More OneNote Awesomeness
Just when you thought you couldn't love OneNote any more I've found another reason to make you go gaga over it. It has an app for smartphones and tablets
.Before I get into the features of the app for each operating system, I thought I'd explain a little more about Microsoft and its cloud and syncing system.Microsoft's Cloud ~ SkyDrive [online storage]Microsoft has its own cloud [cuz everyone either owns a cloud, puts stuff in a cloud, or is in a cloud], and it's called Skydrive.
If you enable your OneNote notebook on your PC or laptop to sync to SkyDrive, then as you make changes in it, those changes will be synced to SkyDrive. [Like magic.] SkyDrive's pricing structure:
- 7GB Free storage
- 20GB for $10 per year
- 50GB for $25 per year
- 100GB for $50 per year
Not bad. Beats Dropbox, but doesn't outdo GoogleDrive when it comes to available storage.Microsoft's Online Web AppOnce your OneNote notes are synced to SkyDrive, they are available to use in Microsoft's online Web App
which includes not only an online version of OneNote, but PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. They don't have identical features to their desktop counterparts, but they're pretty slick for free.So, if you ~for whatever reason~ need to use the online versions, you now know that that data is stored in SkyDrive and accessible later because it's synced to your desktop/laptop and your phone and/or tablet, if enabled.Which brings me to smartphones & tablets ~ MS OneNote MobileMicrosoft also has OneNote installed on its Windows 7 phones and it has many functions. However, the company has created OneNote apps
for other operating systems. Their features vary across platforms, and I'll go over that below. The OneNote app syncs to SkyDrive making those notes accessible to you either at home on your desktop or while you're online using the Web app. [See the fantabulous chart below that I made to illustrate all the devices and this syncing business. This is what happens when I have an internet outage for 10 hours.]
© Copyright 2012 4YourFamilyStory.com
Now, in the world of Microsoft OneNote Mobile, not all OneNote apps are created equally. Unfortunately. I don't know why this is so. If I had to guess, I'd say that coding apps for different operating systems so that the apps run exactly the same no matter the platform is not an easy feat. And at the time they probably just wanted to get something out there to compete with Evernote. And that would explain why the Android and the iOS apps have different features. But the reason Android and iOS don't have full functionality like the Win 7 phone is obvious. It's their phone. Much easier to code. Also? It's probably a silly marketing ploy to get people to buy a Win 7 phone. And I say that's silly because no one buys a smartphone based on one app. So, they need to rectify that, IMHO.SimilaritiesListed below are the common features between the apps for all of the platforms. This wasn't easy to create, and if you have a platform other than the iPhone, and I have listed something incorrectly, please let me know.]
DifferencesOkay. Here are the differences that I found. [See how I qualified that statement? If you see that I have something incorrect, please let me know.]
- Can edit a rich text formatted note that was previously created on the desktop OneNote or on the Web App OneNote.
- Can see images already put into an existing note.
- Can take a photo within the app to insert into a note or can insert an image from the phone's/tablet's library and insert into a note.
- Have 1 tap access to your more recent notes.
- Can have access to multiple notebooks within the app.
- You can choose which notebooks will sync. Thus allowing you to budget your storage.
- As mentioned before, it syncs all designated [by you] notebooks and their contents to SkyDrive & SkyDrive then syncs the notebooks to the desktop OneNote and Web App OneNote.
- Have offline access to notes.
- Can have up to 500 notes stored for free within the app.
- Unlimited amount of notes is a one-time fee for $4.99 unless you're on an iOS platform, which is a one-time fee of $14.99. [These prices amaze me. They're cheap. And Apple, I'm guessing, charges more? But anywho...]
- New notes are automatically filed into Unfiled Notes. This cannot be changed within the app. It's syncs into the Unfiled Notes Notebook onto the desktop OneNote and the Web App OneNote where you can then file it in the proper section in the proper notebook. And then further syncing will get every OneNote version on the same page. <grin> [Why? Don't know, but my guess is that it makes the syncing faster. And if that's so, I'll take fast over fiddling with my already crafted notebooks on my small iPhone for $1000 please, Alex.]
- Can take notes in very limited text formatting. [To-do boxes]
- External hyperlinks sync & are live.
- Displays rich text formatting. [ex., bold is bold]
- Can edit tables.
- Cannot audio record notes.
- Must download app.
- Can take notes in very limited text formatting. [To-do boxes]
- External hyperlinks do sync & show up as HTML & not live. [Fun.]
- Does NOT display rich text formatting.
- CANNOT edit tables.
- Cannot audio record notes.
- Most download app.
| |Windows 7 Phones
- Can take notes in rich text formatting. [highlighting, bold, italics, to-do boxes, etc.]
- External hyperlinks sync & are live.
- Displays rich text formatting. [ex., bold is bold]
- Can edit tables.
