Tag Archives: Ipad

By Megan Cullor, Implementation Consultant, Formatta & Roving Editor of Tech Reviews and Such

I’m ba-ack! This time I’m here to tell you all about my OTHER favorite productivity app, Wunderlist. I consider Wunderlist to be a perfect companion to my OTHER other favorite productivity app, Evernote, even though they’re not at all integrated — yet.

Wunderlist is a free to do list app that allows you to manage your tasks across as many different lists (categories) as you’d like. As I do in Evernote, I have categories for work, personal, etc. And also like Evernote, Wunderlist is cross-platform compatible, and tasks are synced in the cloud. I have Wunderlist installed on a PC, a MacBook Pro, and also my iPhone and my iPad, and my tasks are always up-to-date across all of my devices. Sigh. . .

I’ve tested many different task managers in my day, from the really simple, everything’s in one list kind of app, to the more complex, Getting Things Done (by David Allen) approach apps, and this is my favorite. I don’t follow the GTD method anymore, so I just need an app that allows me to categorize, set priorities, rearrange lists, and set due dates and reminders, and Wunderlist does all of that quickly and easily.

I love the way Wunderlist handles reminders. You set them up specifically for each device, so you can have desktop reminders on your PC, but not your MacBook, or notifications on your iPhone, but not your iPad, for example. And Wunderlist will also send email notifications if you’d like. Super handy. I tend to dismiss pop-up alerts as I see them, but if I have an unfinished task sitting in my email inbox, I’ll leave it as unread so that I can take care of it later. Yes, I know, I could just check my to do list . . .

They’ve recently introduced repeating tasks, which you can set up to repeat daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or even customized, such as every 2 days. And you can also add subtasks to your tasks. Handy for bigger tasks that need to be broken down into smaller chunks.

Another little bonus that I love are their backgrounds. They have a wood grain background that’s super attractive yet unobtrusive, and it’s the one I always go back to. It’s like sitting in a library, feeling very important, surrounded by my many leather-bound books. (And if you don’t get that movie reference, then we shouldn’t be friends. Seriously. Go away.)

Wunderlist also just started offering a Pro account, allowing you to assign tasks to members of a shared list — great for project collaboration, choose from additional backgrounds, assign an unlimited number of subtasks to a task, and more. I haven’t upgraded yet, but maybe if they offer an even more awesome wood grain background (if that’s even possible), I’ll consider it. It’s so pretty.

My other other favorite Wunderlist feature is the new browser extension that adds the current browser content as a Wunderlist task. For example, I wanted to watch a video on YouTube later so I clicked the Wunderlist button in Chrome and it parsed the text, adding the video name and URL to the task, along with a displaying drop-down list of my categories. Click Save and it’s automatically added to Wunderlist. Blam.

In conclusion (finally!), check out Wunderlist. It’s free, it’s portable, and it has a wood grain background (if you want). Did I already mention that?

By Megan Wallace, Implementation Consultant, Formatta


Let’s face it, we’re all busy — pulled in 700 different directions at once, more to do and keep track of than ever before, or at least it seems that way. I blame the Internet. Or the fact that we’re constantly “connected” somehow, whether it’s to the TV, or your iPad/iPhone/computer/etc. I’m planning to disconnect as much as possible at some point (during non-work hours only, of course…), so maybe I’ll write a post about that once I do. But for now, I’m just going to talk one of the best apps ever for keeping my brain in check.

Back in the “olden days,” I used to hand write everything that I needed to keep track of, whether it was work-related or personal, on actual paper (with a pen!). Sometimes on whatever scraps of paper I had nearby, but usually a legal pad. And if I DID write something down, like a list, on a scrap of paper, I always transferred it over to my trusty legal pad so that it was all in one place. If I had a project call with a customer, I’d take notes on my legal pad, sometimes rewriting them on a new sheet to organize them, but then I’d act on each item and then cross it off my list. Such a good feeling, crossing items off of a list. I love it. Shut up.

I’d end up with several legal pads full of notes in it that I might need to refer back to — things that I might need to talk to a customer about, or just notes for future reference — and I couldn’t throw the paper away for quite a while. Occasionally I’d go back through the notepads and either get rid of pages or entire notepads if I could. However, when I did I’d end up with that nagging feeling that I was throwing away something I might need later, like that one vital bit of information somewhere that I should have kept, or a missed requirement, for example.

Fast forward to 2009, when I discovered Evernote. Sigh… If I could write poetry, I’d definitely write a poem about Evernote. It’s the best thing since sliced bread (next to my Kindle, of course…).

Evernote is an app for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone, and it remembers EVERYTHING. You install it, create an account (or you can create your account online first), and then you’ll see your first “notebook” pop up in front of you. Here you can add new notes to capture anything you need to keep track of. I have an “Access” notebook for all work-related items, and I also have a TON of other notebooks for different purposes.

