More Apps and Tools

Habitica

☀☀☀☀ Habitica is a productivity and habit-building app with a fun role-playing twist. Similar to Evernote, Habitica helps users organize their busy lives. Even better, users can turn their real lives into games. Create your own character. Complete tasks in real life to level-up. Tasks can be one-time or habit-changing; you choose. Habitica is most useful for people (like myself) who thrive off of reward-motivation. It has helped me keep on top of deadlines as a journalism student and even got me to start exercising!  — Cat Supawit

Riddle Me That

☀☀☀☀ Riddle Me That is a game for your brain. These short riddles are much trickier than they seem. The immediate downside: you have to deal with ads. The app also warns that it could slow down your device; I didn’t notice that. But now the good: immediately after download I was hooked. Addicting and thought-provoking, this app doesn’t feel like it’s wasting space. As a full-time student and journalist, it is nice to take a break from work. This gives me my break while keeping my mind in an engaging place. Get it at the App Store. — Olivia Davila

Travelmath

☀☀☀☀ TravelMath is a brilliant app that calculates the cost and distance of a trip. When I mapped a trip from Phoenix to San Diego, the app reported the distance, time and costs of choosing to drive or fly. TravelMath is a smart tool for journalists who are constantly traveling. In July 2016 it was featured as a top travel app. It is free and available on Android and iPhones. Julia Bashaw

☀☀☀☀ Planning for travel can be complicated. Finding good deals is often difficult. But with Travelmath, users can calculate time and the dollars of flying, driving or riding. Locate train stations, destination distances,  travel times and more with the website’s search tool.  Journalists can use Travelmath’s quick responses to get to news events whether they are across the country or across town. The app is free to download. — Scotty Bara

WordWhizzle

☀☀☀☀ WordWhizzle is a letter game that works like a puzzle. Here’s how: The app generates a topic, such as “wild animals.” You must swipe letters to form the right words for that topic. The game is fun to play but hard to beat. It is also addictive. Tough topics lurk in the higher levels. The puzzles get harder to solve when more letter combinations are added. If you want a lot of hints, you have to buy them. Journalists who play word games sharpen language skills. — Scotty Bara

☀☀☀☀ WordWhizzle is a fun time for a journalist! Similar to RiddleMeThat, this free app encourages creative ways to solve word problems. It is heavy on advertisements but I found the annoyance bearable. Users get a theme and a scramble of words. Assume the topic is “facial features.” You would have to connect the letters to make words in the correct order to win. (Try it in the photo above.) For any word-lover, this is a great way to enhance creative thinking skills. Download WordWhizzle from the app store. — Olivia Davila

 

 

Headspace

☀☀☀☀☀Journalism is a stressful business.  Headspace is a relaxing experience. This app provides guided meditation, walking you through the steps to calm body and mind. The daily audio sessions run 10 minutes. The first 10 are free but to get more you must subscribe. Libraries cluster sessions into topics such as performance, relationships or health. While Headspace won’t end the debate about the future of the news industry, it can help journalists breathe deeper and think more clearly. — Chris McCrory

IFTTT

☀☀☀☀ Despite the odd name, IFTTT is one of the most versatile apps to have in your pocket. Plus, it’s free. The app brings together mini programs called applets, each designed to do different things. Meteorologists need the forecast for different places? Done. Reporters need a spreadsheet of their contacts directly from their phones? Done, in a few simple taps. The app’s only drawback is that it has to be running in the background to work, but the wide range of applets for any kind of journalist seems worth the sacrifice of a little battery life. — Chris McCrory

White House

☀☀☀☀ The White House app uploads and live streams press conferences and other presidential events straight to your phone. Get alerts when a video is live, and scroll through transcripts of press briefings. Choose from their blog, the briefing room, photos, videos, live streams and more. This app is essential for journalists covering the White House or politics in general. — Hailey Koebrick

SitOrSquat

☀☀ Need a bathroom break? SitOrSquat is a restroom finder that promises to show journalists (or anyone in a hurry) the location of nearby public restrooms. You can give feedback on local bathroom quality by logging in and choosing Sit (good quality) or Squat (could be better). As an idea, it makes sense, but the last update was in December 2014.  I found the free Flush app does a better job, and is updated more regularly. SitOrSquat listed only a handful of restrooms around the Cronkite school. Flush displayed many, and allowed for more in-depth user response. — Hailey Koebrick

Vogue Runway

☀☀☀☀ Find today’s fashion frenzies in one place – Vogue Runway. This free app, which calls itself  “digital front row to fashion week,” gives users a peek into new design trends. Filters show brand, fashion show, or season. Vogue gives fashionistas ample videos of designers and models. IPad users have access to more photos and content. Simple to navigate. Could be more interactive with sharing abilities and options suited to individual users. Always keeps fashion journalists/bloggers in the “know.” — Emily Taylor

PromptSmart Lite

 ☀☀☀☀ Master the art of public speaking with PromptSmart Lite. Users have a personal teleprompter at their fingertips for $3.99. Adjust font size and scrolling options, type scripts, or upload them from Google Drive, Dropbox or elsewhere.  Text moves at your natural speaking pace due to voice-recognition. Learn diction and pace. Share audio files with colleagues. Though not economical in my view, an upgrade plan of $14.99 provides more customization. Broadcast journalists: use this to practice. — Emily Taylor