- CAN audio record notes.
- Integrated into phone with MS Office [which is really cool].
Microsoft needs to clean up their app. <grin> Make them equal. However, until I started researching the differences, I really liked my MS OneNote app on my iPhone. And I still do. I just want it to at least do what the Win 7 phone can do minus the integration. I'd even pay for it. Making the Win 7 OneNote app do more for just marketing purposes is so 1980s marketing. No?
Anyhow, I do definitely recommend the app. It's free for goodness sakes. FREE. And who doesn't like free?
Below is a gallery of screenshots of the OneNote app in action taken with my iPhone.
Welcome to the 2nd guest post in my Genealogists [or Family Historians] and the Tech Tools They Use to Research week-long series. Lisa Alzo is a well-known lecturer, author, and blogger. I first met her online on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. I loved the way she wrote, and we had a good online rapport. Then I met her in person for the first time last year at the Southern California Genealogical Society's annual Jamboree conference where we shared laughs and appetizers with the girls. Then we met up again last year at the Federation of Genealogical Society's conference in Springfield, Illinois where more laughs and dinner this time was shared with the girls. Then we did it again at RootsTech in Salt Lake City. Genealogy, laughs, good food, and even better friends ~ does it get any better than that? [Um, no.] She's also an outstanding speaker, and I highly recommend if you ever get the chance to hear her speak, to do so. You won't regret it. I highly respect Lisa, and I'm so glad she agreed to share with y'all the tech she uses to get the genealogy and family history job done. Lisa talks about her favorite apps for writing about her family history and the strange phenomenon called GADD. I think I suffer from it. A lot. Now what was I talking about? Oh yes. Enjoy Lisa's post on apps. ;) ~Caroline
Screenshot courtesy of Lisa A. Alzo.
An “App for That”: My Remedy for Genealogy “ADD”
By Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
When Caroline asked me to write a guest post on “Genealogists [or Family Historians] and the Tech Tools They Use to Research,” I wasn’t exactly sure what tool or tools I would choose to focus on. While I use many of the popular online tools and websites that other genealogists do, I don’t really consider myself a “genea-techie”. The truth is, when it comes to tech tools I confess that I suffer from GADD (Genealogy Attention Deficit Disorder). I tend to try new sites and tools as they come out, but there are probably only a handful that I stick with for a long period of time and I usually jump back and forth between several software programs, research trackers and writing tools. In addition, I was a writer before I was a genealogist (this is the reason I call my Blog “The Accidental Genealogist
”), and I consider myself more of a story gatherer as opposed to a name collector, so I’m always looking for the best ways to record, store, and share information. For this reason, I tend to be drawn to those tech tools that make my writing life easier. Lately, this means Apps that I can download and use on my iPad2.
Here are a few of my favorites: Dragon Dictation
– I use a full version of Dragon Naturally Speaking on my desktop computer but I like the free iPad version for dictation notes or short text for articles or book chapters. Dropbox
– This is the one application I can’t live without for my writing and my genealogy. I store just about everything in Dropbox—document files, scanned images, PowerPoint presentations for my speaking engagements. I used it so much that I purchased additional storage capability. This application has saved my behind more than once, and having it on the iPad enables me to access all of my important files when I travel and I don’t have to remember to bring a thumb/USB drive with me. Evernote
– While I admit I don’t use Evernote particularly for my genealogy research, I do use it for writing. I like being able to clip URLs /pages of research materials that I need for my articles and books. Sometimes I use the Text Notes feature to just type in text that I want to save rather than using Pages on my iPad. I also like the Voice Note capabilities for audio notes or recording interviews. The best part is that I can sync all of my notes and notebooks across multiple devices including my iPad. Penultimate
- It costs just $.99 cents but I like this little app and use it to take notes, keep sketches, and for mindmapping
(using diagrams for brainstorming ideas for articles, blog posts, books, and presentations). Writing Your Family History App
($5.99) by the Professional Writing Academy. For about the cost of specialty coffee drink, this little app packs a pretty good punch and I use it to flesh out ideas for writing ancestor profiles, magazine articles and family history books. The question and answer format helps me to think a project through and I also like all of the links to online resources.
What I like about these five apps is I can use some of them or even all of them together for a project. I can sketch out an idea with Penultimate, use Evernote to store research materials or notes for it, use Dragon for dictation of the text, the Writing Family History App to explore the idea in more detail, and Dropbox to store pieces of the project, drafts, and final text.
When it comes to technology, I prefer “plug and play” types of devices and applications that are easy to download/install and have a very small learning curve. Admittedly, patience is not one of my strong suits. I am always working on deadline and I don’t have hours or days to spend learning how to use a new software program or online tools. I need to gather my research materials and turn out copy pretty quickly. This is why “apps” work for me, and I will continue to try new ones to add to those I use on a regular basis.
