at the end of my wrist

I was subbing at the middle school, and it was early in the day when an administrator went by and had me put away my iphone…which i did…no big deal..and i can see the goal is to lead by example..because 99% of the student devices are used for texting and accessing youtube videos.  In the middle grades it’s an abberation in the high school it’s the norm – jsut TRY to get them to put away their phones.   Regardless, if in another situtation, one where say texting or youtube videos were the verbotten behavior,  I would have given a bit of an argumemt….i nearly never watch videos on my phone.

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In the last few years I have had the iphone I have worked really hard to make it a useful TOOL and not just a toy.   It is for that reason I still rationalize paying the $70 a month phone bill, which includes the 300mb dataplan, which i have from time to time raise to the 3Gb $99 a month level when i sub a lot and like to get my email during the day.  I really wish i had the funds to go the net level  at $150 a month I can use the kindle to access the iphone’s hotspot…but i digress.

This post is  about a few of the tools I have been using to excess lately.  Where if i were challenged again to put away my phone for philosophical reasons I would give great debate and have to school people about what your phone CAN do besides let you watch kittens and sloths cause humans to wee themselves.

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For this post we will limit it to native apps, though there are a lot of lovely apps to access cloud memory. One of my favorite everyday apps is AwesomeNotes which has gotten much more maleable with every release. Ideally it works closest to my favorite desktop apps, similar to a stripped down Evernote, think of it as an assemblage of note collections – and the notes can hold images and check lists, dates, alarms, etc.. It will also sync these with evernote and google docs, and or mail the notes. The fact that it is a native app, contained in the phone, makes it quicker and easier to use than Evernote, since Evernote for a mobile device tries to sync before you can use it. Awesome note is quick and easy and i use it for all the stuff i just need to KNOW right away, Shopping lists, photos of something i need to find at the hardware store. a picture of a receipt or phone number. You can keep a journal or a diary with it, Sync with Google Calendar and make reminders etc. It’s a lovely invention, unfortunately doesn’t have an Android/Kindle version yet.

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Lately I have been using the phone not just as a datacollection device which it is superlative at, but as for data retrieval. These four apps rely heavily on the bar code scanner though you can add stuff directly without using the bar code thank good.

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Since I started stockpiling food, I started using the Home Food Storage app, which is ostensibly designed for people who take it MUCH  much more seriously than I do. I have no end of the world or survivalist goals. I’m just using it to augment my memory – which the older i get the more I need. It is quite flexible, though i am having a hard time figuring out how to delete something once i have created it. One of the features i insist on with an app like these is the export feature, what good is the data staying inside the phone? Home Foods Storage takes in inventory data and then generates lists and reports you can send yourself and print out. Especially if you want to keep minimums and make shopping lists or even just consume stuff before expiration dates.  I just can’t imagine having to remember all these things in my head.

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Dvd Profiler is a newish addition to the phone..back in the day when i had thousands of DVDs I had a very intricate inventory control program online, but that website folded and my heart wasn’t in reentering all that data…but since then I have unloaded a couple of thousand dvds.  i think i am down to 1100 maybe and i do intend to go down to fewer but i am hoping by next year this time to have replaced my TV with a flatscreen blueray appropriate as well as a blueray player which means i have to start figuring which dvds to keep which to replace and which to unload etc.  So I poked around and found the most recommended is DVD Profiler and started adding my titles to it.  It also has a desktop app and cloud storage etc..and a lot of features i find worthless..who lends their dvds so often that they need to keep a record of it? the few times i have lent a dvd i never got them back so why bother?   I tried a couple of others before this one, the barcode scanner needs to collect the ExACT edition for the collection.  Some of the others don’t have the appropriate data access for this.  Editions in my collection are chosen very specifically, so i’d like to keep track of that.  photo (6)

I added IBookshelf the other day, with a specific intention though I haven’t used it yet.   One of my goals this summer is to cull the book collection  yet again..there are a few items in my high value cabinet that i feel i can unload comfortably.  The books are something that i review on a quite regular basis, it is after all my job..or one of them.  I always say that real book dealers die with worthless collections since we have sold off all the items of high value,  but i have a habit of aquiring books and reshelving them wherever they fit and every so often i like to have a shake down and put stuff back where it fits.  So, having a little database of some of the stuff I want to keep will prevent me from REBUYING books i already own…yep..been there done that.  It also will help me replace some of the items i have sold off accidentally on purpose…not often i have sold off books i went looking for later, but it happens.

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StockControl took me a while to find, I had actually downloaded and tried running another app and it was dismal.   This one is actually exciting.  It allows you to have different groups of products, using the barcode scanner go directly to the item.  It also allows one to add fields to the records since obviously i have books and non books, so the  books need a few extra fields.  I dream of one day using a sales app with a database aspect, such as something from Intuit or quickbooks online, but i don’t do enough point of sales away from the desktop to warrant it..yet.    I don’t have barcodes for all my non book products, and that would make it much quicker to do an inventory and check stock levels.  I am using a free online barcode creating app to make stickers of barcodes i can attach to the shelves.  A couple of clever features,  are  the ability to have mulitple locations..which will let me track stock at libraries and stores if THAT ever happens, and it attaches the vendor contact info to the items….love it.  The more portable the better, I say.

Most of the other apps I use regular make it easier to collect data, like the scanning and photographing, and the rest access the internet directly so it takes as little time as possible so as to keep the minutes to a mininum.   The Kindle HD Fire has been taking up the slack on a lot  of other activities… like the other devices  i found you have to WORK at finding uses for it, otherwise they just linger in your bag until you find yourself waiting for an oil change and decide to play some sudoku on an device.  More later.

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