Monday, September 9, 2013

Social Media Monday—Best Apps to Help You at a Conference

So many of us are heading to Indianapolis this week for the annual ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. For some this will be the first time at a big conference, others are old pros.

It doesn’t matter where you fall on the scale, I have some app suggestions for your smart phone and/or tablet that can help streamline your conference experience.

Note Taking
Moleskin—This is by far my favorite note taking app. It’s free and available for android and apple, as well as your phone and tablet. I use this instead of carrying a notebook and pen. I have a stylus that is also an ink pen and it’s really streamlined my note taking. It also makes it almost impossible to loose my notes when I get back home.

Dragon Dictation—I love Dragon Naturally Speaking, but I think I love the app even more. I have it on my iPhone and my iPad. I can dictate notes directly into the app and email them to myself from anywhere.

I prefer Card Munch to keep track of

Card Munch—Let me keep track of business cards. I collect cards during the day, and at night feed them into Card Munch, which is linked directly with my LinkedIn account.

EverNote—I can import the info from Moleskin directly into EverNote and it’s available on all my devices
EverClip—this lets me clip webpages and import them to EverNote.

Dropbox—I have all my documents and contacts backed up to Dropbox, and with the app I can access everything I need from my home computer without having to lug it everywhere I go.

Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram— I have all the individual apps, just in case I want to post from there.

Hootsuite—This is my favorite way to share updates. This lets me post to FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. with just one click. I can also schedule updates so if I have several things to share I can avoid hogging the stream!
NOTE: you can’t schedule images. There isn’t a free scheduler for image driven sites yet.

Pedometer—This helps me remember to keep moving and not totally neglect my fitness regimen.

Qrafter—this is a QR code reader and it’s my favorite. It seems more and more places are using QR codes in advertising, with this app you’ll never be in the dark.
Flashlight for your phone— There are many good flashlight apps for android and Apple. I like Flashlight for iPhone, it’s free and easy to use. I can always lay my hands on my iPhone so it saves me digging in my purse for a light. It also lightens the load.

Places Around—This is a great app to help you find things you may need, from a pharmacy to fast food to parking. It’s easy to use and I’ve found it to be accurate.

White Noise—This app has an entire catalogue of soothing sounds to help even the worst insomniac relax. It includes a timer feature, as well as an alarm, so you can wake up as refreshed as you went to sleep.

Skype—This app lets me stay in touch with those cheering me on from home. I can IM with them and even have a face-to-face conversation. 

Ereader Apps
Nook, Kindle, iBook—I make sure they’re all up-to-date and the books I want to read are installed on the device I’m using.

Audible—I love my Audible app. I sometimes prefer it to White Noise when I’m trying to unwind. It’s also great to use on the airplane, waiting in the airport, or traveling in the car.

Netflix—This is another favorite that I use to unwind back at the hotel. Sometimes all I need is a good laugh with some of my favorite shows to help put life back in perspective.

Before you leave home, make sure you’re logged into all your social media networks, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Hootsuite, etc. This will save valuable time when you want to post an update on the go!

You may wonder at what's not on here—an app that lets me post to my blog (there are plenty). I just haven't mastered writing blog posts on the fly. I schedule all my posts before I leave. That way I can check for comments and answer those, but leave the largest number of brain cells free to concentrate on conference stuff.

Now it’s your turn, what are some of your favorite apps?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. That is great advice. Some of those things I never even heard of before so it will be great to research them and find out how to use them. I am excited about our local conference for East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers coming up in October in Covington, Ga. I learned so much last year, thanks to you and the other speakers. Hopefully, I can also attend a major conference sometime soon.

  2. Was it hard to train your dragon? I tried dragon naturally speaking several years ago, and couldn't get enough accuracy to be helpful.

  3. I thought I was with it and connected. Now I think I am still in the stone age. So much to learn and so little mind left to learn it with. It is an interesting post. Keeping up with all the technology may be more than I care to, or can afford to get into. I thought I was being progressive because I was considering a notebook instead of carrying a laptop. Thanks for all the info though. Have an awesome conference.

  4. Thanks Edie!
    I'm going to download some of those right now! I want to be ready!

  5. I'm looking forward to trying Bump this time. It's a file-sharing program that you use to "bump" any other phone that has the program and it automatically downloads the file that's open on either phone to the other.

    I hope it works like it says it does!

  6. Thanks, Edie. I plan to save this info. for whenever I upgrade to a smart phone. Am I the last one on the planet? My college-age daughters think so!

  7. This list of social media tools would definitely help website owners. Another great tool I use for managing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is Buffer. Not as robust as Hootsuite in terms of managing or analyzing but for easily posting and spacing out content it works great.