Disclosure: I am not an employee or affiliate of any of companies who produce or sell any of the aforementioned apps and am receiving no monetary or other compensation for this post. I have chosen to write about these products simply because I like them.
For those researchers who use their iPhone and an online cloud storage service [like Evernote or DropBox] to scan and store documents, there is one main complaint. If you scan [or take a photo of] a document, you're not able to attach any notes to it or citation information. Well, I've found two apps that work together to help you with this process. So. This is a 2 app how-to / review. [Lucky you cuz it's a long post.. But? It has pictures.] The first app is a scanner app called GeniusScan+, and the second is GoodReader which is a PDF reader app with some pretty rockin' annotation capabilities. I'll go over the scanner first, then the PDF reader, which is the exact workflow you would use when you're out and about collecting documents.Before we get started, this how-to / review assumes you have downloaded [bought] both of these apps.GeniusScan+This thing really is a genius. There's a free version but it doesn't support exporting to the cloud [boo], but the one that can export to the cloud is well worth it's price. Once you've uploaded the app here are the steps to scan a document, photo, or book:
- You have the option of either taking the photo of the document within the app itself or of choosing a photo from your iPhone library that you already took with the camera on your iPhone.
- Once you take the photo [or choose one from the library], you're shown a preview screen. Retake if you need to or if it's good, select Use.
- In the next screen you can tidy up the edges of the document just by using your finger to adjust the orange guide perimeter thingies [technical verbiage] then press Select.
- Then it automatically enhances the image for you, making the white areas whiter and the black areas blacker. It also seems to square it up as well.
- Then select the export button [rectangle with arrow] in the bottom right hand corner of the iPhone screen.
- On this screen, you can select whether you'd like to export it as a JPG image or as a PDF document. I went with the PDF route simply because I already know I'm sending it to a PDF reader. But? The PDF reader that I'm sending it to can take any type of file including JPGs. [It's beast.]
- Then since we want to export it to the PDF reader, GoodReader, select Other Apps [toolbox icon].
- In next screen, select Actual.
- Then you'll see a scrolling list of other apps that you have on your iPhone that you could export this PDF document to. We're exporting to GoodReader, so select GoodReader.
- The next screen shows your PDF document in the GoodReader app ready for annotating. Like magic.
Below is a gallery of screenshots. I tried to capture as many of the steps as possible. And they are in order from left to right. Just click on a thumbnail to see the full images with captions. =)
The document that I've used for this demo is a copy of my 2nd great grandfather's death certificate. I downloaded it from FamilySearch.org, but we're going to pretend that I scanned it. There are several things I know that are not correct on there, or at the very least things I need to look into. So. I want to mark them, write down a quick note, and place the citation info on the bottom of it so that I can go back later and create the full citation. [You know, to be a good little genealogist. =) ] Following are the steps to do this:
- When I tap the document with my finger, a screen comes up asking me if I want to annotate the document ["Save to this file"] or make a copy of the document first and then annotate the copy. I choose "create an annotated copy" because I want to keep a clean copy of the document. [And I'm a Photoshop kinda gal, and you never mess with the original.]
- [Note: At any time while you're annotating the document, there are 2 menus that you can access: the Main Menu and the Annotation Menu. By tapping the center of the screen quickly, you will pull up the the Main Menu. After a little while the Main Menu hides until you tap the screen again. By touching the screen and holding it down for just a few seconds brings up the Annotation Menu. Also, I found it easier to do everything with the iPhone in landscape mode.]
- You then can crop the document. But? We already did that in the GeniusScan+ app. So we're good to go.
- The first thing I want to notate is the discrepancy in the spelling of his last name. Visually, I want to circle his last name. By placing my finger on the screen and holding it down makes the Annotation Menu come up. I choose the oval shape on the right of the menu. I size it up to fit his last name Vaughn and center it over his name. When I'm happy with the placement, I tap Done with my finger.
- Now, I'd like to attach a note to it, but without writing over the document. I hold down my finger outside the oval [outside, not inside] and the Annotation Menu comes up. I select the Dialoge Icon and a yellow screen and my keyboard appear so I can type a note on it about his surname. When I'm done, I tap Save.
- What is now on top of the document is a yellow dialogue icon and if I tapped it, it would take me back to the note. However, the icon is not in the correct place. I want it inside the oval. So press and hold down your finger on the yellow dialogue icon. What appears are options for the icon. I tap Move. Then I drag the dialogue icon to inside the oval and then tap Done Moving. [Not really rocket science & it's much easier than me typing these instructions. I promise.]
- I repeat the process for each note I'd like to make. [And they made quite a few mistakes on his death certificate.]
- Now. Because I want to place the citation directly on the document but in the margin, I drag with my finger the document so that I can see the margin. Then I place and hold down my finger in the margin area until the Annotation Menu appears. I tap the icon with 'abc' on it. Then I type the citation information and then press Save. If I hold down my finger on the text, the text menu appears where I can change the font size, font color, etc.
