DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

November 4, 2014

Cogi

Livescribe.comThe article last week regarding Livescribe generated many emails from readers, for which I thank you.  I really enjoy reading about your technology thoughts and discoveries, as well as tips like the one I got from Lisa this week.  She told me about an application she uses on her phone and tablet which helps take notes too.  It is a free app named "Cogi – Notes & Voice Recorder." 

I had to find out what Cogi stood for — "cogent idea."  So it is an app that helps you keep track of thoughts and information you gain, usually when attending a lecture or meeting.  It is similar in that respect to Livescribe.

After you install Cogi, just start the app when your lecture begins.  It buffers the audio portion of the talk.  OK, what does buffering mean?  When you buffer audio it means the application actually records the voices but does not save it to the memory card on the device/phone.  It keeps a good portion of the audio in your phone/table’s RAM (temporary) memory.

If you hear someone say something really vital and important to remember or follow-up on, click the "Tap to highlight" button.  It then records the audio portion to a file and continues until you click the, "Tap to stop" button.  You can set it to go back from 15 to 45 seconds.

Visit Cogi.comOnce the lecture is over and you have "highlighted" the important parts tap and hold the button and it stops.  It names the session for the date you recorded.  You can rename the file to something more familiar to you if you wish.

During the recording you can also add photos you take during the lecture.  Say someone draws a diagram on a whiteboard.  You can photograph it and add that into the recorded session.  That way you have any visual information with the audio so you have it all.

You also may add any photo to the recording session if you would like.  In their demo they show that you can even photograph a page of notes to add to the audio lecture. 

At this point Cogi is only available for Android or iPhones.  I imagine they are writing code for Windows phones too, but this remains to be seen.  

They advertise that the concept is simple and I agree. When you hear things that are significant, many times you cannot remember or capture them.  So this makes it easy to remain focused on all that is going on and grab the information you need.

I gave Cogi a spin a few times and found that the WAV sound of the voice recording was nearly 5MB per minute.  A little large but it played very well when I played it back on my phone.  It also gives you the options of emailing the files (pictures included) to someone or saving them to your computer, Copy.com, Dropbox, etc.  The pictures I took looked great too, they were large files; however, that is dependent on your camera not Cogi.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  

August 27, 2013

Google Keep

Welcome back to another week of Double Click!  I would like to remind you to shoot me an email with your tech/computer questions when you run into them.  I am always glad to hear from you guys any time. 

If you read the column regularly you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with Google.  I love many of their products but I hate it when they have a really good one that they decide to remove from their cadre of apps.

So let me share a little love and hope that Google does not decide to kill it in the next couple of years.  The app/site is called, "Google Keep" and it works really well.  Google even added a very good feature to it this week, so it will be around for a while…well, I guess.

It is presently available for all Android devices.  Sorry iPhoners, it is not an app yet; however, it is available as a website for one and all. 

imageBasically, Google Keep is a note taker/keeper.  I know you have been doing one thing with your phone/tablet (device from here on out) and think of something you need to get to later.  Yes, you could email yourself, write it on a piece of paper or do it the ancient way…remember it.  But with Keep (yes, I shortened that one too) you open the app with a click and add your note.

There are similar apps out there but they are not as simple to use or available everywhere electronically.  Evernote is one of the others I have used.

You can type in a note, create a list, add a photo with or without notes and even leave an audio message.  The speech to text transformation is smooth and fairly accurate but not perfect.  For instance, with audio I recorded the previous sentence and it was all correct, except for "smooth and" which was changed to "moving."

All of your "notes" are added to your Google Drive so you can log into, "google.com/keep" and see your notes there.  Then you may edit, delete or create new ones online.  In just a few seconds they will be available on your device too. 

Tablet ScreenNow let’s discuss the recently added feature. It can mark an existing or new note to alert me at a specific time.  Yeah, neat but not extraordinary.  However, I can also set it to alert me at a specific location, if I have a data or Wi-Fi connection at that time.  For instance, I set an alert the other day to notify me to write a column about, "Google Keep" the next time I went to my favorite coffee shop.  When I arrived here this morning, ding-ding, I received the reminder to write the article.  I don’t even need a brain anymore.  Hmm. 

Think about this, since you can create lists in Keep, how about your grocery list?  Set it to alert you when you get to the grocery store.  When you arrive at the store, there it is, ready to read from your phone or tablet.

Keep in mind this new feature may not be available to you right this second since they are adding this through the end of the month.  So make sure you do your updates.

Yes, I know the brain and paper are probably just as easy but not as cool…

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