What’s on Rand Fishkin’s Phone? A Private Peek at the Home Screens of Top Marketers

Oct 6, 2015 10 min readOnline Marketing
Photo of Kevan Lee
Kevan Lee

Former VP of Marketing @ Buffer

Awhile back, a phenomenon swept the Internet where people shared pictures and video of what’s inside their refrigerators.

This isn’t that, but it’s close. ?

I asked 20+ wonderfully generous and incredibly talented marketers to share what’s on their smartphone home screens. In need of any app ideas? Looking for new ways to organize your phone? Check out our list of 20+ home screens and favorite apps. Hoping inspiration strikes!

(And if you’re up for it, we’d love to see your home screen, too!)

iphone marketing apps

Marketers featured here (it’s a great list!):

  1. Rand Fishkin
  2. Hiten Shah
  3. Demian Farnworth
  4. Noah Kagan
  5. Danny Schreiber
  6. Anum Hussain
  7. Belle Beth Cooper
  8. Paul Jarvis
  9. Greg Ciotti
  10. Mark Macdonald
  11. Maizie Simpson
  12. Jimmy Daly
  13. Janet Choi
  14. Brian Dean
  15. Dan Norris
  16. Dan Levy
  17. Peg Fitzpatrick
  18. Ginny Soskey
  19. Laura Roeder
  20. Garrett Moon
  21. David Mizne
  22. David Fallarme

And for fun, I’ve included the screens of Kevan Lee (me!) and Courtney Seiter, from the marketing team here at Buffer.

For another perspective on home screens, we’ve published a companion post on the Open blog that shows the home screens of many on the Buffer team, including our co-founders Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich.

buffer home screens button

Now, onto the phones … ?

1. Rand Fishkin, @randfish


Rand’s phone (one of only two Android phones in this list, btw) has a lot of great standard apps, including social networks for Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Travel apps are some of the more unique ones on the homescreen: two ride services and an airline.

Rand Fishkin's home screen

Notable apps:

2. Hiten Shah, @hnshah

KISSmetrics & Crazy Egg, Startup Chat podcast

Hiten, like many on this list, bundles sets of apps into folders. Hiten’s folders include Browse (things like Chrome, News, and Tweetbot), Productivity (Dropbox, Google Drive, Intercom), and Social (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat).

Hiten Shah's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Vesper – Note-taking, thought-collecting tool
  • Yahoo Livetext – Live video texting, without sound
  • Telegram – Messaging app that syncs across devices (desktop, tablet, phone)
  • Startup Chat – A podcast Hiten hosts along with Steli Efti

3. Demian Farnworth, @demianfarnworth

Copyblogger, Roughdraft.fm

Demian’s got just the one page of apps on his phone, with nearly everything organized into folders. Among the apps that didn’t fall into folders: NFL and newsletters. (Two of my favorite things also!)

Demian Farnworth's home screen

Notable apps:

  • NextDraft – A curated view of the day’s best news stories
  • NFL Mobile – Videos, highlights, scores, and stories from the NFL
  • Rams – Demian’s favorite NFL football team

4. Noah Kagan, @noahkagan


I love seeing how the different homescreens here show off which social networks are fun to access on-the-go. In Noah’s case, Instagram and Snapchat are two big ones, along with Yelp.

Noah Kagan's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Glympse – Share your GPS location with friends and family
  • RTM – Remember the Milk: a to-do list and reminder app
  • RunKeeper – Running tracker with GPS, pace, speed, route, and more
  • MyFitnessPal – Calorie counter, plus food-and-exercise journal

5. Danny Schreiber, @dannyaway


Danny’s crisp-and-clean screen has a couple cool weather apps (details below) and a messaging vibe as well—apps like Slack and Messenger (the mobile version of Facebook messenger), which seem to be gaining more and more traction into our workflows and communication.

Danny Schreiber's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Wunderground – Weather Underground: forecasts, radar, and alerts
  • Dark Sky – Hyperlocal weather reports and down-to-the-minute weather updates

6. Anum Hussain, @anum


Anum’s phone has just the essentials, plus enough whitespace for a motivating message to help keep things on track. (What’s more motivating than a Beyonce nudge!) There’re more apps on page two.

