Home Screens - Ian Byrd


Recently I attended a 5by5 meetup in Santa Monica where I met several Mac Power Users listeners, including Ian Byrd (Website) (Twitter). Ian is an experienced gifted-student teacher that got inspired to try something else. He did just that with his website, Byrdseed.com, where he writes about gifted education and develops videos to help teachers and parents of gifted children. Ian is also a big Mac nerd. So Ian, show us your home screen.


What are some favorite apps?

I love Reeder. I use it as inspiration for lesson ideas as well as for pure entertainment. It’s fast, syncs with my iPad, and connects beautifully to Twitter and Pocket.

Instagram has become my favorite way of seeing what friends and family are up to. But, since I’m not too comfortable with it as an archive, I use a couple IFTTT recipes to grab photos I post or that I like and store them in my Flickr account for safe keeping. Mint is a seriously fantastic tool for tracking family spending, and I use Outright to stay on top of my business’ finances.

Moves is awesome for passively tracking walking, running, or cycling.  Much simpler than starting and stopping a dedicated exercise app. Plus, I love getting the weekly summary notifications.

I keep a folder of web shortcuts to my Byrdseed sites, stats pages, and a related app I am perpetually developing.

Finally, I’m a Downcast man for podcasts. 

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Definitely Foursquare. While I’m not too interested in competing for points or becoming a mayor, I do love tracking where I’ve been, especially when I travel. And I always look forward to landing at a new airport and unlocking the next Jetsetter badge! 

What is the app you are still missing?

My websites run on Wordpress installations that I’ve tricked out quite a bit, but I can’t really access all of that power from my iPhone. The official Wordpress app has improved a lot for writing posts, but lacks the level of control I need for organizing and managing everything. I always end up using MarsEdit on my Mac because of its great custom field support or simply logging into the web’s admin panel. I’d love a more flexible Wordpress app that lets me control my sites on the go. 

What Is Your Favorite Feature of the iPhone/iPad?

I’ve accepted that my memory’s best days are behind me, so I love whenever my phone can act as a second brain. I set timers for everything. I have a Reminders list for library books I want to check out. I use Things to capture tasks on the go. I take photos of my parking spots, hotel room numbers, and receipts when I travel. And I’m hoping Siri continues to improve, because she makes it so easy to get the mundane into my phone.

Anything Else You’d Like to Share?

Just happy to contribute to MacSparky! Love everything you do for the community, David. Thank you!

Thanks Ian