iPad App Reviews 3: Productivity

A 13 Part Series on Free Apps for your iPad from GagenGirls.com

Ahh, day number three of iPad apps reviews.  So far I’m enjoying it, how about you?

3. Productivity: Evernote, Diigo, and Storify

I use my iPad for legit things, not just fooling around on social networking and games (though if I’m being honest, it’s used a lot for that stuff, too).  Not only do I have a wedding coming up, but I’m also starting teacher’s college in the fall.  My iPad is now organizing my entire life, collecting all my thoughts, and keeping track of the important stuff (and my high scores, but shh).

Evernote is fantastic.  This app gives me a place to jot down my ideas and keep everything totally organized.  I’ve created various notebooks to keep everything straight,which has been so handy for wedding planning.  Lately I’ve been working on figuring out and writing our ceremony, including collecting a little stash of readings to choose from, and Evernote ishelping me stay sane.  It was especially handy just yesterday – we met with our officiant, and I could easily pull up my notes for him to peruse.  It’s also going to be so handy for school – it can house my lecture notes, all the information I need for my classroom placements, and research for my papers.  Best part: Evernote allows you to snap photos of anything you need, so integrating pictures into my notes and research will be a snap!  (Also going to be super handy for keeping track of potential bridesmaids dresses, one of the next things on my crazy long wedding to-do list!)

Evernote App Review, from a 13 part series by GagenGirls.com

For me, Diigo and Storify go together.  I had heard amazing things about using Storify to create great blog posts with curated content (which P.S. I’ve done already – head over to Mr Anderson’s post about this year’s MLB All-Star Game to see the final product).  While doing my research about Storify and how to use it for blogging, I came across this amazing article  that gives more of a step-by-step than a review (so if you’re interested in learning how to use Storify for yourself, I suggest you give that a read, it’s wonderful).  Which is how I learned about Diigo – a social bookmarking tool.

Diigo App Review, from a 13 part series by GagenGirls.com

All I had to do was download the app and the bookmarklet for Safari, and then I could highlight, bookmark, and make notes on interesting content from the internet.  This was super helpful for pulling in content for Mr Anderson’s post, and will be amazing for any research and lesson plans I need to compile for teacher’s college.  Once the websites have been highlighted and saved, I can go to the Diigo app and easily view them in the library.  (It also includes a handy search function, in case my library starts getting really full.)  Then, using these websites and quotes that I collected, it was a snap to pull up Storify and use them, along with social media content, to jazz up Mr Anderson’s post.  That was my warm-up; now that I’m comfortable with Storify, I can use it for lots of things!  You can definitely expect a few Storify posts about the wedding!

Storify App Review, from a 13 part series by GagenGirls.com

To round out this post, I’m going to comment on the Mindmeister app.  I had heard it was tops in mind-mapping (though I don’t really know about any other mind-mapping apps), and so I downloaded it.  (If you don’t know anything about mind-mapping, it has a great Wikipedia page to get you started.  Mind-mapping really can be great for organizing your thoughts and figuring out the “big picture.”)  I use mind-mapping a lot for essay writing, especially if I’m trying to nail down a thesis topic or narrow down my talking points.  I was using Mindmeister to help with the writing of our ceremony, figure out what I needed to think about and how I wanted the final product to look.  However, just days after downloading the app and beginning to use it, it deleted all of my content.  Just poof, gone!  Very frustrating.  I looked around their website help page, and to be fair, there was a section on sending in “urgent enquiries” regarding lost data.  I probably could have done that and seen if they could recover anything.  But really, I was just so frustrated that it had happened, and I thought, “If it’s on their website like that, obviously this happens frequently and I’m not the only one who has lost something.”  Maybe it’s a minor issue, maybe it’s not.  Mindmeister was wonderful, and if you love mind-mapping and want to give the app a try, maybe it will work for you (or you’ll have the patience to deal with the situation if something does go wrong).  As for me, it was just as convenient for me to organize my wedding ceremony info in Evernote, but if anyone does find a different mind-mapping app they would recommend, I’d love to give it a try!

I hope these apps are helpful for you guys!  Come back tomorrow for my review of eReaders!  Bye, y’all!

– Sam

If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can catch up here:

Day One:  Social Media and Etsy

Day Two:  News