The app store and internet are overflowing with programs that can help you and your clients – but finding the right, high quality programs that meet your needs can be a challenge. Therefore, we have gathered some promising programs that can help case workers manage their caseloads and help refugees thrive.
If you or your clients have an iPhone, Siri can be a great tool to help you remember to do things, write messages or emails, or set appointments. Siri is Apple’s built-in “intelligence assistant” and can be accessed by holding down the home button, or, on newer systems, she can be accessed by just saying “Hey, Siri!”
Android phones have similar voice-command programs. Here are some great things Siri can do for you:
- Hard to remember which cases you have visited or issues that have come up? Leave a note: Say, “Make a note that Aida’s daughter needs a winter jacket.” Siri will save this to your “Notes” (this app comes as a default on the iPhone).
- Need a reminder that you need to write your case note? Say, “Remind me to write the case note about Aida’s daughter at 4pm today.” Siri will create a reminder and remind you at the time specified.
- Give yourself a deadline by setting the timer, or set an alarm. Say, “Set timer for 30 minutes,” or “Wake me up at 7am.” You can also create appointments in your calendar by saying “Set appointment with Aida at 3pm next Wednesday.”
Here’s another great thing about Siri: she is available in American English, British English, and a number of other languages including Arabic, Spanish, French, Russian, Thai, and Turkish.
The Notes app can also be used to type in notes manually, or you can use the voice function to dictate (click on the button that looks like a microphone). This is a useful app to store helpful information on the go.
If you don’t like having your desk cluttered with post-it notes or prefer to save trees, a Sticky Note program might be a good option for your desktop. There are multiple computer-based “apps” that you can download and write notes that “stick” to your desktop. If you use Google Chrome as your browser, search for “Sticky Notes” in the Chrome Store, here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps (most are free).
If obtaining documents from clients can be a hassle, use the Tiny Scanner app or other scanning app (Scanbot, Evernote) to use your smartphone as a portable scanner. You can take the picture, which will be converted into a pdf, then send it to your email or Google Drive account. Found in the App Store (free version available).
iForm Builder is a web-based program and app (iForm) that allows you to design mobile forms and collect data, even without internet/WiFi. You build your form on the website and then download the app to your mobile device (smartphone or iPad) to fill in the form on the go, minus carrying around all the paper. When you are back in the office or anywhere with internet access, you can download the data. Found at www.iformbuilder.com (free version available).
Medica Reminders help patients remember to take their medicines or go to doctor’s appointments. This is a great app for non-literate populations as well, since a case worker or friend can help set up the reminders with pictures of the medicines needed. Found in the App Store (free version available).
Bus and Metro
Does your local transportation authority offer a “next bus/train” app? Encourage your clients to use it so they can get to their appointments on time. Search the App Store.
GIMP (Photo Editing)
If your office needs to edit photos at a level higher than Paint or other basic photo editing software allows, try GIMP. It’s very similar to Adobe Photoshop, but it’s free!
Leave us a comment if you have used these programs or know of others!