5 stock iOS widgets to keep your day on track

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iOS 10 Widgets
If you're not using iOS widgets yet, it's time to get started.
Photo: Apple

iOS widgets can put loads of useful data at your fingertips. A simple swipe to the right on your iPhone’s Home screen brings up the Today view, where widgets give you a quick glance at info pulled from your favorite apps.

If you’re using iOS 10 and you’ve never taken the time to customize your widgets list, you’re missing out. Here’s how to set up iOS widgets and keep your day on track.

Many of Apple’s built-in apps offer useful widgets that can help keep you on track with daily tasks. In this iOS how-to, you’ll find out how to add widgets and customize your Today view.

Plus, I’ll walk you through five Apple widgets you should start using immediately to boost your productivity. They keep me in check and help ensure that I don’t forget to complete my most important tasks.

How to access iOS widgets

Accessing your Today view can be done from two places in iOS: the Lock screen and the Home screen. From either of those, simply swipe right to see the Today view.

How to add new iOS widgets

Many of your favorite apps will have an accompanying widget that surfaces useful data. You will need to add each widget to your Today view individually.

  • In the Today view, scroll to the bottom of the display page.
  • Underneath the last widget, tap the Edit button. Then use Touch ID or enter your passcode to unlock your device if necessary.
  • You’ll see a list of all available widgets, with your current widgets at the top. If there’s one you don’t want in your Today view, tap the red “-” symbol to delete it.
  • To see other available widgets, scroll down to More Widgets.
  • Tap the green “+” symbol next to a widget to add it to Today view.
  • If you want to reorder the widgets, touch and hold the small gray icon consisting of three horizontal bars at right to drag and move a widget up or down in the list.
  • Tap Done to save any changes you’ve made.

Best Apple productivity widgets

Now that you know how to access and add widgets, it’s time to look at the built-in iOS widgets you can use to keep on top of your day.

Activity widget

Activity Widget
Keep on top of your moves throughout the day with the Activity widget.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Part of keeping on top of your day is to keep tabs on how active you have been throughout the day (especially if you own an Apple Watch). The Activity app’s widget is a great way to do this. You can quickly get a glance at how busy you have been that day — and also how far you have to go to complete your move, exercise and stand goals.

Weather widget

Weather widget
Keep an eye on your surroundings with the Weather widget.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

iOS 10’s handy Weather widget shows you current conditions and gives you a glance at what to expect during the next few hours. This comes in handy if you are out and about or planning a trip.

Up Next widget

Up Next widget
Use the Up Next widget to see what’s next on your agenda.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Up Next pulls from your Calendar and Reminders apps to give you a quick view of what’s coming up on your schedule. For Calendar entries, the widget even estimates how long it will take you to get to your appointment (if you have address details in the Calendar entry).

Calendar widget

Calendar Widget
Keep an eye on what’s happening throughout your day with the Calendar widget.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Let’s not forget to add the Calendar widget, too. It goes beyond the Up Next widget to give you a broader look at your schedule. Tapping Show More in the Calendar widget will let you view your entire day right there.

Reminders widget

Reminders widget
Reminders is a great built-in option for managing your to-do list.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Whether you use Apple’s own Reminders app or a third-party to-do app, adding the Reminders widget to your Today view gives you a list of everything you need to accomplish today. Most apps, including Reminders, allow you to check off items right in the Reminders widget as you get through your day.

What are your favorite iOS 10 widgets?

So, those are my five favorite stock iOS widgets for keeping on top of my day. The way widgets surface timely, vital info is one of the great uses for a smartphone — and one that I hope you start using if you aren’t already.

However, Apple’s stock iOS widgets are just the beginning. Many third-party apps offer widgets as well. (We’ll publish a roundup of our favorite third-party widgets soon.)

If you are using other widgets, what are your favorites?

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      It’s in iOS 10. Or at its in 10.3.

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  • P. Biff Dukes

    In addition to most of the ones you listed (I don’t use Activity), I like FOX News Desk, Bing Today, On This Day, CBS Sports, PGA Tour Leaderboard, and the Bible App’s Verse of the Day.