By Brian Gresham
This column entry marks the one-year anniversary of the Performance Improving Technology monthly column. I hope that the readers of PX have found the content valuable and have had the opportunity to try out some of these great applications, programs, and technology.
This month I have discovered an app that I have found beneficial to my daily functions of writing, blogging, and creating notes. In some instances, I find myself sitting at my desk trying to come up with a topic, but end up moving onto other projects because to come up with a useful application can be a bit difficult at times. However, I always think of topics and ideas when I’m in the most inconvenient places and have nothing more to write with than my phone. This simple thought flipped on a light switch and made me think, “Instead of writing myself a note in an email and sending it to myself for later, why not just start an entry.”
My personal goal for this month was to find a word processing application that links to a selected blog and is easily transferable to my desktop without having to email the content. I first came across PlainText. PlainText is an application created by Hog Bay Software designed for editing text on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. PlainText is a simple text editor with an uncomplicated, paper-like user interface. Unlike the default Notes app, PlainText allows you to create and organize your documents in folders and sync everything with Dropbox.com. The application is a free app offered at the Apple App Store.
1. FOLDERS keep your documents organized.
User Notes and Experience: Keeping the text organized in the folders is easy to do, just make sure you create the document from the folder you want to save it in. Once I have created a document, I have not been able to find a way to move the document into a different folder without selecting the text, copying, opening up the desired folder, making a new document, pasting the text, and resaving. After that make sure you go to the other document and delete it.
Deleting the document is just a simple slide of the finger over the document name from right to left, and then when the delete button pops up, touch your finger to the button.
2. PAPER-LIKE INTERFACE keeps the focus on your text.
User Notes and Experience: The user interface is very simple to use. It is easy, is clean, and has very few features, and the text saves as rich text to your drop box. The user is unable to bold, underline, list, or insert imagery. This is a simple free application for creating notes and starting documents. I would not recommend it for publishing; I would transfer the saved text from my dropbox to a different application and edit.
3. DROPBOX SYNC means your documents are always available.
User Notes and Experience: The sync feature was simple and easy to use. Once in the document, or main screen, simply select one of the “Sync” features.
When in the document, the user is able to “Sync All Now”; and from the main folder, the user can synch all of the text or enter a designated folder and sync all of the documents in the folder.
The only negative aspect of the application is moving a previously created text document from the main screen into an existing folder or from one folder to another. The only way I have managed to defeat this small blunder, while using my iPhone, is selecting and copying the text, then creating a document in the desired location and pasting the text. This process is a lot easier while using a desktop, all that needs to be done is dragging and dropping from one folder into another.