I even have a notebook called “Product Manuals” that holds PDFs of all of my paper product manuals — KitchenAid stand mixer, blender, food processor, router, laptop, etc. There’s an amazing browser extension called the Evernote Web Clipper that you can use to save PDFs or articles directly from your browser right into Evernote. Find the product manual PDF you need online (usually at the product manufacturer’s website), click the Web Clipper icon on your browser’s toolbar, and it’ll “clip” the PDF right into whatever notebook you want. I was able to get rid of a TON of manuals that were taking up space in a kitchen drawer, and also in my filing cabinet. That made me happy happy happy.

Back to how I use it for work, though — let’s say I have a call with a customer to discuss a Formatta form that I built that needs modifications. I click on the Access notebook and either hit Ctrl-N or click the New Note button to open a new note. I enter the customer name and the date as my note title, and then I take notes during the call, typing them directly into my new note. I can add lines to separate sections of notes, as well as bullets, numbered lists, tables, checkboxes, format text with different fonts, sizes, and colors, as well as bold, underline, etc. You get the idea — basically any kind of formatting you’d do in Microsoft Word you can do here. You can even add tags to your notes, as many as you’d like. I rarely use this though because of Evernote’s amazing search feature (more about that in a minute).

Users have unlimited storage and, depending on your user type (free or premium), you can either upload up to 60 MB or 1 GB of data each month. I’m a Premium user and never get anywhere near my upload limit each month. And I use Evernote EVERY DAY. So feel free to store everything you might need in there. I do. You can even lock the Evernote app with a password, or encrypt specific notes or text in notes for added security.

There are waaaaayyy too many awesome features in Evernote to write about each one in this post, so I’ll just mention a couple more, and then you can go check it out for yourself, and then come back later and thank me. (You’re welcome!)

First, because you’ve created an account with Evernote, all notes sync to “the cloud” (ooooooohhhhh…), so they’ll sync between all of your devices, if you so choose. I have it syncing on my work laptop (PC), my personal laptop (MacBook), plus my iPad and my iPhone, and it works seamlessly.

Second and most awesome, it will index EVERYTHING once it’s uploaded to the cloud, and will make it available for searching. And when I say EVERYTHING, I mean everything. Regular notes, PDFs, graphics, whatever. Take a picture of a menu when you’re at a restaurant, then later on, if you’re looking for the restaurant where you had that amazing caramelized goat cheese and arugula tart (Barley’s in Overland Park, KS — yum!), search for “goat cheese” or “tart,” for example, and it’ll pull up all notes with your search term(s) in it, including the note with the restaurant menu. Or if you need to find your popcorn popper manual, just search for “popper” and it’ll bring up your popper’s product manual.

By the way, I typed this post in Evernote. Blam! Go check out Evernote, try it for a month or so, and you’ll never look back.

Editor’s Note: Evernote also captures notes written with a stylus – via tablets like my beloved and underrated HTC Flyer, a tablet PC or on the iPad using Penultimate (which Evernote purchased last year). If Evernote can read and search my scrawl, it can read and search anything. Also, check out the Evernote Clearly app, which lets you read online articles without those annoying ads and links on the sidebars.


Don’t dismiss this post just because you think the premise of the title is ludicrous. “Windows is terrible,” you probably think. “And as for Windows tablets, they’re about as portable as a suitcase full of bricks, with near non-existent battery life and an OS that’s just as clunky as the Windows 7 desktop versions.”

But what if the next gen of Windows tablets could match up with the iPad in portability, battery life and simplicity? According to a leaked screenshot widely distributed across all the usual tech sites, this could indeed be the case.

I gave up my Windows 7 convertible tablet when I bought my HTC Flyer tablet, which synchs my stylus-generated notes with my Evernote account and enables me to search these notes on the device and via the Evernote client on any Mac or PC. But, while I enjoy the 7-inch form factor, which enables me to hold the Flyer in one hand and take notes with the other, and I’m a big Evernote fan, there are certain limitations that I didn’t struggle with when using OneNote on my old laptop. The first is the lag when I’m writing a long note – I can’t scrawl for a few seconds while the HTC notes app spins its wheels. Infuriating. And while the search feature is useful and supports full-text search, Evernote will only display the notes that match the search term, rather than doing this plus highlighting the words in each matching document. Ugghh!

So, if Windows 8 machines can indeed deliver on the promise of being faster, lighter and more user-friendly than their Windows 7 first cousins (and, as mentioned, if they have better battery life), I might consider getting one. Now that OneNote synchs to the cloud for added peace of mind, it could be the difference maker for humbles scribes like me when evaluating Windows 8. There are many styli for the iPad, but it’s still not a viable note taking device for heavy duty writers who, despite Steve Jobs’s assertion to the contrary, still like to use a pen or its electronic equivalent.

The other pluses of a Windows 8 tablet that lives up to its potential would be the ability to multi-task, not being tied to iTunes for movies and music, and not being just another rider on the iPad bandwagon – though I must confess my MacBook Pro whups my old laptop like the Miami Heat did the New York Knicks this weekend.

Now there’s always the chance that Microsoft won’t come through – I am still smarting from the cancellation of the Courier project. Price will be another determining factor – I’ll just stick with the HTC Flyer if the next Windows tablets are twice the price of the iPad.