A Simple App for Saving Anything You Want To Access Later

Captio is a no frills IOS app that lets you type or paste information onto the screen of your mobile device, hit the send button and have the information appear in your email inbox. Captio logo   All you need to do is enter your email address once into the app during setup, and you are set to go.  Although the app was originally designed for the user to send him/herself quick reminders, I find it to be a great application for sending web links from my iPad to either my Mac or PC computer for later use.  While I can do the same thing by writing myself an email, Captio really does this very efficiently as all I have to do is copy, paste onto the Captio screen and hit send.  I do not need to type an email address and delivery is extremely fast via Google’s mail servers.  Sometimes taking a photo of something is more efficient than typing a note, and you can add both photos and screenshots to Captio for delivery easily.

To make a screenshot on an IOS device, you press the Sleep button (located at the top or side depending on the device) immediately followed by pressing the Home button which stores the screenshot in the Photos app. captio_screenshot To transfer the screenshot, you press the “+” button in the lower right hand corner, click the picture icon, choose the screenshot photo, and hit send.  All of this takes about a total of 30 seconds.  While you can share photos via email, since Captio is set up to send directly to your inbox, the entire process is quicker than using your email app.  If you want to take a picture of something to send,  you hit the “+” button in the lower right hand corner of the Captio screen, click the camera icon, snap your photo and send.

If you are off-line and want to send yourself a reminder, Captio will store the email.  When your device is online again, it will automatically send the note to your inbox.

This is a great little app that does one thing (email pieces of information) and does it well.  Captio costs $1.99 in the Apple App Store and works on both the iPhone and iPad.

A Nifty Way for Mac Users to Summarize Articles

I’ve been doing a lot of literature review for a new research project. One problem you run into when you come up with a large number of lengthy articles is time to read them. If you are a Mac user, there is a nifty tool available to help with this problem. This tool called “Summarize” allows you to condense an article to get the gist of it so you can decide if it is valuable for digesting in more detail later. These summaries also can be used the way we used 3 x 5 cards in the good ol’ days to catalog information when writing research papers. If you aren’t doing research, Summarize can be used just to abridge the daily news, etc. It is one of those interesting little tidbits in OS X that most Mac users have no idea even exists!

You have to activate this feature of OS X to be able to use it. To do this, go to the System Preferences menu (click on the little Apple at the top left of your screen to get there) and choose Keyboard. In the box of Keyboard preferences, choose the Shortcuts Option. system_preferences_summarize1Choose Services in the lefthand pane. In the righthand pane, scroll down almost to the bottom and check the Summarize box. Clicking on “add shortcut” allows you to choose a keyboard shortcut for calling up the Summarize feature on the fly (my shortcut is option+command+s). You can now use this feature with anything you wish to condense such as a word processor document, website article, etc.

When reading a document, select the portion of the document you would like to condense (command+A will select the entire document), and open the Summarize function. If you did not make your own keyboard shortcut, you will have to access Summarize by right-clicking the selected text and choosing the Services option from the menu. When the Summarize window opens, you will see a plain text document. At the bottom of the window, you can alter how condensed the summary is by adjusting the summary length with a slider. In paragraph mode, Summarize chooses what it deems to be the most “important” words and shows you the paragraphs that use them the most. In sentence mode, Summarize chooses individual sentences containing the “important” words.system_preferences_summarize2

You can copy and paste the summary into another document or save the summary as a file (command+shift+S). The file is a text file that can be used in a word processor document or anything else that can use text files. When you name your file, if you manually add the RTF (rich text) extension, the Finder will be able to generate a preview of the document.

If you haven’t played with Summarize, give it a try to see if you have a use for it.  I don’t know of a similar function in Windows.  If someone knows of one, I would love to try it out.