Life could be easier...

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The PIM group is relaunching the Life Could Be Easier series, this time featuring users of tablets and other devices. Our first post is from Jon Jeffryes, who was awarded an iPad in November's Emerging Tech Expo Device Competition.

Here's a quick overview of the Apps that I've found most useful since getting a work iPad in January 2013. I'll admit I started out skeptical about how useful an iPad could be in day-to-day work and have found myself pleasantly surprised.

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EndNote
I'm like contractually obliged to mention the EndNote app, since the reason I got the iPad was to offer EndNote Support. I've got to admit it's a pretty nice app...it allows the user to download the citations from their EndNote Web account. You can also connect to Dropbox (if you have the app on your tablet) to connect full text to citations. Once you've got the pdf in the EndNote app you can annotate the pdf in the app itself (it allows highlighting and writing (with your finger or a stylus) directly onto the pdf). It's one of the pricier apps (at least for me)...but the functionality and connection to EndNote Web makes this a pretty powerful tool for mobile access to citations. The one caveat that might be of interest to users is that in the Settings the default is set to on for "Send Anonymous Usage Data" -- that might not be popular.

User feedback in the app store has been mixed, with issues on sync-ing citations and annotations.

Since I was looking ThomsonReuters products I also downloaded

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RefScan
This app is supposed to let you take a photo an article's DOI with your phone and then search Web of Science for the citation information (which you could then export to EndNote Web and download to your iPad).

As of yet I haven't been able to have it work successfully. So not something I use a lot, but I have tested it. If someone has got it work I'd love to learn what I'm doing wrong!

My favorite thing to use the iPad for professional reading. To that end I've downloaded

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Dropbox

...which everyone already knows and loves. I store the pdfs there and then open them in

iAnnotate.png

iAnnotate PDF

Reading pdfs on an iPad is so much more pleasant than reading paper (I never thought I'd enjoy the electronic version of anything more)...but my usual practice was to carry multiple printed pdfs around in my bag for months and months and they'd get coffee stained or ripped up. Now I have a bunch in DropBox and can read them in pristine condition. The annotation features in iAnnotate are much more advanced than those available in EndNote -- multiple color highlighting options, typing notes, etc.. Another nice thing for all those folks wishing they had a standing desk is that with the tablet you can stand up and read them.

and finally my unexpected gem is

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iNapkin2

I'm a meeting doodler and that has always been my least favorite aspect of laptop notetaking. This app provide a screen that looks like a napkin and you can doodle your thought processes to your heart's content during meetings. You can also type in notes, draw diagrams, etc.

I've also found the iPad to be useful during informal presentations...during two recent poster presentations I used my iPad to supplement the presentation by taking people to live examples on the Internet I use

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Chrome

to access the Internet.

I'm also still interested in exploring the possibilities of project management using

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Corkulous Pro

I'm hoping to use it for stickies and other reminders to have a virtual, transportable bulletin board. I just haven't gotten around to integrating it into my workflow yet.

And if you love dictionaries you can't beat

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I downloaded this after Peter Solokowski's speech in Walter Library and it's wonderful...a quick search that feels more reliable then my old Googling technique to find definitions. It also has a "word-of-the-day" feature that I quite enjoy! It fits perfectly in my tablet milieu (today's word of the day!) It also allows you to favorite definitions for easy access and tracks your "recent lookups".


1 Comment

Great list, Jon! I'm psyched to try some of these things out. Thanks for sharing! - Jerilyn

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jan Fransen published on April 19, 2013 10:03 AM.

ACS ChemWorx: A New Research Management Tool was the previous entry in this blog.

Life could be easier...with a phablet! is the next entry in this blog.

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