Back in the dark depths of time when I originally started this blog, I used to blog about new ‘web 2.0’ services that made my life easier. These days it is all about ‘apps’ as we move to an ever more mobile existence, so I thought would write briefly (and very superficially) on a few things that have changed the way I work (in the office and at home) over the past 12 months, things that have (for the most past) made me more productive and (whilst not paperless) also meaning I print/keep less paper.
I have always been a fan of Evernote, ever since I first downloaded it to my PC back in 2007, but I’ll admit that it has only really been in the last couple of years when I really started to use it regularly and only this year that it has become the place EVERYTHING goes. I now use Evernote for something every day. I love the fact you can use it for any kind of note – grocery list, quick reminders, notes for a review, use as substitute for Word. I also like that you can take photos of hard copy documents and it will save them in searchable format. On this latter point you can also use third party apps like Cam Scanner to create searchable PDFs that can be saved into Evernote too. Everclip for phone and desktop/browser lets you easily clip web content etc and save it into Evernote (this is great when trying to plan a holiday)
As Evernote is so important I use a number of other things that work with it to make the most of it.
Kustom Note http://kustomnote.com/
Winner of Evernote’s Silver Devcup winner of 2012, made for those people, who constantly create notes using the same structure again and again. It allows you to create templates for those notes with defined fields, tags, folder etc. I use this for create templates to use / save into Evernote.
For example, for work I have a Simple tasks related note to capture what I have done during the day (think of it as a v simple time sheet). I have templates for making notes and writing my Restaurant and Film reviews for Law&More, one for notes for my album reviews on the CTTB music podcast, and one for songwriting and recording notes. It is a great little product.
Evernote Hello http://evernote.com/hello/
Scan business cards – personal (and for things like restaurants and taxis etc). Just use your phone’s camera and the resulting image is saved into Evernote and the contact information is added to your phone’s contact list.
Mentioned above. This is a great way to digitize documents and create searchable PDF/JPEG output. You can keep it on the Cam Scanner system or (again) export to Evernote.
Reading a book? Magazine, Newspaper? Wish you could do the equivalent of user a highlighter pen on parts of what you are reading without marking to original content? Enter a title name, take a camera picture of the content and then highlight the text by clicking where you want to start and finish and the app will turn this into a readable (exportable) note – there are some errors in accuracy, but on the whole it is very good.
Another thing that had been around a couple of years until I ‘discovered’ it this year. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a simple idea that tries to connect parts of your online world up via what it calls ‘recipes’. What you do is activate your various accounts on the site and then get them to interact automatically. Thus a ‘trigger’ results in an ‘action’. For example. If you have a Facebook and a Twitter account, you can select a ‘recipe’ that means any time you change your profile photo on Facebook , it automatically changes on Twitter as well. Or anytime someone tags you in a photo in Facebook you can have a copy of that photo sent to DropBox or Evernote etc. Maybe you just want to back-up or create parallel records for things – Any time you check-in on FourSquare you could send that record, including map, to a folder in Evernote. It is a brilliant service.
This is a phone tasks app that I have come to like. It sports a dial like interface to add tasks to which I happen to like (and an abilty to switch between an overview of all your tasks under different slices in the dial, and a day hour by hour view is you have a LOT of to-dos.
This is a lovely calendar app which is you link it up to google calendar, Facebook, Foursquare, Linkedin etc will populate your calendar with birthday information, check-ins, etc. Also has a built in weather tool that displays the weather for the day ahead too.
Like Instagram but not owned by Facebook. A great photo sharing app/service.