- When I'm done making annotations, I tap the middle of the screen to bring up the Main Menu.
- I tap the Export Icon [rectangle with arrow], then a Select Action Menu appears. I choose Open In.
- The Open In Menu appears and I can either save the file 'as is' or 'flatten annotations'. I choose Flatten Annotations. [Why? Because I'm a Photoshop kinda gal & when uploading to the web, flattened files are smaller. And that's the way I roll.]
- Then a scrolling menu appears listing all the apps I could export this flattened annotated PDF file to. I scroll down and choose Evernote. [However, I could've just as easily have chosen Dropbox.]
- It then appears in my Evernote App right before my eyes. Then because my Evernote iPhone app syncs with my online Evernote which then syncs to my desktop Evernote, my annotated flattened PDF copy of my 2nd great grandfather's death certificate and the annotation notes that I added appear in all my Evernote places. Like magic. And what does magic look like?
Below is another gallery of screenshots, but this time it's of the GoodReader App screenshots. Again, I tried to include as many steps as possible. And they are in order from left to right.
If I had just wanted to add citation information, I could have just done that. Also, I could've put the citation information in a sticky note. There are a lot of options with GoodReader and my example above is just one way you can use it. GoodReader has the following features:
- Able to import & view any type of media whether it be images, text files, documents, complete ebooks, audio, video, etc. from anywhere, like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Safari, an app like GeniusScan+ [like above], Evernote, Dropbox, Box.net, email attachments, etc.
- Speaking of complete ebooks, have a book that your family is in, but you wanna take some notes in the ebook? Yeah. Import that ebook and annotate to your heart's content.
- Been wishing you had some type of file system on your iPhone or iPad? [Cuz, wow. It's got a kinda anti-file system going on?] Look no further. GoodReader has an excellent file management system, and then the files are accessible to your other apps.
- A friend says, "Hey, can you take a look at this thing I wrote in Google Docs and tell me what I need to do differently? It's, like 10,000 pages about my life." No problem [OMG] with GoogleReader. Just import that puppy and tear it to shreds with the annotation menu. And? Do it in red. Then send it right back to Google Docs. Or anywhere...just because you can.
- Need to do some cropping? No problem, it can do that too. [In our example above, however, we cropped the black margins off in the GeniusScan+ app. Because why not?]
- You can do file transfers through iTunes, iCloud, wifi sharing, Apple idisk, Dropbox, SugarSync, GoogleDocs, FTP servers, etc.
Below are the features of the GeniusScan+ app:
[Did you see that? It's integrated with Twitter! Woo-hoo!
- Scan any document, photo, business cards, receipts, etc.
- Auto-senses the edges of the document and then you can very easily correct it some more if needed.
- Auto-enhances the image ~ both black & white as well as color images.
- Auto-corrects the perspective so that your scanned image looks just like it was scanned the old fashioned way.
- Can convert it to JPG or PDF.
- Then can upload to email, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, Box.net, and Expensify.
- And it also supports Wifi sharing.
]The Bottom LineThese are some pretty awesome apps that can really help a researcher out when they're on the go. [And who's not these days?] However, they aren't free. But? They're cheap. Here's the lowdown on where you can find them, how much change you need to look for in your couch [or sofa if you're a sofa person. I'm not, so...] cushion so you can purchase them, and what kind of devices you can get them on:GeniusScan+
- Available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. And it requires iOS 4.0 or later.
- Can be bought in iTunes or the App Store on your device.
- Costs a whopping $2.99.
- You can check it in iTunes Preview for iPhone and iPad.
- Available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. And it requires iOS 4.0 or later.
- Can be bought in iTunes or the App store on your device.
- Costs a whopping $4.99.
- You can check it out on the iTunes Preview for iPhone or the iTunes Preview for iPad.
Screenshot of main screen taken with my iPhone.
If You’re in a Hurry, the Quick VersionIf You’re Not in a Hurry, the 'Get a Cup of Coffee and Get Comfortable' Version
I’ve been asked a few times, “How do you write your family stories?” And I’m always at a loss as what to reply because I don’t know how to explain it. I always start with pre-writing. You know, that boring writing exercise no one wanted to do back when they were in school? Yeah. I brainstorm on paper. But before that, I think about an ancestor and their life. I try to liken them to something in modern times and try to make them real for my readers. [You see, at this point, they’re already real for me. I’ve poked around in their lives. I’ve learned some of their secrets. I’ve brought to light things my ancestors never thought in a million years would be made public knowledge. I’ve even conversed with them. But I digress.]
