side of your watch). For those of you that do, or think you might, only have your most useful apps stored there. This way, you're not cluttering a lot of space. 

6. Organize Your Apps on Your Home Screen

Mia Renee Cole

This is a small, yet effective step in organizing your Apple Watch for ultimate productivity. You can do this on the app on your phone by going to "App Layout," holding down the app you want to move and moving it. Organize your apps by most used (most used in the center, least on the outskirts), or by category (i.e. messaging apps). Here's what my apps look like (viewed from the app on my iPhone). 

7. Use Those Health Apps!!

Mia Renee Cole

The Apple Watch comes with SO MANY health apps, so you might as well utilize them. Some are super basic (like the heart rate app) and some are surprisingly helpful (the "Workout" app will count the calories burned during a certain workout). My favorite app at the moment actually didn't come on the watch. Instead, I purchased it on iTunes, and it's already paying off. WaterMinder allows me to track my water intake every day so I meet my daily goal. This is better than tracking it on paper (like I used to) because it requires very little set-up and is designed for my body type. 

8. Familiarize Yourself with Your Watch

You've probably already done this but, in case you haven't, this is a VERY important step in using your watch to its full potential. Know how to use it! I promise, it can be fun!

9. Turn Off Reminders You Don't Need

Mia Renee Cole

When you first get your Apple Watch, it's automatically programmed to give you reminders/notifications from certain apps. If you don't want to hear from them, TURN THEM OFF. Seriously. When my dad first got his watch this summer, he didn't know to do this and received multiple notifications a day from the Breathe app reminding him to breathe. He didn't really want this (and neither did I), so we turned off the notifications. To do this, go to the Apple Watch app on your phone, select the "Breathe" app and turn off those notifications!

10. Use Apple Pay

In places where Apple Pay can be used, it can be SUPER helpful! Enter your card info into Apple Pay (do this by going into your Apple Watch phone app and click on "Wallet & Apple Pay") and pay at certain places by just placing your watch by the register! No worries — Apple Pay is completely safe too. In fact, some are saying that it may be safer than paying with a regular card. To use Apple Pay on your watch, just double-click the button on the side and your card should pop up (the entire card number doesn't show). 

Though I've been teased a bit for having a new Apple Watch (and using it a lot), I've found it to be incredibly helpful. By using these previous tips, I've found myself more effeciently getting stuff done every day. Now, excuse me while I go meet my water goal for the day. 

Lead Image Credit: Mia Renee Cole

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Mia Renee Cole - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mia Renee is currently the Senior Editor with Fresh U and a student at UNC Chapel Hill, where she is studying Spanish and French. In her free time she enjoys knitting, photography and drinking hot tea while writing on her personal blog. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @miareneecole or her blog at!

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