Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thing seven: Content Saving & Sharing

I'll be honest, right off the bat I dreaded Thing 7. There are too many people I know that are so addicted and in love with Pinterest that it immediately turned me off to it.

I downloaded the app and decided I would give it a fair shot. It lasted a day on my device. When I did some searches to see how it could help me as a catalog librarian all I found were arts and crafts projects involving DDC. These were very creative and interesting looking projects, but how would they help a student find materials in the library catalog? From a technical services point of view, Pinterest does nothing to help me advance in my career or for that matter shine in it.

I could see how this app would be very helpful for librarians who work with displays or need to come up with ideas to get people in the library. There are a lot of creative people out there and Pinterest gives them a way to share those ideas with the world.

The app itself was easy to navigate through and I didn't find the user design to be complicated or hard to understand. This app will never be for me, but I can see its use in the library world.
Thing six: Creating and Editing Docs

I know everyone feels like technology is changing rapidly every day and there is always something new and different to be had. This is true, but I don't feel like it is as rapid as it once was. I feel the app I used for Thing 6, Quickoffice in a way set me back.

I downloaded CloudOn and tried connecting to my Google Drive account and I kept getting an error message. I quickly gave up on that app.

Quickoffice was already installed on my device since it is Google based so I used that. Once I figured out how to access my Drive I noticed right away that there were documents I could not open. They were normal Word and Excel documents with nothing fancy involved. It would have been nice for the app to tell me why they were unable to open these documents instead of just graying them out.

I went through and tried creating a document of each type to see the differences from the PC versions. Right away I could tell that I was very limited in what I could do. It felt like I had gone back to the first version of these programs. My selections were few and the flexibility I had come to understand and expect with these products was gone. It was not a pleasant experience.

The only way I could see myself using this program for anything work related would be if I had to change something very simple like the words on the page. If I had to do any kind of reformatting to the document, change a picture in a PowerPoint or background theme, there would be no way I could accomplish this.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thing five: Notetaking

My first pick when looking through these apps was to try Bamboo Paper. I am a quilter and I immediately thought of how I could design quilt blocks using this app. To my disappointment, this app is not compatible with my device.

I then moved on to Springpad. I enjoyed the idea of having different ways to organize the content I usually work with. There are different notebooks a person can select and have in Springpad. I chose to add the work project, recipes, and my books notebooks. I really wanted to test this out to see if it was something I could use at work and at home. 

I started with my work projects and added tasks and meetings that I had during the week. It was nice to be able to check off things as I completed them and to see exactly how much I still had to finish. I found I had to try and remember to open the task I was working on to make sure I hadn't put down any comments about it. There was no indication in the task list that comments or a description was added to the task. This caused me to code my task name a little differently to give myself an indication that there was more to this task than just the title I gave it.

The one thing I'm wondering with this is app is will it really save me time. Having to type in all the tasks I have and then remembering to type in future ones doesn't seem efficient when I can visually see the pile of material I need to get done. It felt like I had two piles of to-do material when in reality I only had one. 

I have been looking for an app that will allow me to put in the titles for all of the movies I have acquired. If their movie notebook will allow me to input over 500 of them, well it might not be that bad of an app. It did have two of the most obscure ones in my collection, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. There is hope for this app yet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thing four: Keeping Up

It is really hard for me to do the same thing everyday. The best example of this I can give is video games. If I'm playing a game that requires me to play it every day so I can gather my coins or ask my friends for building pieces, I soon lose interest it in. I feel like RSS feeds are the same way. Depending on how much content you add to them, you can spend hours going through it all. I am also the type of person who likes to go through everything once. So I can see myself scrolling through my feed until I get to something I saw or read the previous day. That way I know I didn't miss anything.

I found Zite very interesting because I could add professional content. They actually had some categories for metadata and other cataloging related topics. I feel it is very important to stay on top of what is happening in your professional field and RSS feeds do a great job of that. If you are able to pull from the right sources.

I enjoyed how Zite grayed out an entry after I had looked at it. That visual reminder can be very helpful when you have a lot of material to look through. I also liked how you were able to single out one topic from your Quicklist. I thought this was wonderful if you didn't have a lot of time and you wanted to check up on one specific point. I also thought this was great for people who work in two different types of librarianship. Librarians who work in both academic and public libraries would be able to sort through all the information on Zite if they wanted something specific.

