Creating QR Codes

A QR Code is familiar to all of us although not everyone knows its purpose. A QR Code is used to store information such as URL’s, addresses, event information and etc. The code is read by a camera on a smartphone. In the past a special QR reader app was used to access the information in the code.

For iOS 11 and above the feature is built-in to the camera but it is has to be turned on in settings. Go to Settings/Camera/Scan QR Codes and make sure the feature is turned on.

Android phones also have the feature built-in to the camera. There are no individual settings that need to be switched on.

While the feature is baked into the newest devices, you may want to also download a reader because the app can also scan bar codes you find on all products in the stores. In addition, if you have an older apple device that is not compatible with iOS 11 then you also need to download a reader.

QR Codes can be created using the various free websites that are available, for example, or using an app on your smartphone. The apps are easy to use. Type or paste in the information you want to have coded and a code will be generated, then copy and paste the code on your handouts or project it on a screen.

To create a code for my website ,I would enter the URL in the app and would end up with the following.

Now, that we have reviewed what a QR Code is and how to read and generate one, the question for us today is why you would want to create a code? As mentioned in my book you might consider using them in Sacrament programs or the classroom.

I used have used them in Sacrament programs for information of an upcoming event. Sacrament programs have limited space, so instead of using the valuable real estate to provide information about the event I insert a QR Code. QR Codes are saved as photos so it is very easy to insert the photo and reduce it to a size that the will work with the program. QR Codes can be read even when the are extremely small.

Another use for the Codes is in the classroom. Suppose you have a handout with information that fills an 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper and, perhaps also fills the back of the page.

Create a document with eight 1 inch rows. In each row copy the code along with a brief statement what the code is for. Cut the paper into 8 horizontal strips. Make enough strips for the entire class. This will not only save on paper but also ink. Another option, though more expensive, is to copy the code, along with a short statement on a business card stock and hand out the business cards. Office supply stores have a large selection of Avery type ready-cut sheets The cards are less likely to get lost or destroyed on the way home.

Even easier, you can bring up the code on your device and then connect your device to a projector or large flat screen. This would eliminate the use of any paper.

At this point you might be thinking why go through the process of generating a code? Instead upload the document to Dropbox, copy the link to the document and type the link onto strips of papers or project the link on a screen. The answer is simple.

Typing a link or URL address allows for errors. A QR Code is error free and quicker.

There is one problem with using QR Codes, and that is many may not know how to use them, so you will need to show them how. Using interactive technology in the classroom always requires some instruction, but I find people quickly adapt.

The other problem is not everyone may have a device that can read a QR code. For those that do not ,you will need to have a few hard copies of the document with you.

I would be interested in your feedback on this subject.

Have you tried using QR codes in the classroom or on Sacrament programs? If so, what was your experience?

Apps That I Use Daily

What apps one uses is a very personal thing. However, when others have shared their favorite apps it has provided me with food for thought and, at times, brings about a change in the apps that I use. I hope that my list of the apps I use daily will be of help to you.

Gospel Library – scripture study. iPhone and iPad.

Spark – email. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch.

I have tried all of the third-party email apps, and I keep coming back to this one. There are so many features that draw me to this app, but the main one is how it separates my mail into different categories.

Drafts 5 – notes. iPhone, iPad and Mac, iWatch.

It is difficult to categorize this app because of its many features. The primary purpose of the app is to quickly write down your thoughts and then later decide where you are going to use them.

For example, if I am writing a text message that is more then a few lines I first compose the message in Drafts and then using one of the actions in Drafts send it to my text messaging app. The reason I do not write the message in the message app is that I have had the experience of composing a lengthily message only to lose it because I get interrupted by a phone call or a text message that requires an immediate answer. Producing the message in Drafts stays there until I have completed the message and ready to send it. I do not need to copy and paste the message, just a simple tap on the message action, add the recipient’s name, and the message is sent.

Nearly, all of my posts are composed in Drafts. This post was written using Drafts on my Mac.

Day One – journaling. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch.

I have written extensively about this app. If you are serious about keeping a journal, there is no better app than Day One.

Things 3 – to do’s. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch

I cannot live without a to-do list. I have tried nearly every to-do app available and found Things fits my lifestyle. If I were running a business, I would, perhaps, use a more powerful app like Omni Focus, but for me, at this point in my life, Things is my app of choice.

Evernote – document storage and retrieval. iPhone, iPad, Mac.

Evernote is a powerful app and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to take notes, keep a journal and a to-do list and more. But, as you can see from my above list, I prefer to use apps that are dedicated to one purpose such as creating a note, keeping a journal and having a to-do list, because they are far more potent as dedicated apps.

I use Evernote for storage of documents. All of my important papers are scanned into Evernote. Any website that has information that I might need in the future is placed in Evernote, and then, when I need something, a quick search finds what I am looking for.

1Password – password creating and storage. iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch.

Passwords have to be taken seriously. Using the name of your dog, cat or favorite grandchild, along with your date of birth is dangerous and, more importantly, easily breached.

1Password stores all of my passwords, currently 479, yes, 479! Also, all of my credit cards, car information (VIN, date purchased, etc.), social security numbers of myself and children and much more.

The app creates the passwords for me and when needed can, in most situations, enter my user name and password for me.

GoodNotes – hand-written notes. iPhone, iPad, Mac.

I like to use a pen and paper to draw out ideas, take notes at a lecture and as a scratch pad. Hand-written notes have an advantage over typing notes – better retention of the information. I prefer to use the digital form of pen and paper.

The main reason is I can retrieve the notes quickly through the search function (yes, it can search my handwriting) and when needed the app can convert my writing to print, which I then send to another app.

I have tried all of the apps on the market and fluctuated between GoodNotes and Notability.

I prefer the features in GoodNotes but have been using Notability. GoodNotes 5 newest version has the one thing I need – universal search capability. Until yesterday, Notability was the only app with that function. Also, the latest version of GoodNotes allows the use of a deep file structure, so I can now place folders inside folders.

I only use this app on my iPad using my Apple pencil. I have the app on my iPhone and Mac so I can locate a note should I not have my iPad with me.

AnyList – shopping list. iPhone, iPad, iWatch, Amazon Echo.

This app is fantastic. Whenever my wife or I need to add something to the shopping list all we have to do is speak, and the item is added to the list. The list is shared between the two of us. Whoever picks up the item crosses it off the list. The app will also download recipes from the internet and create a shopping list of ingredients you do not have. Go through the downloaded list and check the ones you need to add to the shopping list. The app also helps with planning meals.

Apple News, Flipboard, Google News, and SmartNews – news. iPhone, iPad