Productive Watch Faces

Using different faces for different situations.

Everyone knows the Apple Watch allows you to have several different watch faces, but a lot of people don’t use the faces effectively, and some people don’t customize them at all. Since watchOS 2 was released a couple months ago, I use the crap out of the Modular face. The custom complications make the watch much more useful, and they keep me off the terrible App Launcher screen.

I’m currently rocking six different watch faces for different activities. I know what you’re saying. “Hey, you should write a long blog post about that!” Well, partner, it’s your lucky day.

THE DAILY FACE

The Darth Maul Look

This is my daily face. It uses the date, Activity, Dark Sky and Omnifocus small complications, and the Calendar large complication. I tried using the Fantastical complication for the calendar, but found that it didn’t update as often, and didn’t really play nice with the Exchange calendar needed for my jobby-job. I have an unhealthy number of watch bands, and I change the color of the face to match the band. Because I’m classy like that.

I can tap the calendar, Dark Sky, or Omnifocus complication to jump right into any of those apps, no launcher screen necessary. Most days I don’t even open an app, the app feeding information into a complication is all I need.


THE NIGHTLY FACE

So Soothing

This is the other face I use every day. Well, actually every night. It uses the battery, alarm, and the wonderful Sleep++ complication. David Smith’s Sleep++ app is a great sleep tracker, but it does take a little adjustment to the way you charge the watch.

You’ll notice this is the only face with the battery complication. That’s because I’ve never had an issue with the battery running out on a normal day. Most days, it’s at 45-50% when I put it on the charger at night. I put the battery meter on this face in the beginning when I worried about wearing the watch 24/7, but I’m probably going to remove it now that I’m more confident about the process. This face also carries my alarm complication so I can quickly set my wake up wrist-buzz and the Sleep++ complication launches the app so I can start the sleep cycle.


THE STAGEHAND FACE

Back to Work!

This is my face for my occasional theater gigs. Anyone who’s been following me for a while knows that I was a stagehand in a former life. I still take occasional jobs here and there to stay in practice and keep from getting too lazy in my jobby-job. This face has just the timer complication.

Many shows have a lot of downtime, and this face allows me to easily set a timer to remind me to start paying attention again for my next cue. The red text is the least offensive and visible when it inadvertently lights up. I usually turn off wrist-raise illumination in the watch’s Settings app when I use this face.


THE CHORE FACE

A Man’s Work Is Never Done This is my least favorite face, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s pretty ugly. The multi-colored face is just not well thought out. The day is red, the timer icons are orange, the text is white, and the activity rings are three more colors. It’s a little garish to me. The second reason I don’t like this face is because I use this face when doing housework. I like using the timer for laundry while setting an alarm for another chore, and I set the stopwatch to track how long the whole process takes.

I know I can set a color for the face, but I leave the multi-color option on because I hate looking at it. It makes me clean faster.


THE DISNEYLAND FACE

Why? Because we like you

This one’s just for fun. In my jobby-job, I work for a certain mouse-themed set of television networks, and Disneyland access is one of my perks. I don’t go often, but when I do, I put on the Mickey face. Date and Dark Sky are all I use on this one.


THE FANCY FACE

Classy as fuck.

This is my fancy face. When I dress up and go out, I put on the black watch band, and this face. It’s the Simple face with all the complications turned off and the dial details cranked all the way down. Then, I match the color of the second hand to my tie. We’ve already established that I’m classy.


WISH LIST

I obviously use my Watch a ton. It’s become an integral part of my day in a very short time. It got a slow start with the original watchOS. That one felt more like a beta. watchOS 2 feels like a solid 1.0 release, and I’m looking forward to more improvements .

There are a few things I think are missing, though.

  • Per-face settings. I’d love to be able to make settings changes based on the watch face. When I’m using my Sleep++ face, I always put my watch into Airplane mode. When I use my stagehand face, I always turn wrist-raise off. My watch is usually silent, but when I put on the housekeeping face, I turn the volume on. I’d like a way to link these settings changes to activate when I switch to a watch face.
  • Add the Music Glance to the Workout app, for the love of all that is good in this world. They go together like peanut butter and whatever goes well with peanut butter.
  • Time- and location-based faces. This is a watch, right? It’s pretty good at time. If I switch to my Sleep++ face every night at 11:45, then let me set a face to do that automatically.

Adding different watch faces for different activities has made this little computer on my wrist infinitely more useful. Make a few new faces and make the watch work for you.