I definitely look for an angle, usually a humorous one. Okay. I’ll admit to adding a little sarcasm as well. [So sue me.] And there is, of course, a beginning, a middle, and an end. And I kind of tie it all together. [No, not with a ribbon. I’m speaking metaphorically.] And I definitely try to play up the aspects of the story that I think are interesting. Then I add my two cents into the mess [usually in brackets], and I try to talk about the setting and try to explain what was going on at the time. All in a conversational style like we were sitting at a local café talking about family stories over a cup of coffee [or two] and a slice of cherry pie. [And our waitress is Flo from that old T.V. show, Alice
. You know the one with the tall hair who was always callin’ everyone ‘Honey’ or ‘Sweetie’ and tellin’ everyone to ‘Kiss my grits!’ when they upset her?]
See? Not very helpful, is it? I’ve never really broken my writing process down to try to explain it to others. I just do it. The creation of it starts in my head, and it keeps growing and growing and growing until my head is about to explode. And I quickly start writing ideas down ‘cause heaven knows I don’t want my head to explode. [I’d just have to clean it up.] Then as I write down the ideas, a story starts to emerge. No, not like a phoenix arising from the ashes. Nothing grand like that. But more like a lost and beaten up soul tripping its way through the murky forest and finally stumbling out of the fog and into the blinding light.
And this is why I’d never suggest to someone who was trying to develop a writing process that they follow mine. However, it looks like I don’t have to worry about trying to explain my writing process, or any writing process for that matter, because someone has already done it. And there’s an app for it as well. That’s right. A writing course tucked into an app that can be accessed with your handy dandy smartphone anywhere you and your smartphone might happen to be.
Screenshot of the 'Getting Started' section.
And I’m very pleased with the outcome. Developed by The Professional Writing Academy from the UK, the How to Write Your Family History app is cleverly designed to help the family history researcher learn to write their family history as well as publish it. The course takes you step-by-step through a very sound writing process.
As family researchers sometimes we get bogged down in the amount of research we have, and we simply do not know where or how to begin the task of writing. We want our family history to be recorded in an interesting way ~ more than just a ‘who begat who’ tome that no one but the geekiest of genealogy descendants will read, but how do you accomplish this?
Well, with this app, you begin at the beginning. There are 8 main sections of the course:
- Getting Started
- Planning Your Story
- Developing Your Story
- Further Research
- Formatting Your Story
- Get Writing
- Editing Your Work
They are further broken down into bite-sized steps with information that will guide you to your goal of writing your family history. For example, in the ‘Getting Started’ section, there’s an overview of this step that includes links, or prompts, to more information and activities that work to further your understanding of the step or concept. The links in the ‘Getting Started’ section include thinking about what or who you want to focus on in your writing; gathering and analyzing your information and research; identifying further research to be done; and organization of all your research material.
After every concept is discussed in every section, a ‘Learning Checklist’ is provided so you can evaluate if you are ready to go to the next concept or section. With each point in the checklist, if you are not sure or ready to go on, there are ‘Questions to Ask Yourself’ in order to give you additional information to prepare you for the next section.
Additionally, throughout the app you have the ability to take notes, bookmark, consult the additional reading recommendations, and track your progress through a ‘Course Map’, or outline.
Now, I’ve played with the How to Write Your Family History app for several weeks. [And you thought all I was doing was making heritage craft videos over the holidays and messing around on Twitter. *snort*] I wanted to actually take the course, run it through its paces, and compare it to my writing process.
Screenshot of Course Map.
This app is definitely for beginner to intermediate family history writers. In app form, the course is convenient for those who are on the go, but who still have made it a goal to write about their family history in story form. Moreover, it does discuss and help the user to explore the different ways to publish their writing in all its forms. Compared to taking a writing course at a community college or compared to buying numerous books on the subject of writing one’s family history in all its different forms, it is quite affordable at $5.99.
At first glance one might feel some sections could be strengthened with more information. However, as I glance at my large stack of books that fall within the genre of ‘how-to write your family history’ sitting on my bookshelves, I’m not sure if this really is a con in that more information does not necessarily translate into writing. At some point, the writer must make the jump and begin writing, and it’s my opinion this app gives the complete information and suggestions that are needed to learn the writing process and to complete the writing process, and does it in such a way so that it does not intimidate beginners.
Further, it has thought-provoking prompts that would be helpful for the intermediate family history writer to brush-up on their skills and tweak their writing process. I especially enjoyed and appreciated the lists of further reading for the different types of sub-genres of family history.
I have always advocated that reading in the genre in which you wish to write is imperative to becoming a better writer. It’s what I like to call the ‘what goes in, comes out’ reading-writing phenomenon [which obviously needs a better title].
This app does what it advertises by teaching the user to write their family history and publish it in the myriad of forms that exist to publish such a history, and I will be incorporating certain aspects of the course into my writing process so that my writing resembles less a lost stumbling blind soul and more a phoenix rising from the ashes. A flying family story sounds more fun than one that stumbles. Does it not?