In the end, I found it very hard for me to keep going back to Zite and looking at the content I added on there. I think it works great for people who are really into RSS feeds. Even though I can see a lot of positives in reading material this way, the feeling of dread I had when knowing I had something I needed to look at every day just wore on me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Thing three: Utilities

When I started to figure out which app I was going to try for Thing Three I have to admit I wasn't too excited to try any of them. I don't have a rear camera on my Nexus so using it for the RedLaser Barcode & QR Scanner was out. I have tried using other scanner apps in hopes I could make my front camera do the trick, but it was never successful. Due to the lack of a rear camera, it didn't make much sense for me to try the Google Goggles app either. I do I enjoy the idea of being able to take a picture of something and have search results display based on what it thinks I took a picture of.

Google search I had no desire to use on my Nexus because I already use it when I'm in my Chrome browser. Wi-Fi Finder and iHome Sleep also did not appeal to me. I never worry about being out of wi-fi range and sleep isn't a problem for me.

The StandApp I did take some interest in. For one of my jobs I do a lot of sitting and the idea of being reminded to do some stretching in theory seemed like a great one. When I first opened the app I enjoyed reading about why it was important to stay moving and how doing just a little bit of that a day would help extend my life. The presentation of the app really gave me some high hopes for it. I thought differently once I started to use it.

The first thing I noticed was that I couldn't set the timer for anything longer than 60 minutes. If I selected 90 or 120 minutes it would just start the timer at 30 or 60 minutes. I also could not pause the timer like it suggested I could. I decided I could live with this and tried working my way around the app. I was disappointed that I couldn't get to the separate videos unless I had a timer going. The videos were also not consistent. The explanation of the stretch would disappear before the person got through the stretch. If it was a multi-step stretch you couldn't follow the instructions with the movement. There was also no way to pause the video. This would have been helpful for those multi-step stretches.

Overall, I wasn't wowed by this app. I can see how it would be very helpful with a desk job. The stretches were not overly complicated and it showed that you could do them in a smaller area. Maybe once some of the kinks are worked out this app could be more helpful to me. As it is right now, I wouldn't continue to use it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thing two: Mobile Device Tips

I personally have a Nexus 7, but I have used pretty much every tablet brand out there. I was excited to learn more about what my device could do. I haven't had any problems with my device because it has done everything I have needed it too.

I enjoyed reading about the different security options I had. Security has not been an issue for me, but it was really nice to know that I could get very specific when it came to unlocking my device. I am thinking about adding the Face Unlock for added security and to add that I have to physically blink before it will be unlocked. If nothing else it would be amusing to me watching someone else try and unlock it.

I also liked the Gesture Typing feature. From day one I always tapped each letter as I typed. It was interesting to see the device at work trying to figure out what word I was trying to form as I swiped my fingers around on the keyboard.

Learning how to take a screenshot was actually kind of difficult. With the case I have on my device getting access to the power button and the volume down button wasn't easy. I would end up turning off the screen instead of getting the shot. If I took the case off or had a case that did not obstruct those buttons I could see myself using that feature a lot more. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thing one: Blogging
To start this off, I should be completely honest with anyone who should happen to come across this blog. I am NOT a blogger. I do not read or subscribe to blogs or own one of my own. The only way you would get me to invest my time into one is if I'm getting paid to do so.
Introducing 23 Mobile Things! The reason this blog was created. I came across the flier in the staff break room of job number one and thought it looked interesting, but didn't think it would be something I'd be able to do. You see, I'm a librarian who works two jobs. I am not fortunate to have a full time position with either of them. So more often than not when professional learning opportunities come around I just don't have the time to participate. Then I saw the email encouraging employees to participate in 23 Mobile Things. I thought, "Why not?" The worst my boss will say is, "Sorry, you have no time." To my surprise, I was given the go-ahead.
When thinking about this program, I am hoping to get a better understanding as to what is out there. I am a tech savvy person, however I don't use it. I don't have apps on my phone or play games on my tablet. I have a pretty sweet desktop for that. I want to be able to understand it all and know how to use it if I ever needed to, but I have no desire to own it. Who knows, maybe after Thing 23 I will have a different opinion.
I am also looking to be able to apply what I have learned to both of my jobs. I work in a public library and an academic library. I will be paying close attention to how I can use this new knowledge in both atmospheres.
I suppose this is where I should end the blog with a catchy phrase or tell you all to stay tuned for more exciting entries. However, it is getting late and I need to start making the closing announcements.