Monday, August 5, 2013

Evernote update - Reminders

Still waiting to try Evernote to organize your life?  Why?  Because it doesn't have a reminder system?  That excuse just recently went away for those of you still on the fence about a digital cloud document storage.  The ability to sit in a meeting, create a note, and simply click "reminder" on the iPad is a fabulous addition to the Evernote service.  Of course if you overutilize reminders this could become another "inbox." 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Organizing Evernote on IOS using MoveEver

Up until recently I have avoided organizing most of my notes in Evernote simply because I find myself using an IOS device (iPhone or iPad) most days and the Evernote app falls short.  The Evernote app requires far too many clicks and doesn't make it easy to change multiple file attributes.

Introducing...MoveEver.  I have to say that this app far exceeds my expectations and dare I say makes it a bit fun to organize notes and musings.  I have approximately 1600 notes in my inbox so I will be plugging away at them for several days.  With that said, I believe this program will accomplish my goal within 1/4 of the time the Evernote app might take.  If you haven't found MoveEver yet, I highly recommend you find it in the app store.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Can Skitch improve your damage billing process?

Thinking back to my days of living as a Residence Hall Director, I remember how difficult it was to decipher what RAs had scribbled onto the room condition report in order to appropriately bill students at the end of the year.  Arguments over ". . . that paint chip was there" or " . . .that drawing on the bedframe is from 1985" were common in the days of using a room condition report.

With tablets integrating more and and more into higher education, I wonder if the time has arrived to move towards a more graphical form of the room condition report with notes on photos as opposed to having a form.  While a perfect app hasn't been developed just yet, the ability to have students sign next to the photos they see at check-in would be more helpful than text attempting to describe quantity and quality of damages.

While a comprehensive app doesn't exist, an app does exist for taking photos and marking them up.  With the most recent update, I'm becoming a fan of Skitch.  The interface is user friendly and results are acceptable.  Above this post is a photo that I imported and marked up to show how Residence Life Professionals may utilize this tool as a means to improve their damage billing process.

I know that purchasing iPads to accomplish this task adds infrastructure costs.  However, I think the increased accuracy will help alleviate future concerns from parents and students int he damage billing process (most, not all).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Why do you need paper if you have an iPad?

At the time of typing this blog update, I've been traveling paper-free for the past 18 months.  While I continue to use a pen to sign the various paperwork that hits my desk, I haven't had any problems leaving the notepad and paper behind.  Even my use of Livescribe has reduced as I regularly grab my iPad on the way to meetings.  

I know that many people desire to be paper free. Unfortunately, many never get over the paper addiction   For readers that have no intention of giving up paper as a compliment to their iPad -I respect your freedom to do so.  However - for those that are struggling to kick the paper habit, I have a few ideas that may help 

1.  Always charge your iPad at night.  This is more of a habit that one needs to be in than a real concern for most users.  You need to start a habit of charging your iPad every night.  Even if it is close to a full charge, you need to plug it in.  If it's plugged in at night, both the iPad 2 and iPad 3 can go at least 8 hours using it constantly through meetings.  

2.  Use an external keyboard.  This is obviously a preference issue but I just don't believe its possible to  type as fast with the onboard keyboard as you can with an external.  On the rare day that I forget my external keyboard, I find myself operating at a much slower pace.  In terms of stylus usage, I think that has its place for drawing and signing documents but for business note taking it just doesn't seem to be as effective (plus it's too much like writing on paper).  This is my opinion and the path I took to evolving beyond pen and paper.

3.  Find a note-taking program you like.  I'll be the first to admit that out of the box, the iPad has limitations.  You need to find a note taking program that works for you.  I am an Evernote Evangelist.  No doubt about it.  However, that isn't the only program in town.  Do some research and try out other programs if Evernote doesn't seem to meet your needs.  

4.  Just carry your iPad - survive without paper.  This has been mentioned in other entries but it can't be overstated.  You can adjust to living without paper - you just have to start leaving it behind.  Apps continue to develop for the iPad.  Need to make a quick note?  Give Siri a try.  I've found the latest update to be much better at recognizing my voice. 

At this point, I can't call what I'm doing an experiment - I've fully adopted my iPad as my work solution.  I encourage others to consider doing the same.