My Favorite Apps For Work – url2pdf

Have you ever found yourself reading a webpage on a mobile device and thought, “I wish I had a .pdf of this so I could mark this up and save it”?

Since I read a lot of cases and article on my tablet that I share with you good folks (you’re welcome), I was tormented by this thought.  Or concerned.  Or mildly annoyed.

url2pdf does just what its name suggests.  It takes a URL and converts the page into a .pdf file suitable for framing.  I use it for highlighting or marking up documents as I would a paper file.

The interface is sparse, to be charitable.  However, it is easy to use and doesn’t require much in the way of instruction.

It is amazing how such a small, free, simple app can make portable devices so convenient.  It is another tool that turns that turns my tablet from a glorified reader to a mobile workstation.


My Favorite Apps For Work – LectureNotes

I never used a tablet at The Big Firm.  I had the firm-issued Blackberry and my own iPhone, but I was not a fan of integrating my personal electronics with the firm’s system.

I was also not an early adopter for tablets.  However, since I went solo, I started using a tablet frequently.  I tend to use it for reading articles and as a replacement for printouts.  This leads me to LectureNotes.

LectureNotes is an Android app for taking notes on the screen.  Simple enough, as there are many apps that do this, including the native apps that were pre-installed on the tablet.

LectureNotes is great for the note-taking function, but what really sets it apart is when it is paired with PDFView.  PDFView renders .pdf documents for viewing and marking on LectureNotes.  You can import .pdf’s to have them available to mark them up as if they were paper documents.  You can customize the size and color of the “pen” you use and note deletions, insertions and notes.  It also allows you to organize your documents in a customizable way.

You may say that Adobe Reader does the same thing, and it does.  However, I found that there is far less latency in LectureNotes when I am marking up a document than when I use Adobe Reader.  The fraction of a second latency in Adobe Reader is enough to catch my attention and break my concentration as I stop to make sure the program recognized that I was writing.

LectureNotes is priced at less than $5.00 at this writing and worth it.  PDFView is free.  Paired together, they are responsible for a great deal of changing how I interact with documents.


Be Your Own IT Dept. – Applying a Protective Screen Shield to Your Mobile Device

Due to very pressing professional needs that had nothing to do with Angry Birds, I bought an Asus Transformer tablet.  I wanted an Android tablet rather than an iPad since I do some Android development in my spare time.  See my apps here.  And buy them.  This blog ain’t paying for itself.

Since I intend to use it as a paper substitute with a stylus, I figured I needed a screen protector and settled on Armorsuit.  Unfortunately, the application method involves “washing hands” and “solutions” and squeegying.  The final product is streaky and bubbly, but from the comments I read this is to be expected while the solution dries.

I’m supposed to leave it off for 12 to 24 hours and the bubbles and streaks should eventually go away.  The website says it can be removed without residue, so I have that going for me.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here’s how YouTube says to do it:

Best comment:  “If I leave my phone off for 24 hours, my family and friends will most likely think I’m dead.”