Apr. 23: Apps that work

appsIf you don’t have an iPhone and/or iPad and/or iPod, then scroll to the bottom because I have something special for you there.

So, I’ve hesitated sharing this info because my brother-in-law makes fun of my blog posts that have to do with iPhone apps, but I just can’t help it. I am in looooove with things that make my life easier. Ted, mock away.

But first, a little background. From the time I first purchased an iPhone, I’ve worked hard to make sure my iPhone calendar, contacts, notes, and email always match what’s on Outlook on my PC; Outlook has always run my life. Keeping it sync-ed with my phone was easy-ish until Victor got an iPhone, and then I had to get his sync-ed even though he had a different Apple ID and that might be when I started getting super curse-y. Add in a couple iPads, upgraded phones, and WiFi syncing, and you’ve got yourself one very stressed-out Jen.

A few weeks ago I gave up trying to get all our devices to have accurate information; it was seriously affecting my blood pressure. Giving up was kinda cool, actually, because I could get yell-y at Victor when he “forgot” about something on our calendar. I could be all IF YOU BROUGHT YOUR DEVICES TO ME TO SYNC REGULARLY MAYBE THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN AND ALSO THIS IS NOT SCREECHING THIS IS QUIET GENTLE REMINDING AND WHATEVER JUST GO SIT IN THE SHAME CORNER RIGHT NOW.

So I went about finding another way to get the important info that we both need regularly to always be accurate. It took more missteps than I care to admit, so I’m just gonna tell you what I landed on.

outlookOUTLOOK.COM. It has email (POP and IMAP for my manullang.com address—yay!), contacts, and calendar. Changes made on either the iDevices or outlook.com are fed almost immediately to all linked devices. I love that part. There’s really no need to plug our devices into my laptop anymore, and that was my goal. Happy Jen. My only complaint is that delivery times for my test messages have a significant delay; of course, with real messages I don’t notice.

Is outlook.com better than Google or Yahoo mail? It is for me. Your results may vary.

evernoteFinding the right app for notes was trickier. Our notes contain important but random things like lists of our physicians, the kids’ school IDs, exterior and interior house paint colors, account number, login IDs, recipes, gift ideas, etc. What I ended up using to handle our notes is Evernote. Here are several reasons that I love love love Evernote:

  1. There’s a web version, which I can sync to all our devices. If I have a lot of typing to do, it’s much easier to do on my laptop than tapping out on my phone or tablet.
  2. Notes can contain photos, links, and formatting. They’re pretty.
  3. Notes can be organized into notebooks, which means Vic doesn’t have to scroll through my jewelry design ideas to find the login info for Comcast.
  4. They’re perfect for recipes, and I love having those recipes handy when I’m at the grocery store and forgot to bring my shopping list.
  5. Evernote notes can be used a bit like Pinterest, but-cept I can add detail, put several pictures in one note, etc. I like that I don’t have to dig through my Pinterest boards to find stuff I vaguely remember pinning. I especially like the way Evernote looks on the iPad:


Here’s the same page on the iPhone:


Verdict: Evernote is fab.you.luss.

flipboardFlipboard. Jim M. told me about this “social magazine” and I immediately downloaded it, but haven’t completely committed yet. It’s definitely better on a tablet, IMO, but no matter the size of the device, here are things I like a lot:

  1. The interface is really slick.
  2. Google Reader feeds can be added. I like the way you scroll through the items, almost more than I like Feedly (which I am still adjusting to and am not yet in love with).
  3. Twitter feeds can be added too. I have a tough time remembering to read Twitter because I haven’t been using it much, and I like the idea of my feed appearing with other stuff I am in the habit of reading. A Facebook news feed can be added too, but I haven’t tried that.
  4. It’s very swipe-y. That’s fun.
  5. My favorite part is how important my friends sometimes look on the front page:

flipboardfrontThat’s a pic Sherilee posted of her golden beets, which is not a euphemism for anything of which I’m aware.

Can I share one of my many not-even-slightly-related pet peeves? I bet some of you share it too, and I bet others of you are guilty of committing this pet peeve of mine, which I’m pretty sure you do just to peeve me. That’s a thing, right? Peeving?

Email addresses. Why do people gotta make them weird? Like, don’t make them all cryptic or cutesy, or put weird characters in them, or stuff like that… it’s just confusing. Make your email address some form of your name (or nickname) and BE DONE WITH IT. Sheesh.

Sorry for getting’ screechy there. To make up for it, well, I got nothin’.

Oh, and for you non-iDevice users, here’s a cute bunny to disguise my disappointment in you and the 20th century in which you apparently still live:





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