While there are a plethora of tools that I use to make myself a better journalist, there are three apps that I lean on the most while researching, fact-checking, note-taking and producing stories. These apps are Pocket, Evernote and Adobe Spark.
Pocket is an app that helps you discover hot topics, recommends popular stories, and quickly saves and synchs the stories across your phone, tablet, computer and even your Apple watch. The app itself is easy to use and distraction free. You can always add tags to organize the stories that you’re interested in and listen to your articles with text-to-talk. The main competitor of Pocket is “Instapaper,” and a side-by-side comparison can be found on Lifehacker, but the ultimate winner is Pocket. My favorite part about this app is that once you save the articles, you can read them even when you lack a wi-fi connection. This has come in handy for me, especially when I travel and I don’t want to pay the $7.99 for in-flight wifi.
Evernote is an app designed for note taking, organizing, making task lists, and archiving. There is a web, tablet and phone version of this app. This is important for journalist who begin notes on their computer and then take them on the go. You can sign in from any location and pick up where you left off. The app (no matter what platform you decide to use) is extremely user-friendly. You can type, edit, annotate, add color, photos, links and drawings. I use this app during interviews and when I put together my stories. Evernotes’ website even has tutorials for new users to get acclimated to the positive change in note-taking. Take a look at Evernote.
Adobe spark allows users to create eye-catching graphics for social media – a useful tool for when you need to draw attention to a story online. This makes your story more engaging while keeping a professional feel. The app also allows you to re-size your design instantly, so that you can share across a variety of social networks with ease. This is not a free app, however if you buy the entire Adobe package as a student, it comes to about $20 a month and you get the ENTIRE collection of Adobe products. Check out the Adobe Spark gallery here and see how you can enhance your own stories’ click-ability.
I choose what I want to research and write about based on what interested me on Pocket, finish taking notes and creating my own story with Evernote, and then I spread the word with Adobe Spark. I get by with a little help from my apps.