Saturday, March 9, 2013

Smartphone Assistant, Admin, or Annoying Pop-up

If you have a smartphone today there are many apps that can help you get you life in order – or at least that is the premise of what they say. I am not quite sure that anyone can really help me but I keep trying.

Today with the advent of the smartphone our email goes with us everywhere and that does not matter what device or OS you are using, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, as well as others. Along with email is our calendar, SMS or text messaging, and then numerous note taking apps.

With Google Now I know how long it is to get back to my home and what the weather is outside as well as anything else I may need to know on an instant notice.

I personally have tried a number of the note taking methods starting with Microsoft’s OneNote. At the time (2003) I thought this was the best of the best and away went the yellow legal pad. A number of years later, while trying to figure out a successful method of having my notes everywhere; desktop, laptop, I discovered Evernote. At the time OneNote did not make the leap so I ventured out. It took awhile but I eventually succumbed to the pull of Evernote and OneNote went away.

Once the smartphone made it’s inroad into my life Evernote was right there.  Now I have my notes everywhere I want them. I am now a premium member of the Evernote tribe of users. It’s FREE however there are advantages to paying the $5.00/fee to be a Premium member. Membership has it’s privileges. 

Just recently I used Evernote and Skitch (an Evernote product that allows annotating photo’s as well as other things) to take a picture of a sink, show the dimensions, and make a note so that when I was in the local DYI store I could pull out my phone and get the information I needed.


While in the store we found some a fixture of interest and wanted to be able to review it later. With my phone and Evernote I took a picture and added it to a Bathroom notebook in the Home ‘stack’ in Evernote.


I do still carry a tape measure in my pocket but one day I suspect there will be an app that will allow me to move the phone across a small distance like the top of the sink and it will record the exact dimension. Now wouldn’t that be cool. I do have a leveling app however I do not carry my smartphone in the toolbox.

Having said all of the above I am still looking for “scrap paper” type of note taking tool for my phone. One that is quick and a throwaway. I am a prolific note taker and since I have traded in my pen/pencil for a stylus I want something that I can scribble on and go back to later. If important I can send it up to Evernote.

I have been using AK Notepad (by Catch) for just that but I keep looking. AK Notepad is available at Google Play.

This morning at Computerworld  there was a list of 10 free Android apps for your to-do list. Now another quest to find the best of the best.

If there is a problem with my note taking it is how does one successfully clean the capacitive rubber tip of the stylus? They collect the dirt from the phone or tablet and then start sticking rather than flowing nicely over the surface. On the other had you can fine all the stylus’s you want at Amazon for prices that make you wonder why clean it. Let’s see; I found 6 for $8.99 or 9 for $8.99. At a dollar apiece do we want to clean them? I like the 6 as they are by The Friendly Swede. Why not, it’s Saturday. So I placed the order and shared it on Facebook. Now the world knows and it’s true because it’s on the Internet.

I think I need more coffee.

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