Many of my medical colleagues now use iPhones and iPads and there are often staff-room discussions over which apps to use. Here are my picks1.
Just go to the iTunes store and enter their names in the search box if you want to take them for a spin. In fact what I always do before purchasing any apps, is to search them out on YouTube. There are always a few instructional vids to give you an idea if you might like to try them out.
Agenda I have tried a lot of different calendars on my iPhone, but for sheer minimalist simplicity and ease of navigation, this is my choice.
It also has this neat function to easily send text messages when you are late (or early) for that important coffee rendezvous.
On my iPad, I use the native iCal app. It is not too shabby although I am still looking for something as good as Agenda (Agenda is available for iPad…but for me the whole thing just looks too big).
ToDo For iPad and iPhone. Again, I have played around with many ‘to do’ apps, but I find this one visually pleasing (especially on the iPad) and feature rich.
I sync all my tasks via Todledo, an online task management platform. This works so well for me that I pay for the todledo pro account for a little extra functionality.
Todo will also sync with many other task management platforms and once you get the hang of it can really organazise your day.
Evernote This is my brain. I use it ALL the time as a repository for everything from ED policies and journal articles to vego recipes and receipts.
Evernote has a powerful search engine that means you can forget losing your information in folders that are lost within folders. It can even recognise text in photos that you upload.
Again, i pay to use the pro version. If you are not yet familiar with Evernote, do one thing today and check it out.
Alarmed Alarmed is a free combination wake-up alarm, sleep-timer and task reminder app that you can download for your iPhone or iPad, and I like it a lot.
It has over 75 custom alarms, a sleep timer that lets you select a set play-list to go to sleep with and another to wake up to,Â and a neat feature that let’s you listen to a podcast or audio book for a set time and then transitions into your music play-list whilst you fall asleep. Neat.
But that’s not why I like it best.
Alarmed also allows you to set highly configurable alarms or timers to remind you of set tasks and recurring events throughout the day.
But that’s not why I like it best.
Why I like it best… is because it was developed by one man named David and his best friend Buddha the dog whilst touring the USA in their camper van.
Something really appeals to me about their story….
My dog is awesomely well-behaved when it comes to living in a confined space where I spend much of my time staring at a computer screen. He rests, looks out the window, snuggles next to me, etc. For the most part, random sounds don’t phase him. But there is one that always gets his attention — that certain sound that a MacBook Pro makes when you close the lid and the magnets grab hold. A sort of muted thud. He instantly jumps to attention, even if he was in a deep slumber at the time. He knows that I only close my computer when I am about to get up and do something different for a change. It means there is a good chance he’ll get some attention — a treat, a trip outside, etc.
So — I’m going to post this entry and close the lid of my computer and give Buddha a hug.
Tweetbot. This is hands down the best Twitter client for both iPhone and iPad.
After my initial skepticism about Twitter, I now encourage all nurses to join this active and useful medium for growing a medical community. If you are not yet sure how to get your chops around this service, here are some tips.
You can follow me over there: @impactednurse.
Google+ In my opinion, this platform has a far greater usefulness for nurses to connect, share and engage in professional development than Facebook.
The video application has huge potential to link nurses across the planet.
The big problem is that there just is not enough nurses or doctors active over there. Yet.
Google+ is a little different to use than FaceBook, but I urge to take it for a test drive. If we could get a tipping point of nurses to migrate to Google+, well, that would be a powerful thing. You can find me here.
Flipboard I use flipboard to read all my RSS feeds, Facebook and a ton of other online content.
Flipboard really shines on the iPad and has many options and suggestions with respect to adding content.
It is beautiful to use and has resulted in many a deltoid pummeling from Kelly when I am paying more attention to it than her.
Pocket (formally ‘read it later’) quickly flag interesting articles to read later. Can strip out all the ads and rubbish to leave you a nice clean reading experience.
I constantly use it to capture all those interesting links from twitter, Facebook and flipboard that I can come back and read over a good hot brew. Very useful once you develop a workflow of saving content across to it.
Byword For anyone else who writes online content.
I use this text editor to write all the posts on impactednurse.com. It uses markup a simple set of symbols that is transposed into HTML.
I just write away without distraction and then paste the HTML straight into WordPress. Once you get the hang of the markup language it becomes the ideal medium for transposing your stories.
To tell the truth, I don’t use my iPhone as a reference much on the floor these days.
Mainly because in the heat of battle, that is where it has ended up a few times.
That and the suspect smears I noticed across the screen from time to time.
Instead, I tend to use one of the ward computers2 . But I do still have some medical apps loaded:
GoodReader: A document reader that allows you to transfer files from your computer (or the web) to your iPhone/iPad.
It can allow you to view (and make annotations to) Text, PDF, PowerPoint, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets and many other documents.
It has a neat option to extract the text from pdf documents into an easy to read display.
Once again there are many similar apps out there, but this one works best for my needs. I simply store our departments frequently used policies, guidelines and drug info as pdf or doc files for easy access.
Medscape Im sure you already know of this one.
A great quick reference for when that mum brings in her child who is one of only 10-in-the-world with Korfey’s Sanctoplasmosis.
“Oh….of course” I reply, “Is that fulminating or expungiating Sanctoplasmosis?”3.
A very good reference that I use a lot to make people think I am smarter than I am.
MedCalc: Free app that gives you easy access to more medical formulas than you can poke a IV pole at.
It has a very user friendly interface and the ability to customise a list of favourite equations such as:
* Dose calculator. * Fluid replacement for burns. * Infusion Management. * IV drip rates. * Pregnancy Wheel. * Urine Output.
Mental Case: I love this little app.
It syncs to a desktop version of Mental Case (Mac Only) that allows you to produce your own custom flash cards.
You can add pictures to the cards, sort them into separate study cases. The program monitors you as you work through the cards, re-presenting those that you have not learned at more regular intervals.
For my tiny brain, flash-card study is the best way to get anything to stick to my teflon neurons.
Once installed on the iPhone, you can pull out your flashcards at any time for a little quick revision. The whole package aint cheap, but for nursing/medical students and adult learners this is a gem.
Lab Tests All the info you need regarding Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Coagulation, Electrolytes & Metabolites, Arterial Blood Gas (ABG), Enzymes and proteins, Ions and trace metals, Cardiac Tests, Liver and Pancreas, Lipids, Hormones and Immunology.
I use this one regularly.
OK then…unleash your own favorite apps for us in the comments section.
For those not on iStuff please include apps you use on other operating systems too.