I really hate dragging a laptop around with me. Fortunately, it’s no longer necessary now that my smartphone can do so much. There’s an app for almost anything these days, but here are the 10 (in no particular order) that help me with my research on the move. Even better, they’re all free.
- Evernote – OK, this one should appear at the top, as I use Evernote throughout the day. I can easily add webpages, tweets, photos, or just about anything else from my phone. Then I can search through all my notes to access relevant content when I’m working in the library. I use shortcuts for notes that I need on a regular basis (such as the door code for my gym, which I can never remember).
- Hootsuite – I find out all the latest news from Twitter these days and it helps me keep on top of technological developments. With Hootsuite I can swipe through my Twitter lists and hashtags and quickly catch up on everything. I also use it to send useful tweets to Evernote.
- Todoist – I couldn’t possibly function without a decent task list and Todoist makes everything manageable. The add task widget (you can see it in the screenshot) means that if an important job pops into my head, I can add it with a couple of taps.
- Pocket – Twitter is a wonderful source of interesting articles, but I don’t want to get distracted by reading them immediately. Pocket saves them for later and also allows me to tag them. I then browse through the articles when I’m on the bus or otherwise unoccupied.
- Feedly – Blogs are also great for keeping up-to-date in your subject. The Feedly app displays content from your blog subscriptions in an attractive magazine-style format and is ideal for browsing on the move.
- Dropbox – My Dropbox is vast, containing everything from blog backups through to works-in-progress. With the app I can easily check on files and ensure that my backup has run properly. I also automatically upload any photos I take to Dropbox, typically pages from books.
- Kindle – Very occasionally, I forget to take my Kindle with me, or unexpectedly find myself at a loose end. Thanks to the Kindle app, I always have some reading material, as I can access the 776 books in my library. The screen is tiny, but it’s surprisingly easy to read.
- Zotero Scanner (Android only) – It can be time-consuming to manually add physical books to Zotero, especially if you’ve accumulated a huge pile in the library. With the Zotero Scanner, you can simply zap the barcode and the bibliographic details are retrieved and imported to your account. Yes, this is brilliant. It’s free if you want to install it yourself, or around £2 if you get it through Google Play.
- WordPress – Running a blog can be a full-time job and it helps if you can keep an eye on it. The WordPress app allows you to make minor edits to posts, check on your stats, upload photos, and review any comments.
- BeyondPod (Android only) – Nowadays, there are lots of informative podcasts on a variety of subjects. BeyondPod manages subscriptions, organises them into categories, and allows you to build playlists.
If, like me, you end up with hundreds of apps on your smartphone, I recommend AVG Cleaner (Android only) for uninstalling those you don’t need and also for clearing out your memory cache.
I’d love to hear what you use, so please do leave a comment.