Additionally, I highly recommend visiting The Professional Writing Academy website
. Along with this app, they offer online writing courses for all genres, mentoring, and support for those writers of all levels who would like their writing to not only fly, but soar.
Screenshot of Further Reading of Family Stories sub-genre.
Have a genealogy-related app, family history-related app, or an app that can be used for genealogy or family history research in some capacity and need it reviewed? Please contact me
. Disclosure Note: I am not affiliated with The Professional Writing Academy. I was contacted by them to review the app and I received a complimentary copy of the app from them for me to review and keep. However, as always, my opinions based on my use of the app are just that. My opinions based on my use of the app. For more disclosure information please visit my disclosure page.
Sent From My iPhone
I used to hate getting emails that had that phrase at the end of the email. Not because it was generic and unprofessional. Nope. It was because I didn't have an iPhone [but I desperately wanted one], and that irritating phrase just reminded me that I didn't have one. However, other than making people jealous of your iPhone-ness, it's not the best phrase to have at the end of your email after just your name in a boring font. If you have a business, you'd rather have some information conveying that. And even if you don't have a business, you could at least advertise your email, your blog [if you have one], your social media hot links [And that phrase sounds like fun, eh?], etc.
Well, you're in luck. There's an app for that. Email Signature Lite is a very easy-to-use app and makes your email signature look very cool. Oops, I mean professional. [You know. Like you have it all together?]
Once downloaded, you have 4 main selections: Settings, Insert Signature Into New Email, Copy to Clipboard, and Edit Signature [see photo above left]:
Edit SignatureThis will be the first one you need to select. After you select it, you then select the section where you'd like to add/edit information. In this screen, the app is very intuitive.
In EDIT, you can:
- Name the signature profile [Don't put your name here. This is just the name of this signature profile. I named mine "Main" cuz I'm plain vanilla like that.],
- Add an icon [premade or no icon at all]
- Add primary and secondary information [Your name, address, email, message, etc.]
- Space to add 6 hot links, like your website address, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, RSS feed, just to name a few.
Insert Signature Into New Email
Selecting this option allows you to create an email within the app using your already existing email interface. The app indicates this is the fastest way to create the email so that's how I have it set up. However, the app says you can change this under Settings.
Copy to Clipboard
This option allows you to copy your complete signature to your clipboard [I know. Duh.] so that you can use a signature for replies in your own Mail app, which is nice because some free email signature apps do not address this issue at all and it's a big gripe of mine. I do a lot more replying on my iPhone than I do composing new emails, and this little feature makes it convenient.
SettingsUnder settings, there are 2 options.
You can toggle on and off whether you want a copy of the signature automatically on the clipboard, and you can toggle on and off whether you want to compose a new email inside the app. I have both set to "On". You can also take a tutorial on the app under settings as well.That's it! Simple pimple.
There is also an Email Signature Pro app for $4.99 with a lot more functionality and customization available. It has the following additional features:
Basically, you pay five bucks to have an email signature on steroids. *shrugs*
- Multiple signatures
- Text fonts, styles, colors & sizes
- Custom banner image and footer text
- Backup & restore features
- Export to desktop
- More hotlinks
- More branding
- Ability to add vCard
[Email Signature Proids?]The app is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and operates on the iOS 3.1.3 or higher and can be downloaded onto your iPhone through the App Store App or in iTunes on your computer. You can also take a look at the Email Signature Lite iTunes Preview page.And the Android and Windows Smartphones? It's not available on those platforms. I checked in Android Market and Marketplace to see if they had any email signatures in general. Android Market had some that were close. Maybe. And Marketplace for Windows had nothing available when I searched.
So, do you use an email signature for your Smartphone? If so, which one? Do you like it? Any favorite features? Let me & everyone else know in comments below. Please. [I love comments!]
You can also remove your "Sent from my iPhone". Navigate to your iPhone's Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Signature
And just so you know. I kept the "Sent from my iPhone" signature. It's after my fancy signature to annoy people with my iPhone-ness. And? I do want the email recipient to know that I'm on my iPhone. It's saying, "Please understand why my response is brief. It's not that I don't want to type a long response to whatever it is you said in your dissertation. Oops, I mean, email, and please excuse any typographical errors cuz, Duh, it's a small screen and keyboard and it's hard to edit when you have to scroll so much. And? I have an iPhone."
I bet you didn't know that phrase said all that, did you?
Where can you find these wonderfully fantabulous little things called apps (applications)? If you have an iPhone (like me), your iPhone comes with some standard apps to get you addicted to them. Oops, I mean, to make your phone extremely functional.
