Monday, August 20, 2012

iPad for the On-the-Go Writer

I just returned from a conference about a hot enterprise technology where I used my iPad to soak up notes, images, video interviews and BROLL, and organize them for future use. I will use the notes and interviews as fodder for stories for the next 6 months. No laptop on this trip.  I used an application called Noteshelf along with the iPad's native photo and video apps.

I took 39 pages of notes. Here’s a page of my Noteshelf notes:

I wrote notes with a rocking Bamboo stylus, snapped pictures of speaker's slides, cropped them, and pulled them into my notes. This all happened so quickly I never lost track of the presentation. 

The notes are easily searchable in the Noteshelf app (see below) and I can export them to Evernote, so when I'm writing a story three months down the road I won't be wondering where I stashed my notes.

The image above shows how Noteshelf allows you to flip through the pages of your notebook. I color code the names of speakers or interviewees so I can easily spot them as I flip through the notebook. The app also allows you to tag and search, but I like this more visual search function.

I tried several other note-taking apps before I found Noteshelf, including Notes Plus and Penultimate. Noteshelf seemed easiest to write on:  You can rest your hand on the screen, it's good a good pen selection, the interface for adding images and text from other sources is simple.  One thing is doesn't have is a way to convert your handwriting to text.

If you’re writing in a standard paper notebook, I would strongly suggest you upgrade to the iPad with Noteshelf.

Writers might also check out the new Galaxy Note 10.1-inch tablet because this kind of note taking and collaboration is built in to the device's native software.

In a future post I will discuss my experience creating and publishing on the iPad.  For now, this is being written on my laptop.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pointless, Incessant Barking

This cartoon speaks to why I’ve begun blogging again.  

It goes like this, when you blog about a completed project have to encapsulate it, describe it, explain it, and learn from it. Otherwise you just push projects out the door and move on. As my old ad agency boss used to say, “fire and forget.”

I don’t want to forget, I want to learn. Otherwise, as the cartoon suggests, I’m left with incessant barking.