Friday, 4 December 2015

Trello and Pocket - the third and fourth apps of Christmas

Yes, you caught me, I did fail to post yesterday, so it's time for a double whammy today.

Yesterday's app was Trello, which has been introduced to me before as we used it for our Discovery Service implementation project here at UEA. I really quite liked it! I think it's probably an excellent way for teams to work together, divide up tasks and measure progress. As a personal tool it's probably very useful as well, although perhaps could also lead to a lot of procrastination trying to organise your work rather than actually getting on and doing it (as shown by the below where I've organised today's to do list into a Trello board...this was entirely unnecessary, but fun!) Trello certainly isn't going to replace Wunderlist for me, which I use to manage my life pretty much, but then I've always been very fond of lists.

Pocket is something brand new to me and initially sounds fantastic. I am the kind of person who emails links to myself to look at later, and then never get around to it. I'm also very good at downloading PDFs, convinced that this time I WILL find time to read them, and yep, you've guessed it, years later they're still sitting there, unread and lonely.
So I download Pocket onto my phone, and quickly and easily I Pocket a tweet. Then it gets a bit harder - I have to remember that the share function is in the menu settings rather than via the site/s itself. This take a while to figure out. I give up on my phone and install the extension into my browser and try and bookmark a journal article. This is fine, but because of the need to authenticate to access full text I'm not seeing that on Pocket. I'm starting to think this is a bit more trouble that it's worth.
But there are features of Pocket I really like the sound of - offline reading for some items, instant access across all devices, sharing functions, read out loud - they all sound fantastic. I'm just not sure this is really for me (see above, I'm a list person, I'm happy with a list!)
The premise of Pocket I rather like: instead of having email links here and there, PDFs saved in multiple locations, oodles of bookmarks, I can instead keep all these exciting things in one place...but that really doesn't resolve the whole 'then read them' issue. In fact, Pocket is highly likely to increase my sense of satisfaction that I've collected together a good and valuable reading list, thereby decreasing my actual desire to get on with the reading itself. I wonder if many students would experience the same?
The other thing about Pocket is that for my students, gathering isn't enough, they also want the software to spit out references as well. And do I quite frankly. So something like RefME with it's webclipper is actually my preferred way of 'pocketing' my reading. That way I'm saving my reading all in one list as I browse around the web AND I'm creating my reference list at the same time. Of course RefMe doesn't contain the actual documents, so it doesn't have and sharing features but for academic learning it seems more appropriate to me.
Pocket's use of the 'share' function to Pocket from apps is new to me and clever. But ultimately the browser extension for web clipping is something a whole host of other apps can do, and really this is just another one. Might be perfect for some people I guess. But I think I'm happy with the way I do things. After all, I don't need MORE articles stored up to read at some point...honest...

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