Pictured here is my “Home” app view on my iPhone. It has some productivity apps like Calendar (which can sync with your iPad Calendar as well as various other calendars like Google Calendar.). Further, as far as productivity is concerned, it has Notes, Mail, and the new Reminders (found in the new iOS 5). You know, apps to make you real productive, or at the very least they can remind you to pick up your kids from school or as Elizabeth O’Neal revealed in her guest post for Jennifer Shoer’s blog series GeneaMommyBloggers – How She Does It
, you can set it to remind you to switch the laundry from the washer to the drier. [Absolutely brilliant. I’m SO gonna do that.]
Anywho, we’ll get through these not-so-basic basic apps for genealogy and family history researching in the coming weeks and months [There’s 500,000+ apps in all. Not all for researching, but still...], but the really cool app on here is the App Store App. That’s right. Shopping on the Home view. [Shopping. *Squee!*] Now, most of the apps that I download are free. I’m cheap like that. If I buy one, it’s only because I’ve been convinced that I really need it.
When you select the App Store App with a touch of your finger, you get the Featured view (or whatever view you were looking at when you were last in the app).
At the bottom of the view, are 5 selections: Featured, Categories, Top 25, Search, and Updates that you can toggle through.
In this view, the store is just showing what apps they are featuring. Up at the top of the view, you have 3 types of Featured selections to look at: New, What’s Hot, and Genius. New and What’s Hot are self-explanatory. New and hot. <grin> If you are already an iPod and iTunes user, you should be familiar with the Genius feature. Very basically, when enabled Genius can monitor what types of apps you download and can make new App suggestions based upon those selections. [Cool, huh? I don’t use it, though. On the new iPhone 4S, I wonder if the very smart Genius dates the even smarter Siri, and do they schedule those dates on Calendar? Food for thought. ;) ]
Here, the apps are organized by category like Productivity, Social Networking, Games, etc. It’s a great way to browse for a certain type of app or for comparing similar apps. [Kind of like shopping for shoes. Or golf clubs, if you golf.]
Here, I’m sure you’ve already guessed, they feature the Top 25. In addition, at the top of the view are 3 selections: Top Paid, Top Free, and Top Grossing. I choose the Top Free the most. [Remember, I’m cheap.] Quite frankly, I have no clue what Top Grossing means . So I Googled it [Cause that’s the way I roll…], and there’s a lot of guesses. Normally, it’d be referring to gross revenue in dollars [which is where my mind went first], but the 1st two listed are free apps. My guess would be number of downloads or a combination thereof, but I don’t know for sure. *shrugs* I used the Top 25 when I first bought my iPhone, but I don’t really use it much now.
I use this one a lot. I always hear someone mention one, see someone write about one, or check it to see if a company, website, and/or software has an app. Therefore, I search by name. Works like a charm.
Again, this one is self-explanatory. Any updates that are listed will, once selected, will update your apps to the newest version. Like that. *Snaps fingers* One thing I’d suggest, though, is to keep up with the updates. Perhaps, even schedule a day in your Calendar or put a to-do in your Reminder App so you don’t forget. Now *that* would be organized.
You can search for iPhone apps in the iTunes store just like you would on your iPod using your computer and an internet connection.
Where You Can Find Other Operating Systems’ Apps
- You can also browse the App Store online here.
- You can always Google for an app.
So there you go. Basically, I just showed you the best app on the iPhone, the App Store App. An app for shopping
. An app to get more apps.
Like that. *snaps fingers* Does it get any better than that? Well, yes. It’s not the only shopping app that can be used for genealogy and family history research. [Who else would’ve found more shopping apps for genealogy and family history research for you?]
Your mission for the next week is to explore the app store either online or through your smartphone if you have one. Which ones look interesting or helpful? Let me know in Comments below if you find one you’d like me to spotlight. [Homework? Yes, but it’s window shopping
For those who already have smartphones, what kind do you have? No matter the smartphone, how do you shop for them? Are there any other places to get apps that I didn’t list? Let everyone know in Comments below. Please. I love comments. Adore them, in fact. And this way everyone can learn. [Even me because I don’t know everything. Shocker, I know, but there it is.]
Also, do you have a favorite app for genealogy and family history research, and would you like to share it with the rest of us in a guest post here on For Your Family Story? If so, please contact me
AND stay tuned because tomorrow I’m featuring a very cool site that also has an app. [Love those.]
That's An App Thursday Series What is a Smartphone?
Basically, a Smartphone is a handheld personal computer, a digital camera, a video player, a portable music player, and a mobile phone.
Why would anyone want a contraption like that?
Well, if you enjoy doing the following, then perhaps you would NOT
like a Smartphone:
- Going to a cemetery with your digital camera and taking photos of tombstones & then going home, getting distracted by ‘life’ and then 2 weeks later finally getting around to downloading said photos so then you can upload them to FindAGrave.com.
- Driving by a small neglected cemetery on the way to somewhere else & thinking you must start carrying your digital camera everywhere you go so you can stop to “walk the tombstones”.
