From the fully-fledged reporter at a top newspaper to the citizen journalist or revered blogger, getting the news across to your online audience in a coherent timely manner is key. A lot of the time, this means you’re not at your desk when the greatest story breaks.
In addition to getting the story, you need to stay organized too. Fortunately, there are a number of great apps at your disposal to help you out in those situations — and ultimately helping you up your reportage game.
Available across all Apple devices, Reeder is one of the sleeker RSS readers. For writers and bloggers trying to update with the latest news regularly, this is a great app for checking out various sources at a glance. You can organize feeds into specific folders, mark items you want to come back to, or share items of interest to your social media feeds. They layout of articles is simple too, helping you focus on the content.
You’re a journalist — chances are, you’ll meet a lot of interesting people to add to your contacts list. Rather than waste time manually adding business card details into Contacts though, get an app like CardMunch. This useful freebie takes a picture of a business card and automatically pulls the information into a contact for you, then finds them on LinkedIn. Two birds, one stone.
If you happen to use a Google Account, you should start using Google Drive to the best of its ability (if you don’t already). Google Drive makes sharing with others on your team easy, be it sharing a document if you can’t access typical word processing software, to co-editing lists in spreadsheets. Seeing as this Google service relies on the Cloud, you can return to it on any device too.
While you could record that all-important quote using the in-built Voice Memos app, PCM Recorder offers a lot more functionality. First off, in addition to saving your sound bite, you can share the clip straight to the likes of SoundCloud. There are plenty of output options for you to tinker with, without being complicated. What’s more, the app records in a higher quality, despite using the internal microphone.
iA Writer is a simple design to match a simple, but effective, concept. This app is possibly better used on an iPad than an iPhone, but still worth having across any iOS platform. There’s no fancy settings to fiddle with here, just type out your story or memo, then each time you save, rest easy knowing it’s saved on your Mac, iPhone and iPad — you can also sync it up with iCloud and Dropbox.
Everyone on the editorial ladder needs to keep it together when covering big news or events, and I like to keep track of writers and editors tasks using Evernote. Write out your task lists, assign them to people, and sync those notes or lists across platforms, so no one can say they’re out of touch! If someone on the team’s slacking, record an audio note and give them a stern warning. You can also invite others to edit tasks too, and keep notified on progress with email. What’s more, it’s a pretty app to look at.
If Evernote seems a little fussy for your tastes, Wunderlist is another nicely designed to-do list app, stripped down a little. You can invite others to share your lists, however this one feels like it has a bigger emphasis on directing you to the tasks assigned to you. Those worried about missing a looming deadline needn’t worry, as Wunderlist will constantly remind you. This one is even better for editors purely trying to delegate tasks too.
Thinking up the perfect feature story to pitch to your editor can be hard, but tricks like mind mapping can help focus your ideas. Rather than turning to pen and paper, Mindmeister lets you record and add new ideas on your iPad or iPhone. The app has enough functionality for you to do simple things like move between colors and sharing the maps, to adding links, images, themes and turning it into a presentation. This also means you won’t forget that awesome idea you had before you fell asleep last night either.
For bloggers, there are a variety of blogging platforms you are either writing for or hosting your own blogs on. A lot of blogging platform apps aren’t up to much still, which is especially frustrating on the move. Try something like Blogsy, as this app can switch seamlessly between different platforms, and uses a straightforward editor based on dragging things around with your finger to help you type that post up.
Right place, right time doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you need to be ready with a camera. Beyond grabbing the photo, you need to make sure it looks perfect to really get the moment across to the reader. Camera+ will give you useful options both before and after taking the picture, so you can make sure both the shooting mode, conditions and after effects are perfect.
This app has a steeper price point in comparison to the other apps in the list, but it’s worth it to edit good videos. 1st Video might not be the best looking app going but it does have two video tracks for mixing clips and good audio editing. Once you’re done, you have the option to send straight to YouTube or SoundCloud too. There are a lot of settings here, so make sure you get familiar with the user guide first.
While Pocket isn’t necessarily something you’d open while out on assignment, it’s handy for doing a bit of research with or expanding your knowledge on a topic. The popular app is great for storing interesting links for you to get to later on, and once synced, it doesn’t require an internet connection for reading.
This syncing app is perhaps a little obvious. Personally, it’s greatest use is for uploading photos on the go for other members of your team to access. You can however use it for a variety of other files, and access it on your computer or the web interface later on. Again, great if you’re in a sudden breaking news situation where media needs drip feeding to the editorial desk quickly.
You may wonder why a handwriting app would be useful on a list of reporting apps. Well, there’s never any harm in brushing up on your shorthand, or if you manage a news website or publication’s design, its good for sketching out new page layouts. Doodle until your heart’s content with a pen and paper style of your choice, then share it as a PDF with colleagues. Though learn to take criticism, as you can collaborate on sketches if others have this app.
If all of these go out of the window for you, head to a good Twitter client. It’s proved time and time again that news breaks and spreads well on Twitter, so you need to get in on that too. Tweetbot is a excellent client if you want less of an emphasis on the Discover function and more about your own news feed. The fourth tab in the navigation bar is customizable too, so you can have quick access to your own profile, lists, retweets or search.