Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mobile Thing 5 - Notetaking

I had downloaded Springpad previously and added a couple of notebooks by others (namely my organizing hero, Peter Walsh) but hadn't really had time to do much with it. So now I've added the app to my phone and iPad, pinned a craft I want to try this summer and added a To Do list for this weekend. I like that the list feature has checkboxes so I can see progress on the list.

I tried Remember the Milk briefly in one of the other 23 Things series, and I have a friend who uses it quite a lot. My favorite notetaking app is Evernote, which I have on my phone, iPad, computer at home and two computers at work. I use it *all the time.* I LOVE Evernote. I love that it syncs across all my devices. So to have Springpad described as what results if Evernote and Pinterest had a baby certainly attracted my attention.

And here's my dilemma: I have a notetaking app I like and use regularly. I use Pinterest quite a lot as well (I have a ton of pins in lots of categories). How many apps do I need that do kinda the same things??? When I first got my iPhone, I started using its native Notes app. Then I got Evernote - but didn't transfer my previous notes (seriously, who has time?). So now there's Springpad. Do I just go on from here using Springpad? Then I have to remember which app has a note I'm looking for. Do I spend a ton of time recreating notes/pins in Springpad? Seems an inefficient use of time for an app that's trying to increase efficiency. I do love technology, but how often to update/change my habits is a question.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mobile Thing 4 - Keeping Up

Ahhh....keeping up. I can't keep up with anything these days!

I've used a blog reader since the initial 23 Things, and love it (but can't keep up with all the great blogs I've found...). Bloglines is my reader of choice.

And I've had Flipboard on my iPad for quite a while but haven't used it much. It seems to me that I had it linked to my Facebook account - and it was kinda weird to read Facebook content in that format - but things must have gotten re-set somehow because when I was just now looking at Flipboard, there wasn't any personalized content. I've added several interest areas, the M Word blog (which I also have in Bloglines) and linked my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I think the content presentation may take a little getting used to - it's just not the way I usually read things online. All of this is habit, and if I can make using Flipboard a habit and reading this content, then it will be a useful tool.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mobile Thing 3 - Utilities

I've tried several QR scanner apps over the past few years - one worked great in my office but wouldn't scan anything in real life. One worked well - it may have been Red Laser - but has somehow disappeared from my phone. So I've re-downloaded it and will be glad to have it back. I don't use it often, but when you need it, you need it!

I've used QR codes at my library for several years. We've added them to posters for programs, and they take users to the webpage with more details about the events. For the last 2 or 3 years I've included one on the cover of our One Book, One Community brochure, again linking to the webpage. I saw a suggestion on a listserv for posting a QR code next to the Chilton manuals which would then take the patron to the Chilton database. I like that idea -  need to pass it on to our databases librarian!

I also downloaded Google Search, onto both my phone and my iPad. I think Google Goggles will prove to be useful, but in my limited test in my office, it didn't find many results. I did scan a book's barcode so I could see what the results will be, and this would have a lot of use when traveling or shopping. (Hmmm....maybe I need to travel. Or go shopping! All in the name of 23 Things research...) I like a lot of the Google apps/services, so it'll be great to have them all aggregated in one spot.

And I downloaded the WiFi Finder. Undoubtedly useful. Oh, wait. I already had that one!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 2

I've had my iPad for about a year and a half, but there were things I didn't know in this Thing.

Things I didn't know:
- How to close a running app. I didn't realize that apps remained running after I closed them. And when I used this method, it looks like apps I haven't used in months were still technically "running"!

- how to pause an installing app so that another one "behind" it in the update list could be installed, perhaps more quickly or because you need it sooner.

- how to add multiple spaces by tapping the space bar with multiple fingers

- how to type special characters (or what I'd call adding diacritics) by holding down a key and swiping the new character

- how to quickly move between the alphabet and number keyboards if you only need one of the other characters

- to add emoji characters

- adding keyboard shortcuts for frequently used phrases

- how to undo/redo actions by shaking

- splitting and merging the keyboard

- how to take a screenshot

- some of the bookmarks info

- add a web clip icon to the home screen for frequently-accessed websites. This could be very useful! I've usually left my frequently used websites open in tabs in Safari, but will try this.

- Safari Reader. I've seen the button but not tried it.

Things I did know:
- seeing open apps (which I had thought were just the last apps I'd used, rather than "running" apps...) and switching between them on the bottom multitasking bar.

- how to install and remove apps

- how to create folders (and label them) to organize similar kinds of apps

- how to rearrange icons

- how to put a period at the end of a sentence/word by double tapping the space bar

- how to cut, copy and paste

- how to select wallpapers (I use this a lot!)

- notification center

- using the built-in dictionary

- some of the bookmarks info

- tabbed browsing

- setting up email accounts

- changing mail signatures

- sending instant messages (free between iOs devices!)

- using the calendar for reminders and appointments. I have my calendars and contacts sync between the iPad, iPhone, and home and work computers. Invaluable!!

Unfortunately, the free downloadable iPad User Guide isn't available for my not-yet-upgraded-to-iOs-7 device, so I'll have to hold off on that a bit. But I've learned a few things from this article that should make my iPad more useful. I should also read the iPhone article...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 1

I was surprised to see the date on my last post - 2009! There are so very many "things" available - both new since '09 and ones that I haven't fully taken advantage of that were around then. So for this round of Things, I'm hoping to feel more current and have a fuller understanding of the social media/productivity/online tools people are using.

I'm hoping that one of the Things will be a way to add more time to a day....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thing 47 - Evaluation

When I think back about this second round of Things, my impressions are that it was not as useful to me as the first round. Then I looked at the list in the evaluation and realized that there are indeed things that I'm going to keep on using. I'm eager to work some more with the screencasting tools and add some tutorials to my library's website.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about making the library website a more interactive experience for patrons, which is a way libraries can remain relevant and appeal to younger users (who are, of course, the future taxpaying supporters of a library).

I'd love to see more programs similar to this as web-based tools and apps continue to evolve. I want to go back and review all the different kinds of available tools from all 46 Things. I've urged a bunch of people to participate, even if they don't do it "for credit."

Thanks very much to everyone who worked on putting all 46 Things together!

Thing 46 - WebJunction

Investigating WebJunction has been on my To Do/Don't Forget list for a long time, so I was glad for an opportunity to explore this site. I was particularly impressed with the course offerings - I don't think I realized they were available. Despite the fact, however, that I was logged in and had clicked in the Remember Me box, the courses kept coming up with a charge. I tried logging out and back in and it was the same. So that was a little disappointing. I'll try it again another time when I may be able to actually do one of the courses.

The groups show potential but there doesn't seem to be a lot of action yet. I was hoping to find a list of groups, and finally did. It's interesting that many of them are not limited to MN libraries.

I found the options listed under some of the top tabs (Technology, Library Services, etc.) to be worth exploring in more depth. It would be nice to find a group for sharing ideas for the summer reading programs or for Teen Read Week. Those kinds of hints/suggestions/ideas would be pretty quick to post and useful for a lot of people.

I just tried registering for a course again and followed the "green box instructions" on the courses page step by step.....and it still wants me to pay $40 with a credit card.

My final take on this is that it's a very nice site with a lot of potential if more people would be using it.