I have pretty much exhausted this subject, but I must see it through to the end. If you are coming in at the end feel free to visit Posts 1, 2, 3, and 4. I have been discussing the use of a smart phone application GNotes as a tool to help with beekeeping records. It is now time to give a couple Pros and Cons to using GNotes.
- The ability to view your hive data both on your phone or at your computer via the sync function. Data can be typed in manually at the computer if you feel something needs to be added or edited.
- Having all of this data at had on a phone makes you able to record things whenever the thought hits you. It gives me the ability to just stop in on hives if I get the chance without worrying if I have my data sheets and/or a writing utensil.
- I find myself using this app to take notes of bee related articles and books while I am reading them.
- I am reviewing my hive notes more frequently now. Being more acquainted with what’s going on will help me to make better decisions in the future. (I hope)
- GNotes is an open ended note taking program that in no way confines you to taking notes in any certain way. You can determine what is important to you and take note of it. I don’t give a “HOOT” what my brood pattern “looks like” as long as long as the hives are populous and thriving.
- You need to watch how much propolis or honey you get on your fingers while making hive notes. This is not normally a problem with a wooden pencil and a clip board, but it will be for your phone.
- Voice recognition is not always a great thing. For some reason words like hive or hives aren’t always recognized let alone propolis or varroa. It could be that I just speak like a hill-billy, but regardless it is a con. I can make it work fairly well if I speak slow and deliberately. I do not believe the GNotes application has its own voice recognition software so this is probably a con of voice recognition on the phone.
- Voice recognition only works in areas you have 3G or 4G network access. In those areas you must use the Voice Recorder.
- The Voice Recorder uses a format that was totally unknown to me prior to installing GNotes. This might be a barrier to some people using it.
- The increased use of the phone may require you to charge your phone after taking a lot of hive notes.
Definite Con: I got my first bill from Verizon last week. Seems they misquoted a discount to me so that I am paying substantially more than I thought for two phones. I did not like being told that their verbal agreement was not binding like my written one for 2 years. I was told by the employee that Verizon HQ had made them aware that they were misquoting that discount to everyone who works at my place of employment. I cannot recommend Verizon as a provider because they would not stand behind something like this.
Lesson learned: If you get a quote make sure it is written and signed by the employee you speak with.
If you have a smart phone already give this application a try. I do recommend it. If you happen to come across anything that you believe will work better for a note taker like myself LET ME KNOW.
Questions / Comments?