What's On Your Phone, Jon Zifkin?

Jon Zifkin leads the Customer Success team for Intellitix, an RFID company that provides access control and cashless payment systems for live events. His role is to onboard new customers and cultivate relationships with them by building, maintaining, and executing their annual account plans. His team is responsible for successfully leading and executing project plans through collaboration with internal specialists. Before joining Intellitix, he worked as Senior Director of Business Development for Uberflip and Polar Mobile. 

Anne Marie Padelford: What are the apps you use every day, and why do you like them?

Jon Zifkin: I would say one of the apps that I use the most every day, outside of my calendar and my email which are basically my lifeline to my world, is Slack. It allows me to communicate really effectively and eliminates a lot of the email in a messaging tool which is phenomenal for work.

And while I’m working super hard, I use the Nest app a lot which is owned by Google. It’s used with the two cameras that I have in my twins’ room and in my son’s room, so when they’re napping or sleeping I get to see my kids when I’m traveling. It’s all logged in real time so I’m also able to speak to them through the camera so it’s a nice way to feel connected while I’m away. 

So for a third one, I’ll throw in a funny one. I use My Fitness Pal as much as I possibly can as of late because in the festival world when you’re running around so much, as you very well know, you have a tendency to eat more than you need to. I put on a fair amount of weight and didn’t have time to go to the gym, so now I’m back on it keeping track of what I eat to make sure that I get back in shape for the next festival season:)

AMP: Is there an app you think developers should be working on?

JZ: That’s a good question. I think at this stage you’d be really hard pressed to not find something that hasn’t been developed. It’s just a matter of making something better rather than inventing something entirely. I’ll stick with the business theme and I’ll kinda stick with the Slack idea whether Slack does this or not: Email was not designed for the way it’s used today. And email is far and away the largest time suck, partially because people forget how to pick up the phone and have a conversation. I think what we can accomplish in one hour on the phone or face to face is honestly a week of conversations on email back and forth. So for me, it’s figuring out a way to eliminate email as a whole entirely, to be able to communicate ten times more efficiently in another app. Slack is a good start, but it certainly doesn’t replace email entirely yet. I’m really hoping for the day that I never have to click that mail icon on my phone.

AMP: Is there an app which surprised you with its usefulness?

JZ: An app called News 360. It’s a really awesome app. Being unbelievably busy, I have absolutely no time to keep up with the news and current events with my world. I don’t use Twitter because to me it has become unstructured and completely chaotic and there’s too much sponsored stuff. For me, curating news in areas that I really care about is important. News 360 allows me to take subjects like technology, music festivals, RFID, customer service, Intellitix, Facebook, media... I’m reading you some of my headers… Alzheimer’s is something I’m passionate about, Healthy Living, Business Management – so just any topic I feel strongly about. It allows me to add these into categories and then curates all that great news into a really slick interface. So when I open up that app 5 minutes before I get on a plane, I’m able to sift through and scroll, and I know that I don’t have to skip over anything because every article that’s in there was requested and is relevant for what I want to put into my brain. It surprised me because it got me reading the news again; it got me reading what I care about, more than I ever have in my entire life. And its interface makes it conducive to share and to read. Obviously it’s something you have to try out, but it’s slick.

AMP: If you could recommend an app for every arts manager, what would it be?

JZ: As I look at my screen right now…probably Evernote. I was never a very organized person when it came to writing down lists. I have a very good memory, so I constantly relied on my memory to keep me organized. But at some point your memory just can’t keep up with the day to day operations and so I found that Evernote really surprised me in terms of how easy it was to keep my notes and my thoughts structured. That’s the biggest thing: you can always use a notepad, but the difference between a notepad or a task list versus Evernote, is that in Evernote you can create logical notebooks which structure your thoughts. You can have personal notebooks, work notebooks, health notebooks… however you need to structure your life. Basically Evernote mirrors my thoughts in a really organized way. And I also have the ability to work offline when I’m traveling and the ability to share it and manage it. I would recommend this app for anybody, especially in our world – there are so many different sub-operations that happen in the arts world and Evernote is a great way to structure your thoughts.