I suppose this might count as another ‘Tooling Around’ post. I recently got a new Android phone, and wondered immediately how I might use it to help with UnRuley Articles. So I thought I’d talk about a couple of apps that I’ve found that are already proving their worth. I plan to add to this post as and when I find apps that are useful to crafty/bloggy sorts, so if you know of any suitable apps please shout out in the comment section below.


(To-do List Manager. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here)

AstridEvery blogger and every crafter ends up with a list of tasks that they need to do; ideas for pieces, ideas for posts, supplies required, etc. Misha jots these tasks in a ‘Hello Kitty’ notebook, whereas I used to scribble them on the backs of envelopes – which I would then lose. But now Astrid will take care of them for me.

Astrid’s a fully functioned to-do list manager, but as well as keeping your tasks safer than on the backs of envelopes, she has some other cool features; notably that it’s easy to allow a team to collaborate on a list of tasks, and that it’s also possible to access your lists from your PC, which is handy when you’ve left you phone in the charger. Astrid will also send you reminders about tasks you’re late with; welcome the the 21st century, where it’s your phone rather than your spouse that nags you!

There are also some social-networking type features –because everything nowadays needs a social-network side, apparently– but it’s easy to ignore (the less misanthropic might even find it useful!).astrid_logo

Despite all this functionality, Astrid costs a very reasonable £0.00 – there is a ‘power pack’ of additional features available for £2.45, but I haven’t felt I was missing out by sticking with the base version for now.

But the best thing about Astrid? She’s an octopus – and you know how we love octopodes on this blog.

WordPress for Android

(Blogging tool. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here.)

Obviously, this one’s only relevant for those of us that blog via WordPress – there are similar appsWordpress for Blogger or LiveJournal, but I can’t speak to their quality.

If you do use WordPress then this is a very handy app, letting you create and edit posts and pages, and manage comments. Personally, I think submitting a full-sized post from this app would be an exercise in masochism, but what it is very useful for is day-to-day housekeeping (blog-keeping?) Even a little blog like this, with a total readership small enough to fit in a phone booth, attracts a ridiculous amount of  spam – and a tool like this is great for squashing it on the move.

Another great thing about this app is that it’s Open Source, which –you might remember from my Inkscape post– I’m a big fan of. Open Source means that anyone can contribute, and that the results are free to all.

SketchBook Mobile

(Drawing/Painting App. Full Version – £0.61, Express Version – £Free. Homepage here)

SBMI often find that an idea for a picture or design comes to me at the most inconvenient time, usually when I’m a long way away from a pencil and paper. So this app is perfect for doodling quick images on the go. It’s actually a surprisingly complex drawing app, with the sort of layer and brush options that wouldn’t be out of place in a professional PC image editing suite.

People are actually using it to create some very accomplished images; that’s a bit beyond me – as the octo in the screenshot shows. Drawing with one’s finger is a bit odd, and brings back memories of pre-school, but I imagine a capacitive stylus would make things easier. However for capturing  visual ideas on the go, it’s top notch.

There’s a ‘lite’ Express version for free, or the full version for a massive 61 pence: well worth it, as far as I’m concerned.

Etsy for Android

(Etsy Management App. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here.)Etsy

Etsy is the leading online marketplace for handmade lovelies – our shop is here. This little app lets you browse and search Etsy, manage your shop’s listings, upload new images, and more.

Honestly, the app seems a little rough and ready at the moment, but it does the job. The app’s coder seems to be keen to add new features, though it seems like Etsy’s API might be holding him back.

At the price point of FREE, you can’t really complain.


Angry Birds

(Game. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here.)

AnnoyedAviansOkay, I know what you’re thinking. How is ‘Angry Birds’ a productivity app for the crafty blogger? Well, it isn’t. In fact, something about flinging irritated avians at perfidious piggies makes it an anti-productivity tool. But the rule is that any round up of mobile apps has to include ‘Angry Birds’. Nothing I can do about it.

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