Anum Hussain's home screen

7. Belle Beth Cooper, @BelleBCooper

HelloCode, Exist.io, and Ghost

Belle’s phone is one of the most unique ones on the list. She used a jailbreak to get this fresh look, and she’s got a lot of cool apps to go with it. Here they are, row-by-row:

  • Settings, Slack, Momentum
  • App Store, Clever Deck, Duolingo
  • Watch, Word Streak With Friends, Overcast
  • Tweetbot, Unread, Exist for iOS
  • Dock: Spark, Safari, Telegram

(More below.)

Belle Beth Cooper's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Momentum – A habit tracker for helping set daily routines
  • Clever Deck – A flashcard app (Belle’s using it to learn French)
  • Duolingo – Language-learning app
  • Apple Watch – Official app for the Apple Watch
  • Word Streak With Friends – Word search game
  • Overcast – Podcast app for finding and listening
  • Unread – RSS reader
  • Exist – The iOS app for Belle’s startup, a cool quantified self tool
  • Spark – An email client by Readdle

8. Paul Jarvis, @pjrvs

Creativeclass.io and pjrvs.com

Paul’s phone has a lot of great, essential apps—and just the one page, too, with all the extras grouped into a folder. It’s cool to see a peek at some mobile workflows here also, with both a writing app (iA Writer) and an email marketing app (MailChimp) on the homescreen.

Paul Jarvis's home screen

Notable apps:

  • iA Writer – Digital writing app
  • Clear – To-do and reminders app
  • Nest – Smarthome device controls (temperature, security, etc.)

9. Greg Ciotti, @GregoryCiotti


Greg gets a lot of great use out of Trello for editorial calendar and marketing plans, Abacus for tracking expenses, and Simplenote for collecting thoughts and ideas as they come.

Greg Ciotti's home screen

Notable apps:

  • PNC Mobile – Online banking
  • Abacus – Expense tracking
  • Wunderlist – To-do lists
  • Simplenote – For keeping notes, lists, ideas, et.

10. Mark Macdonald, @mark_macdonald


Mark’s got a great bunch of social media apps on his homescreen (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat) and is one of several on this list to have Snapchat on page one.

Mark Macdonald's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Cleartune – Chromatic tune for tuning instruments with an iPhone
  • Pushbullet – Messaging app for messages, photos, songs, links, etc.
  • Alien Blue – Official Reddit client
  • Shopify POS – Point-of-sale app for selling with Shopify
  • Shopify – Shopify app for managing your online store

11. Maizie Simpson, @maizie_simpson


Like Mark (above), Maizie is one of the few on this list to have Reddit on the homescreen, along with a handful of other social media apps: Facebook (and Messenger), Twitter, and Instagram.

Maizie Simpson's home screen

Notable apps:

  • NPR One – NPR shows and podcasts app
  • Asana – Task and project tracking

12. Jimmy Daly, @jimmy_daly

Freelance writer and Vero editor

It’s neat to see the different ways that Jimmy takes notes here, using Evernote, Simplenote, and Jotbox—all of which are useful note-taking apps with their own unique features.

Jimmy Daly's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Fantastical – Calendar app
  • Jotbox – Take notes, send to your inbox

13. Janet Choi, @lethargian


Janet’s phone is the first on the list to have WhatsApp on the homescreen, and the first to have a game—Threes—among the most readily available apps (great choice!).

Janet Choi's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Threes – Puzzle game about matching numbers

14. Brian Dean, @Backlinko


The inbox count (16,000!) is fascinating, and Brian’s phone is one of the few to have Passbook/Wallet and TripAdvisor on the homescreen.

Brian Dean's Homescreen

Notable apps:

  • Passbook/Wallet – Repository for tickets, cards, coupons, and passes
  • TripAdvisor – Travel app
  • Seconds Pro – Timer for interval training, circuit training, and fitness workouts

15. Dan Norris, @thedannorris

WP Curve

One neat theme of Dan’s phone is all the different ways to message. Messages, Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, blab, Slack, and Kik are all messaging apps in one form or another that help Dan keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues.

Dan Norris's home screen

Notable apps:

  • 6 Seconds – Free radio streaming
  • Kik – Chat and messaging app
  • blab – Live video conversations
  • WeChat – Messaging app
  • Rewardle – Punch card / loyalty card alternative
  • Gold Coast – Surf reports
  • GoMoney AU – Online banking

16. Dan Levy, @danjl


Some neat audio apps appear on Dan’s homescreen—GarageBand for making music, Downcast for downloading and listening to podcasts, and POP Montreal for getting music info.

