Teaching Yoga With an iPad

The versatility of a tablet device lends itself to many types of collaboration, including, yes, teaching yoga. It’s so easy to access lesson plans, play custom music sets, and help explain anatomy and postures, just to name a few practical uses.

So I thought I’d use today’s post to share a couple of apps that I use for teaching yoga and for personal use. And perhaps you have even more ideas to share with me? That’d be great.

Disclaimer: the apps featured here were from the Canadian Apple iStore so they may not be available in other countries. Prices may fluctuate (I see prices have already increased from what I had paid many moons ago).

1. Universal Breathing – Pranayama App by saagara – $6.99

Follow along preset breathing sets or create your own that fits into your meditation practice.

Universal Breathing

2. Insight Meditation Timer App by Spotlight Six Software – $2.99

There are many timer apps available. This one offers a selection of tones to start or end your practice with, or even set an interval bell. It’s so easy to use! And I really like how the developer has built-in a link to others who are meditating at the same time that you are. Another way to feel connected from your mat.

Meditation Timer

For music used to accompany yoga sets, I use iTunes. I create a custom playlist and transfer the playlist to the iPad.

For my lesson plans, I use Excel on the Mac (on my laptop) to create the curriculum. Then I store that file in Dropbox and make that file accessible for offline access on my iPad (read this earlier post if you want more information on that). That way I have access to my curriculum on my iPad, if I need it, during class.

Learning about human anatomy has been fun and enhanced with anatomy apps too. There are so many but here’s one I use regularly:

Muscle & Bone Anatomy 3D By Real Bodywork, $4.99

Muscle & Bone Anatomy by Real Bodywork

This way all I need to teach yoga is my iPad and my yoga mat.

I’d love to learn what apps you use on your tablet for similar needs. Let me know.

Yours in health and technology, Susan

Productivity Tip: Remembering Passwords

Getting yourself organized electronically also means that you will need a system to manage your passwords. And by that I don’t mean writing down your passwords on paper or in a book (sorry).

Do your research and find a password management program that suits your needs. There are many password management programs available, so think about the type of data you want to keep track of and where you feel comfortable storing it (on your computer vs on the cloud).

For the last 3 yrs I’ve used 1Password produced by AgileBits, available on all platforms (disclaimer: I have no affiliation with AgileBits other than I am a very satisfied customer to date).  It’s a Canadian product, reliable, and easy to use. At the time of this posting, 1Password is available on a trial basis for 30 days. The full version costs $49.99 Cdn.

I decided to buy a password management program that installed on my computer and one that allowed me to synchronize the encrypted data file via the cloud. That way I don’t need to be online to access my account information AND I can have my various devices plugged into the same information. I needed to store usernames, passwords, and general notes about a respective account.

Here’s how 1Password works for me. 1Password stores my account information in an encrypted vault. All I have to remember is literally one password to open the vault and then voila, all of my usernames and passwords are alphabetically accessible. The account information is stored in a data file, known as a keychain. I asked 1Password to store the keychain in my Dropbox folder so that only one version of the encrypted keychain is maintained.

1Password does not fill in the login information for you when you visit a site. Rather you have to click on a toolbar from your browser to log in. I love that. 1Password also creates super strong passwords for me on the go. I love that too.

Here’s a video to explain what I mean (6:29).

Let me know what you use to manage your passwords and other account information.

Cheers, Susan

Productivity Tip: Using Another Home Button on your iPad When The Original One Stops Working

Technology is great when it works, but when it starts to not do what it’s supposed to, it’s easy to become frustrated. Like when you push your Home button on your iPad and nothing happens. What?! That Home button is essential in using the iPad. Don’t despair, there is a great workaround already built into the operating system. Go into your settings and turn on assistive touch. Here’s a quick video (2:01 min) to explain.

Steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General in the left hand pane.
  3. In the right hand window, scroll down the list of options. Tap on Accessibility.
  4. In the right hand window, tap on Assistive Touch.
  5. Slide the slider to the ON position. A white button will appear on your screen. Tap on the white button to bring up a list of options. Tap HOME to mirror the functionality of the Home button.

To move the placement of the white button on your screen, tap and hold the white button, and then move your finger to a new screen location. To turn off the white button, go into your Settings, tap General, tap on Accessibility, tap on Assistive Touch, and turn the slider to the OFF position.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time, Susan

Productivity Tip: Portable Scanning AND File Syncing

A client of mine, Margaret, recently acquired an iPad. After using the iPad camera, she realized that all of her magazine articles that she had clipped out over the past few months could be digitized! Eureka! And her question to me was: is using the camera the best option for this need?

I challenged her with a question as my answer. “Sure, that’s great to take a picture of the information you want. The photo will be stored within the camera roll on your iPad. Now how will you ensure that this new photo, or new electronic file, is organized in your own filing system and THEN that this file is then synced across all of your devices?” There was a pause at the other end of our Skype session.

Let’s review Margaret’s computing options for her job and personal needs. Margaret has a 4 yr old iMac, a 3 yr old Macbook, a 1 yr old iPhone, and an iPad3 that she primarily uses for personal correspondence and documents. At work she has a PC desktop for her teaching responsibilities. If Margaret is not careful in how she sets up her e-filing system, she will run the risk of creating multiple file versions and soon she will feel overwhelmed when she realizes – WHERE did I put that file and WHICH one is the one I need?! So by asking Margaret this question, Margaret quickly realized that there must be a better solution.

