Apps for Learning and Development Professionals
The impact of mobile devices is hard to ignore. Whether it is for our consumption or production of media or the engagement with or production of learning activities mobile devices are proving to be unavoidable.
So which applications are most useful? Of course, one person's essential app is another's waste of space. Even so, there are some that are worth considering and many are available at least for the Apple iOS and Android phone platforms.
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Mindmapping is a technique that many in L&D use to structure their thoughts, or to help them get really creative. iThoughts is one of the better mindmapping apps for the iPad. It synchs directly with DropBox (the hugely popular file storage tool), and outputs easily to PDF. It also imports and exports to and from many of the most popular desktop mindmap tools such as Freemind, MindManager, and MindGenius. Android users could consider Mindjet as their mindmapping app of choice. In the ICTI office our preference is iMindMap which has apps for all platforms. But mindmapping is probably not well suited to smartphones - best off using a tablet.
Evernote - an app that integrates with almost every type of device you might be inclined to use. Great for planning, writing, storing and sharing documents - in fact a pocket tool for most occasions. It includes the ability to create check-lists and reminders when events need attention. This article was written in Evernote.
Organising and Planning is the area in which many people see the real benefit of their smartphone or tablet. A lot of useable applications are installed by default. Make use of the calendar, task manager and reminder functions. Without doubt you will also find apps to download which offer more sophisticated planning tools - you can find as many recommendations as there are approaches to time/project management. Take your pick and search in the App Store, Google Play or Windows Store. Personal preferences include Todoist (to do management), Kayak (for locating travel options), TripIt (for managing travel), and (an Android app providing information for first responders if you become unwell - a similar function is built into iOS devices.)