Apps I’m using this week, July 18

Activity Monitor Touch Free (Free, universal)

The free version of Activity Monitor Touch offers a nice overview of your iPhone’s  or iPad’s stats. While not jam-packed with information, it’s pretty handy. You can view general information like name and model, UDID (it would be nice to be able to copy it to the clipboard from the app), memory (free and total available), battery percentage and Wi-Fi information, plus MAC address and cellular address.

You’ll also find battery-specific stats, like percentage of charge remaining and how much time you can expect to get out of talking, Wi-Fi, 3G, listening to audio, watching video, reading a book, playing games, FaceTime and standby. Finally, a single setting option lets you toggle sound on or off.

Again, not super informative but handy and and straight forward.

Should you bother? Sure, why not? It’s useful and free.

Trello (Free)

The iOS companion to the Trello web service is very nice. Trello is a project collaboration tool for teams, which lets you keep things organized with “boards” and “cards.” Trello for iPhone syncs automatically with changes made in a browser and offers a fast, responsive and great-looking representation of your open projects, discussions, links and related information. You can see who’s working on what, monitor or join conversations, even get an overview of all completed and outstanding actions, as well as who’s responsible.

Trello’s mobile app is so good you might question the need for an app, but it looks so good and is so fast, I have to recommend it.

Should I bother? If you’re using Trello with a team — especially remotely — the answer is an emphatic yes.

Trello as a ubiquitous capture tool

Trello is a web-based collaboration tool for teams. It runs in a browser 1 and allows you to create “boards” that hold the tasks, assignments, reference material and so on for a given project. The emphasis is on speed and no-fuss teamwork. Essentially, a board holds several cards. Each card contains one item in the list of information that becomes the support material for a project. I wanted to see if I could use it to capture post ideas for 52 Tiger. I’ve been using it for about a week, but it’s been quite helpful. Here’s my experience so far.

The need for quick capture of ideas and news

I browse RSS and Twitter for topics to write about, apart from my own ideas. Since I work at TUAW during the day, I collect ideas (or “postables”) for reference in the evening when I write for 52 Tiger. Since I work in a browser most of the time, It makes sense to store my potables there, too. Now, I can keep a tab open and use Trello’s extensive keyboard support to add a postable to the list. It only costs me seconds.

Easy reference for later

The iPhone app is kept in sync wirelessly and automatically, so I can jot down ideas as I go about my day, knowing they’ll be there when I return to my desk. Keeping a tab open while I work is easy and something I’ve been doing for years. Plus, you can add so much to a “card,” including a URL, photo and more.

Teams

Trello is really meant to be used by a team but I’m getting a lot out of it solo. In the end I’m pretty happy with it. Trello is a near ubiquitous capture tool and library of post ideas. Shortcuts make it fast and cloud sync lets me stay on top of it. Try it out.