- And you’re wondering why you didn’t check the forecast before leaving home because you might have time to “walk the tombstones” on the way back from wherever you’re going to today.
- Being behind the very nice lady with a big stack of books who’s digging for change in her purse at the only copier in the library that you haven’t broken. [Oops, I mean the only copier that isn’t possessed. Yes, it happens. Just check out Amy Coffin's blog, We Tree today.]
- Going home, turning on your computer, waiting for it to boot up; checking, responding to, and deleting email; finally checking your favorite social media flavor [mine’s Twitter]; and realizing if you had been on [insert favorite social media flavor] earlier you would’ve known about the 'can’t miss' webinar that’s been going on already for 30 minutes by [insert name of your favorite genealogist].
- Wishing you hadn’t left your calendar at home because that’s where you wrote down the name of so-n-so’s husband’s 2nd great grandparent and now you’re at the library for, well, nothing. And, wow, if you had brought your laptop you could boot it up and email so-n-so to get the name again.
- Sitting in the waiting area of the car wash watching a [insert whatever t.v. show is mind-numbing to you] on the t.v. with the sound off wishing you could be listening to a genealogy podcast on your iPod but you left it on the charger on the kitchen counter at home.
- Booting up the ol' desktop, because you realized that you have a little spare time to surf eBay for family heirlooms.
- Sitting at the library wishing you had remembered to pack your laptop charger so you could look up your 3rd great-grandfather’s 4th wife’s first husband’s name.
- Getting into your car after photographing tombstones at an unfamiliar cemetery in an unfamiliar town wishing you knew of a place where you could get a quick bite to eat.
- Driving around aimlessly because you forgot the directions to the [insert archives, library, cemetery, courthouse, etc.] at home on the kitchen table where you had been looking them over while eating breakfast.
If you enjoy doing all of the above, then don’t read any more of this blog post or series. Seriously. Just leave and go to your desktop and log on to Facebook and play Farmville.
But? If you don’t enjoy any of the above situations and if you are ready to become more efficient in your research - both doing it and sharing it - then stick around. A Smartphone can help in these situations and so many more. [Lots more.]Apps Are the Secret
The reason the Smartphone has so much functionality to it is because of what’s called a 3rd party Application that can run on it, also called an ‘App’. The developers of these Apps are quite clever and have created so many nifty tools that can be applied to genealogical and family history research. [Some of those developers didn’t even know they were helping us genealogists out.]
There are several types of Smartphones and they all run on operating systems that allow it to run its applications. Apple's iPhone runs on the iOS, Blackberry runs on the Blackberry Operating System, and there are various brands that run on Google's Android Operating System. I’m not going to get into the differences between them because that’s not the point of this post. The point is to convince you that a Smartphone can be very helpful to in your research, and dare I say, life. [How am I doing?] Hopefully, I've interested you enough to come back next week for the 1st app spotlight.
Additionally in deciding on a Smartphone, a big consideration should be which one has the apps that you’d like to use. And that’s the point of this series. I'll be presenting a new app each week, explaining how to use it, and how it can be applied to doing and/or sharing your research. I'll also let you know what operating systems it is available for.
Already have a Smartphone, but you haven’t ventured past email and Facebook? Tell me which App you’d like me to spotlight in this series. Or do you have some research difficulties that you think an App can help you with, but you don’t know how to use it?
Let me know. Comments are always welcome and strongly encouraged. [Really.]Also, if you are a Smartphone user who has a favorite app that you use
in your research, and you'd like to guest post for this series, contact me
. [Especially if you have an Android-based Smartphone. Mine is an iPhone.]
My Smartphone has become my most indispensable research tool that I have [Other than my brain.] And, in particular, the Apps are what make my Smartphone so essential to both my research and my business. I really couldn't imagine working without them, and I've only had it for a year. [Just about.]Therefore, for the forseable future [i.e., until I run out of apps], I will be running a Smartphone and App series on Thursday's called That's an App Thursday. We'll go over:
How does that sound?
- Smartphones. What are they? Are they really that smart? Can they really help you in your research? Can they help you share your fantastic family finds with your family?
- What is an App? What does it do? Why is everyone so ga-ga over these Apps? And how do you get one?
- The categories of Apps that can benefit you in your research and, most importantly, how.
- After the basics, we'll delve into a specific app to see how it can benefit you as a researcher - no matter what level you are - beginner to pro.
It's your chance to find out what all the hoopla is over Smartphones without having to take the plunge. And if you already have one, it's your chance to finally use your Smartphone for more than texting and checking Facebook. [Really. What? You thought you were the only one?]If you already are a pro at using Smartphones and Apps for genealog
y and family history research AND you'd like to share your knowledge with others, then contact me
to guest post for this series, especially if you use something other than an iPhone
. [That's what I have.]~C
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