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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – efficiency tools for journalists

Poynter has a post listing cheap and useful tools that can help entrepreneurial journalists be more efficient.

It recommends Evernote, Google Docs, tools for handling invoices, Dropbox and other file transfer tools, plus back-up solutions.

The full post is at this link.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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App of the week for journalists – DropVox, for saving audio to Dropbox

November 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: DropVox

Operating systems: Apple (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)

Cost: £1.49

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? DropVox is a voice recorder that automatically saves your audio to your Dropbox account, a free service that allows you to store files and access them from any device.

 

DropVox provides a simple voice recorder which saves to Dropbox as you press the stop button, allowing you to record another memo or interview while your audio is saving.

The advantage for journalists is the ability to record an interview on a phone or iPad and then access the audio from any computer.

Unfortunately it does not record broadcast quality audio and the iPhone’s own voice memo will give far better sound despite also recording as an m4a.

DropVox uploads best via a wireless connection but short interviews can be transferred by 3G.

Reviews: It gets five stars in iTunes App Store.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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Tool of the week for journalists – Greplin, to search your private files and profiles

Tool of the week: Greplin

What is it? A private search engine for your personal files and social media accounts

How is it of use to journalists? Greplin allows you to search your Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Dropbox accounts in the same way as you would use Google to search the web.

Recommended by Amy Webb at US journalism conference #ONA11 as “a way of sort of defragging your brain”, Greplin is a tool that can help journalists find a key piece of information in a second or two.

For example, you may be working on a story about a company or subject and have information in emails, your Dropbox account, Google Calendar and LinkedIn. One search in Greplin will allow you to surface the source documents and references to the company or topic.

The basic subscription is free and includes those accounts listed above. You can unlock services such as Delicious by tweeting about Greplin, and there are some services, such as Evernote, only available with Greplin Premium.

There is a free iPhone app and also a browser extension for Chrome, which is well worth adding. This enables you to search your files simply by prefixing your query with a “g”.

 

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‘If this then that’: ten recipes for journalists

If this then that – or ifttt – is a tool that allows you to connect various other tools together to create rules or tasks. It allows you to connect 17 channels, including SMS, Facebook, WordPress and Dropbox, offering 1040 possible task combinations.

The most popular ‘recipe’, a task designed and shared by others, will give you an idea of how ifttt works. This recipe allows you to connect your Facebook and Dropbox accounts so that when someone tags you in a photo on Facebook, the photo will be added to your Dropbox folder (cloud storage allowing you to access your files on different devices).

Here are ten ifttt recipes for journalists:

1. When you receive an email from a key contact or your editor, you receive an SMS

You no doubt receive scores of emails but there are some senders that are more important to hear from than others. This recipe allows you to set up a key contact, such as a source or your editor, and receive a SMS whenever that person emails you.

2. When you post a link to Delicious, add to Dropbox

If you use Delicious to bookmark interesting stories, this recipe allows you to also save the links to Dropbox. For example, I am interested in new smartphone apps so have set up a connection so that any Delicious bookmark that I tag “app” is posted to a folder in my Dropbox account.

3. Post Google+ posts to your Facebook page

Google+ adds additional responsibility for anyone in the newsroom tasked with managing social media.

It is widely recognised that non-automated posts are best when it comes to Facebook and Google+. This recipe allows you to write a link post in Google+ and automatically post the link to your site’s Facebook page. You can also create a rule to post status updates.

To do this you need to set up an RSS feed of your Google+ account. Copy your Google+ ID, which is the long number in the URL of your Google+ profile, and paste it on the end of http://plu.sr/feed.php?plusr=. My Google+ feed is therefore http://plu.sr/feed.php?plusr=107031542976965456407, for example.

4. Create an Evernote every time you star an item in Google Reader

If you use Google Reader as your RSS feed reader and want a quick way of saving key articles to Evernote, this is a solution.

5. Post to Instapaper (or Read It Later) every time you star an article in Google Reader

If you use Instapaper to read articles later this is a quick way of posting from Google Reader.

6. Post a ‘favourite’ tweet (with links) to Instapaper (or Dropbox or Evernote)

When you come across a tweet with a link and want to save it for later you may well click star to make it a favourite. This recipe allows you to save those favourite tweets and post the linked articles to Instapaper. Alternatively, you can also set this up to save to Dropbox of Evernote.

7. Add favourite Flickr photos to Dropbox

If you post stories you write online, you may well use Flickr images with creative commons licences. Flickr allows you to indicate favourite images that you come across and may want to use at a later date. This recipe saves those images to Dropbox. Alternatively, you can set this up to save favourites to Evernote.

8. Send me an email (or SMS) to remind me about a daily meeting, weekly or monthly task.

If you have a daily or weekly meeting or task to carry out, ifttt can enable you to create reminder.

9. Send me an email (or SMS) every time a certain person tweets

Twitter is a great source for journalists but it is easy to miss a tweet from a key contact. Perhaps the key source is a person or company that only occasionally tweets and when they do you want to be alerted immediately. This recipe allows you to receive an email when an individual tweets. You can also set a rule to receive an SMS.

10. Send me an email every time a keyword is mentioned in an RSS feed

This is a recipe I suggested in a recent Journalism.co.uk tip of the day. It is a way you can set up an alert when a keyword is mentioned by a particular news provider.

If you are a journalist and have a favourite ifttt recipe, share it in the comments session below.

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App of the week for Journalists: DropSync for Android – syncs with DropBox

August 10th, 2011 | 4 Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

Last week’s app of the week was Evernote, allowing you to share documents between devices. This week’s app is new service DropSync, which works with Dropbox, a hugely popular syncing and sharing service for files, photos and video used by more than 25 million people.

App of the week: DropSync

Operating systems: Android

But iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and web app users should take note of this wide range of apps that work with Dropbox, especially DropVox, an audio recorder for iPad and iPhone.

Cost: free / pro version is £3.47

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? DropSync is a newly released app that allows you to sync and update files in your Dropbox folder using your Android phone or tablet.

Dropbox is a cloud file storage system which can be installed on multiple computers or accessed via a web browser. It means you can work on files at home and at work without needing to transfer to a memory stick, Google Docs or email. A 2GB account is free. Group accounts are also available.

Reviews: DropSync gets 4.3 starts in the Android Market

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