Dan Levy's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Sleep Better – Sleep tracker, smart alarm
  • POP Montreal – Music festival info
  • Downcast – Download and listen to podcasts

17. Peg Fitzpatrick, @PegFitzpatrick

Social media author and expert

Like some others here, Peg has her social media apps mostly bundled into a folder with just a special Facebook app getting a spot on its own.

Peg Fitzpatrick's home screen

Notable apps:

18. Ginny Soskey,@gsosk


Ginny’s phone has some fun folders for things like Games (Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, Tetris, Dots) and Wedding (Pinterest, the Knot), along with some neat, unique additions—for instance, Yahoo Fantasy, UP (a favorite of the Buffer team’s too), and the first on the list with Google’s new Inbox app.

Ginny Soskey homescreen

Notable apps:

19. Laura Roeder, @lkr

LKR, Meet Edgar

Along with Rand Fishkin, Laura is the only other Android user on the list here. She purposefully keeps her phone a bit bare, reserving it for just the essentials (and keeping as much work as possible on the desktop).

Laura Roeder homescreen

Notable apps:

20. Garrett Moon, @garrett_moon


Like Demian’s inclusion of NFL apps, Garrett shows his love for baseball with the MLB app on the homescreen (always neat to see people’s passions represented in that way). Along with MLB, Garrett’s phone has a lot of other unique and interesting apps, including one of the few phones with Netflix up front.

Garrett Moon's homescreen

Notable apps:

  • Feedly – RSS reader
  • Yahoo News Digest – News and top stories
  • Remote – Control for your iTunes library and iTunes radio
  • MLB At Bat – Video, scores, and news for Major League Baseball
  • Sleep Cycle – Intelligent alarm clock and sleep tracker
  • 1Password – Password management
  • Netflix
  • Vyrso – Christian ebooks and Bible references
  • Boxer – Email management
  • Stripe – Track and manage Stripe payments

21. David Mizne, @davidmizne


A few apps that stand out to me on David’s phone here are the multiple ways to call and video chat with Facetime, Skype, and Zoom.

David Mizne's homescreen

Notable apps:

  • 15Five – Employee engagement tool (David’s company)
  • Pandora – Free music and radio
  • GasBuddy – Find cheap gas prices
  • Zoom – Video chats

22. David Fallarme, @davelocity

Referral Candy, GrowthHero.net

There’ve been lots of neat to-do apps on the list here so far. David’s go-to is Todoist, a favorite of many on the Buffer team as well.

David Fallarme homescreen

Notable apps:

  • Todoist – To-do list and task manager

The Buffer team

Kevan, @kevanlee

I get a lot of great use out of my smartphone as a notification center: I get buzzed for each Hipchat message by the team and can then hop on the computer to check things out. I run the phone off of Wifi around the house mainly, and it’s a great companion on team retreats for staying connected with teammates.

Kevan Lee's home screen

Notable apps:

  • Tumblr – I love browsing here for entertainment (I follow a lot of funny dog blogs)
  • Vine – For taking quick video of the family
  • Buffer – For managing my social media profiles in a pinch
  • Soundcloud – For listening to podcasts (I love that I can stream, not download)

Courtney, @courtneyseiter

Courtney’s got a great collection of social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, a full Instagram folder, and Periscope even. There’s a folder for Buffer things also—some of the awesome tools we use like Trello, Hackpad, WordPress, etc. And knowing a bit about the team’s focus on personal improvements, it’s fun to see apps for language learning, health, and meditation, too!


Notable apps:

  • Songza – Free songs and playlists
  • Headspace – Meditation app
  • Duolingo – Language learning app
  • Rdio – Music streaming service


If you’re up for sharing, it’d be so neat to see your homescreen too!

Feel free to share the screen here below in the comments, along with any favorite apps that fit with your workflow. I’d be so excited to learn from you!

(To take a screenshot of your iPhone screen, press Power + Home. To take a screenshot of your Android screen, press Power + Volume Down.)

And if you’ve got any questions about the apps or homescreens here, feel free to drop us a note in the comments. It’d be great to chat apps with you.

Image sources: Pablo, IconFinder, Unsplash

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