YES! Take Margaret’s idea one step further – use the iPad as a portable scanner and store that new file within a cloud-based synced folder. For Margaret that means we’ll make sure the file is stored within one of her Dropbox folders that is automatically synced across her devices.

So we need an app that optimizes scanning functionality and one that can be linked to an existing cloud account. There are lots of scanning apps to choose from – some free, some fee-based. Having used ScannerPro by Readdle for many months now, I highly recommend the $6.99 USD purchase price (at time of posting, and I have no affiliation other than I’m a highly satisfied customer). ScannerPro lets you share the new file by email, or by uploading to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or another WebDAV-enabled online storage solution.

Here’s a video on how to use ScannerPro to scan a magazine article and save it in Dropbox (4:39 min) .

For those of you who like the steps documented:

1. Choose the information you want to scan.

2. Lay that information as flat as possible and try to position it in the best possible light.

3. Open ScannerPro.

4. Position the camera over the information you want to capture. Avoid shadows as much as possible and do your best to hold the iPad steady.

5. Take the picture by tapping the Camera icon.

6. Adjust the borders (tap and drag each corner until you have surrounded the information you want to retain).

7. Tap Done.

8. Tap the Sharing icon at the top right of the screen.

9. Tap “Open in…”, and choose Dropbox.

10. Log in to Dropbox if asked for a passcode (depending on your settings).

11. Name the file and select the folder location.

12. Tap Done.

Think of everything that you can do with a portable scanner – scan receipts and invoices, scan handwritten notes and sketches, scan magazine articles, etc.  For me at this time, ScannerPro is easy and reliable to use and it’s my go to app many times a week.

Have fun! Susan

Productivity Tip: Sharing files from your iPad using Dropbox

When you have organized your files in a way that makes sense to you and you’ve figured the best way to synchronize your files across devices so that you only work from one version of each file, you will find that feeling of being organized so addictive in a good way! Now you’ll find that your contacts will start to ask you – can you please share that file with me?

The steps to share a file from your iPad are slightly different from the way you would share a document from your Mac or PC. My preference is to email a file link to the recipient directly. Dropbox will generate the file link for you. Here’s a video (4:54 min) to explain.

Or here’s the information written out for you.

Before you can follow the steps, I’m assuming the following items are in place:

  • You have your own Dropbox account – remember, it’s free and when you sign up you first receive 2GB (at the time of writing this post) of cloud-based storage in your own secure account.
  • You are connected to the Internet on your iPad.
  • You have downloaded, installed, and set up the Dropbox app on your iPad. If not, go to the App Store and do this before proceeding.
  • You have placed your source documents within the Dropbox folder that you want to synchronize across devices.

Steps to share a file using Dropbox from your iPad via email:

1)   On your iPad, open the Dropbox application (enter in a passcode if you have configured a passcode to access your files).

2)   Open the file you want to share

3)   Tap the “Share” icon

Dropbox - Sharing Icon on iPad

4)   Select the option called “Email”.

5)   Compose a new email to your contact and send off the email.

Your recipient will have a choice to download the file directly to the machine that they are using when they receive your email or to save the file to their Dropbox account.

Thanks for stopping by! Yours in technology, Susan

Productivity Tip: Access your e-files offline from your iPad

The more I use my iPad, the more I love it.  All my non-confidential files are organized electronically according to my own mental map. And I’ve organized these files within my own personal Dropbox folder. Why? So I can access these files wherever I am, online or offline. Also, then I can share specific folders or files with others when I want to. (Here’s a previous article if you’re new to Dropbox).

To access your electronic files offline from your iPad, you do need to be proactive in your planning in the future use of your electronic files. What do I mean?

Let’s say you will be traveling to Chicago to present at a conference. You have your presentation materials backed up on a memory stick, in hard copy, in your email, and on your iPad. Great! You’re all set, right? Well, what happens if there’s an ISP glitch at the venue and you can’t get online. And you’ve lost your hard copies. And your memory stick is not compatible with the loaner machine that you’ve been given. Since you can’t get online, you can’t access your files in email or on your iPad. Ok, this might be a bit far fetched but you still haven’t put a solution in place to make sure you’ve covered all possible scenarios. Here’s the trick: tag your materials as favorites within the Dropbox app. That way, regardless if you are online or not, you can get to them. Whew!

Here’s a video on how to do this (6:13 min): 

Steps:

1. Have the Dropbox app installed and configured on your iPad (I highly recommend enabling a Dropbox password). This includes setting up a personal Dropbox account.

2. From your desktop machine (whether PC or Mac), move the files and folders that you want to access from your iPad into your Dropbox folder. (You could just copy the files but then you may create versioning woes for yourself down the road.)

3. On your iPad, go into your Dropbox app. Navigate to the file you want to mark for offline viewing.

4. Load the file so that you can see the file contents on your iPad screen. Tap the hollow star icon in the top right (blue bar) to mark that file as a favorite (Dropbox’s terminology). That will change the star display from hollow to filled in.

5. Go to your Favorites pane. Tap the black star icon in the bottom left of your screen and make sure the file is listed in your Favorites list.

You control how many files are listed in your Favorites pane and you can view Favorites files anytime, anywhere, as many times as you like.

To remove a file from the Favorites pane in Dropbox, tap the checkmark icon in the blue title bar. Put a checkmark in the box to the left of the file name (for the file you want to remove from Favorites). Then tap the red Remove button.

Note – by removing a file from Favorites, you are not deleting it from your file system. You are simply removing it from the Dropbox Favorites list which means it will no longer be available to you offline should you need it.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan