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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cleaning out the Closet

George Carlin: Stuff

"Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That's all, a little place for my stuff. That's all I want, that's all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody's got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that's your stuff, that'll be his stuff over there. That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That's all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time."

Stuff. We have a lot of it, but we're trying to reduce the amount of stuff we have. As Lori has been liking to say recently, "Who really needs 3 vegetable peelers?" So we've been going through the process of getting rid, paring down, and also replacing some of our "stuff" with better "stuff". Part of this process (which at times is heartbreaking for a packrat like me) is getting rid of stuff...like my DVD collection. With the world interconnected with the interwebs and Netflix, and the DVD rental places coming to their senses with prices ($2.50 for a week rental? I'm OK with that.), it was time to get rid of the bulging collection. Most of the things I sold I never watched I just liked having it (First season of Highlander? Never watched it, loved that I had it.) So I started searching around websites that allowed for this sort of thing and came across mx123.com. They allow you to type in the UPC's of all the DVDs you needed to get rid of and they told you what they were worth. Strip out all the worthless ones worth $0.15 and you're left with a small pile worth $100, a prepaid shipping label, and a big pile of DVD's to be dropped off at the nearest donation location. Not only that, but they also have referral program that allows you to make more money on top of that using things you already use like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, and....*ahem* blogs. So there is your disclaimer, totally being paid to write this...and I'm ok with that! For a few more tips on decluttering, check our Lori's post on the subject: Help in Decluttering.


Other disclaimer, the George Carlin quote above was pulled from: http://www.writers-free-reference.com/funny/story085.htm. Not only am I giving credit, but you should read the rest of his story, I sometimes forget how funny he was. RIP George!

Monday, August 1, 2011

iPad: Notetaking App Review - Post 1

So since I have a lust for technology and can't sleep unless I know almost everything about it, my employer has found it humorous to supply me with technology and see what I come up with for uses. In the past 9 months I've been supplied (or supplied myself) with an iPod Touch4, iPad1, an ExoPC Tablet PC running Windows 7, InFocus Wireless Projector Adapter, and I've purchased an Android tablet for home use (though I never see it as the kids have decided it is theirs now). There has been much experimenting and much app browsing and much dreaming. In most cases so far with the technology I have today it seems when I run across something I want to do I think about it, search it, and determine between a few big players and a few smaller players and I move on. Not today. Here is what I want...I want to take notes in an iPad. Sounds easy? Pffft...this is thus far been the craziest road I've ever been on to choose an app. Here is my list Í started showing possible Apps (a few have some simple notes about the app) and what I'm starting to glean are the App Differentiators.

UYH - Use your handwriting - List making app with handwriting
PaperDesk LT - Low rating
Bamboo - Pretty good, $1.99 for 20 notebooks
Penultimate - $1.99
Ghost Writer - $2.99 Dropbox and Evernote Support
Noteshelf - $4.99 - Dropbox and Evernote, Wrist Protection,
Dukepen - $1.99
Inkiness - $3.99 - Missing basic features like eraser
Notes Plus
Note Taker HD
Adobe Ideas + Note Template
Mental Note
MUJI Notebook
ReadleDocs (Readable Docs?)
eNote Taker
Whiteboard HD

App Differentiators
- Wrist protection
- Multiple notebooks
- Multiple Pages
- multiple pens
- Highlighter
- Evernote / Dropbox / Email / Print
- Page Backgrounds
- Zoom View
- Zoom Edit (Can this be used to create a whiteboard?)
- Orientation
- Eraser
- Handwriting Recognition
- Import / annotate Images / PDF
- Text Shrinking / Writing Resizer
- Drawings / Sketches
- Cost
- Type with Keyboard
- Password Protection
- Audio Recorder
- Cloud Based Storage
- Lite Version

So now I'm going to try a few, but in the end I'm thinking about creating a huge matrix all wikipedia like of every app and how they handle each differentiator. Do you have any favorite note taking apps for iPad? Please let me know...it might save me some work.