I can name that tune in One Note....

Posted by Ed King on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 in , , , , ,
Those of you of a certain age will recognize the allusion: the old television program "Name That Tune". With the program having run from 1952 through 1985, we'll all just pretend that we remembered it from when we were in diapers at its conclusion.

Today, though, Microsoft's version of OneNote is a very powerful free-form database software for accumulating all sorts of information. (A brief nod to the all-time BEST free-form database AskSam but the Microsoft notebook analogy makes it easier for office mates to understand so that's what we use....) Part of the Microsoft Office suite in recent years, it has become daily staple for storing the bits and pieces of things I'll be called on to remember at some point in the distant future. With SO much oft-referred-to data having been piled into OneNote by both myself and others with whom it was shared both at work and home over these past 4-5 years, it was a natural that I'd want to have it in my iPhone.

AND I CAN! There's a very unique app called MobileNoter to synch your OneNote pages with your iPhone. Everything! Your pictures, charts, handwritten notations - the whole enchilada. (Oh, did I mention? You can put nearly anything including voice into a OneNote file as easily as buttering toast.) While it requires a bit of 'finger spreading' to make it readable on your iPhone unless you're using a darn big font on the desktop version, just having it there in your pocket - including the search feature which makes OneNote indispensable - means that you'll never go hungry for your information again.

What I particularly love is that it also does 2-way synch of information so you can add to your notes while you're off somewhere and they'll be right back into your desktop version as soon as you get home. If you've never tried OneNote, you have no idea how handy this can be when you're trying to remember pieces of planned projects, dabs of information about the next outing you're planning, or whatever. In your Masonic life, it's a great place to put the bits and pieces of things that you always want to have handy: a copy of the lodge by-laws, treasurer's reports, or whatever fits with your current or future office responsibilities. Imagine a notebook with dividers and filler paper. Inside is all of the information you've accumulated and might need to refer to. By typing "stated meeting" you'll see all instances of that within your several notebooks. Then imagine how handy that would be on your iPhone in your pocket. If you're a lodge Secretary, you can't do without these two - and, of course, your Masonic iPhone!

What's that? You say you can run it on your SmartPhone with OneNote Mobile? Ah, not so fast: you don't have all the features you do from the desktop, do you? And it looks SO much different.... No, my friend (and Brother?!): it's NOT the same. This is what you're used to on the desktop: not a cheap imitation for some inferior operating system that's always behind the times. (Compare the blue graphic on the left with the pictures above!)

If you've never used OneNote, take it for a test drive. You'll probably end up buying it. When you do, immediately, go to Mobile Noter's website to spend the $15 ($15 annually for the cloud edition with 600 Mb limit or $15 one time for the Wi-Fi version including unlimited storage/transfer which is great if you can regularly link to an office/home machine directly).

Now I have all of my notes about Anti-Masons (those with Masonophobia) sitting in my pocket along with work stuff, things I've got to remember for the lodge, chapter, shrine, etc. etc. plus ideas for more Masonic iPhone posts, Masonic geocaching notes, and so much more. Look out world!

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While meditating on the spot....

Posted by Ed King on Thursday, August 05, 2010 in , , ,
Yeah, sure: it's nice to have the pounding beat of an old Meatloaf song or a quick game of Plants versus Zombies on that iPhone but sometimes, we Masons find ourselves in a contemplative mood - and finding something to help is often out of reach. Not any longer! Quite by accident, I stumbled on a $4 program for the iPhone called "Level Steps - 100 Daily Meditations for Freemasons". Pretty overpriced, I thought, but it might save my Brethren from wasting their cash.

I was quite pleasantly surprised. Although created by IndiaNIC, a company which seems to just pour out iPhone apps with out-of-copyright material by the zillions, this is a gem I hadn't seen before in my Masonic literary travels. Written by Jonti Marks, apparently a UK Mason, it contains thoughtful essays on the essence and being of a Mason. Great for reading singly, these several paragraph thoughts are well formed and will leave you with something to mull both immediately and for some time thereafter. Reflecting on the great moral principles of our order, it is an app that has been well worth the price for me. I'd love to refer you to a website so you could see more but the creator just churns these things out and does not maintain separate pages for any of their many offerings. Get thee into the iTunes App Store, though, and do a search on "Freemasons". You'll see it there. It's a good selection and will certainly enhance your Masonic iPhone and enrich your day!

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