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Archive for February, 2014

Oh, Pinterest. Here I am again, using you. I’ve quit you before–to no avail, APPARENTLY.

I fully understand the appeal of Pinterest, and while I enjoy browsing it from time to time, it’s just not for me. I signed up originally back in the day when you had to be vetted before they let you into their playground, and I made a few anemic boards. (They’re still there, by the way, and just as pathetic as ever.) But for me, this is sort of the same thing as RSS feeds, just with more pictures. It’s not how I consume my internet cookies.

There are a million ways that libraries could use this, however. You could make boards for themed books displays, or for read-a-likes, or for award winners/nominees, or for staff picks, or for book group titles, or for banned books, or for new releases, or for titles related to library programming…the boards are basically only limited by the imagination of the people putting them together. And it’s free, and it takes only a few minutes to create, and can be easily linked to. So really, there’s no reason for libraries NOT to be using this!

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Since I already have a Drive account, I chose to use Quickoffice. With a few small exceptions, Word, Power Point, and Excel look and function the way that they do on my desktop, and that’s a big plus–if I’m going to go to the bother of fiddling with something like this on my tablet, I don’t want to have to learn a whole new system for something I already know how to do. And since I can also link to my Drive account, it’s even more convenient.

Another app I used for this is TinyScan. This app allows you to use your tablet or phone to take pictures of documents, and then turns them into PDFs. Super convenient if you’re out and about and need to quickly send something to someone in a format that they can use!

MLA

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Boom!

Is this a trend? Did I miss a memo? Are shattered pink roses The Next Big Thing?

Before We Met

January 2014

The Husband's Secret

June 2013

Perfect

January 2014

These are all recent books, published within six months of each other. Three different publishers, one basic idea. What gives???

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I don’t use my tablet very much for note taking, but that’s mostly due to my own innate laziness combined with my poor typing skills–coincidentally, that’s why I don’t live-tweet conferences or presentations either. I’m also a terrible speller. But all of that aside, I recognize that this is a feature of my device I ought to be making better use of. I’m not quite sure that the apps I chose were the best ones to help me on this path, but I certainly don’t despise them.

Springpad:
I like that there are a good variety of pre-fab notebooks to choose from, and I also like that there’s a notebook you can use if what you need to record doesn’t fit neatly into one of the existing categories. I don’t think that I’ll use every category, but I do like that there are so many options. The recipe notebook, for example, lets me search for a recipe over the internet, and then save the recipe and create a shopping list. That’s very handy. I’m not sure how much I’ll use this for work, but I did set up a Finish 23 Mobile Things notebook in Tasks.

Bamboo Paper:
This I really like, and I think am much more likely to actually use. I would want to get a stylus, since finger writing gets tedious very quickly. But the fact that you can import photos into your notebook, mark them up, and then email that is great. I am also childishly pleased that I can choose what color my notebook is; if I have several, I can create some sort of color-coded system so that I know at a glance what is in them. I don’t know if the pen and notebook add-ons are worth the money, but the basic package is definitely something I’ll keep and use.

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Oh, RSS. Much like bears don’t dig on dancing, I don’t dig on RSS. I just don’t dig it.

Flipboard:
I don’t like this at all. I don’t like the need to make it mimic a magazine, I don’t like the way the content is pulled from other sites, I don’t like the lack of control I have over what I see, I don’t like the lame search feature, I don’t like it at all. Ugh, do not want.

Zite:
I like the look of Zite’s layout, and I appreciate that I can upvote/downvote articles. It’s easier to customize, but I don’t like that I can’t easily track things back down if I forgot to favorite them. I suppose this is begrudgingly the winner.

This is just not how I consume media, so these Things really aren’t going to be anything I keep or use professionally. In fact, I can’t wait to delete them. Going, going, GONE!!

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I downloaded two Things for this Thing, iHome Sleep and Wi-Fi Finder. (I have a different QR scanner that I use, and while I already have the Google Search app, I rarely use it.)

iHome Sleep:
This, I think, I will keep. I have an iHome stereo thingy, so I might even create an account with them and download the app on my phone so I can try using that for my alarm. It works with my device’s alarm, and it keeps track of when I go to bed and get up, and is generally ok. Basically it has one of my favorite features of FitBit without requiring me to buy a new FitBit. So that’s a win. Plus, if I use my phone with the stereo, it will make sure my phone is charged every morning. Double win.

Wi-Fi Finder:
This I will probably keep, but I will be wary of it. Why am I wary? Well, it’s telling me that there’s free wi-fi at the Barnes & Noble at Brookdale Center. The only problem is that that Barnes & Noble closed in June of 2009, and Brookdale Center was demolished in the summer of 2011. And is now a Wal-Mart. So, yeah. It also tells me that a coffee shop not too far from my house has free wi-fi…but it’s using the name of the coffee shop that was there three and a half years ago, and is since a different coffee shop. You see why I hesitate? But in a pinch, in a place I’m not familiar with, it could be handy.

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