With the RT Conference nine days away, it's time to start thinking about how you'll maximize your time and exposure to readers, writers, and industry professionals. These apps will (hopefully) make your time at any conference more streamlined, which translates to a more relaxed, happier you.
1. Travel Organizers: TripIt is a wonderful app that syncs with your email to gather information on upcoming travel. It then organizes all your hotel, ground transportation, and flight information into an easy-to-use itinerary. Your confirmation numbers and other booking information are all located in one point, so you don't have to rustle through a stack of paper tickets or scroll through emails to find your seating information. If you're flying, and especially if you have a long layover scheduled, GateGuru can be helpful. You can sync this to TripIt and all your travel information will be visible in this app. But beyond TripIt's functionality, GateGuru's Amenity List view will help you navigate the eateries, shops, and services in your airport terminal.
2. Note Taking: Even if you're a steadfast pen and paper gal, sometimes you'll need to save a note on your smartphone. For the hardcore digital noter, Evernote is the way to go. You can create notes from your browser, from a desktop program, or from your phone, and they will sync across all these platforms. You can also clip whole webpages to save for later reference. This is a wonderful research tool; for conference use, you can create your schedule, a list of authors you want to meet, or use their quick-add to create notes on the go. If you're more of a jotter, Google Keep is like a digital post-it note that takes text, photo, or voice notes. Both apps have a widget that I recommend sticking on your home screen so you can add one-touch notes.
3. Social Networking: While you should not feel obligated to maintain your posting schedule while you're at a conference or on vacation, your readers and friends stuck at home may appreciate living vicariously through your posts. All the big social networks now have apps on the Android and Apple markets, so download in advance and fiddle with it before you leave. You can even grab a Blogger or Wordpress app to post on-the-go.
For Twitter, I recommend familiarizing yourself with a third party app like Tweetcaster or HootSuite, which make it easier to toggle between multiple streams. Follow the #RT13 hashtag for all the conference tweets!
4. Local Navigation: You don't want to be stuck eating just hotel food, so snag an app like Yelp or Foursquare that uses ratings and check-ins to help you choose the best area food.
5. High-tech Promotion: I think everyone should have a QR code reader on their phones, but it's especially important at this year's RT convention, where the e-book fair is all QR code-based. Even if you're signing, and not shopping for e-books, download an QR reader in advance and test out your codes.
If you have your mailing list set up through MailChimp, downloading Chimpadeedoo is essential. This app, once set up, provides an easy, mobile way for readers to sign up for your mailing list. No waiting for them to get back to their computers; they can add their contact information on the spot.