Moxtra – Your Cloud-Based Binder

It’s Productivity Month on iPad.AppStorm! Throughout July, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you both improve your iPad experience and work better and more productively!

We’re slowly moving towards a web app culture where a significant part of our collective creation and curation of content is done through online services rather than living solely inside native apps. With this shift, sharing content is an easy process… if you’re looking at just one or two similar types. A service like Flickr is great for sharing photos and putting together albums, but what if you want to bring in a webpage to include? If only you could have a way of presenting all the types of documents you need for a specific purpose together, as one.

That’s where Moxtra comes in — an app that presents itself as a virtual binder of content — bringing in items like photos, videos, web clips and more into a single “folder” of project content. You can then even record a narrated presentation going through the slides of your binder for even easier, enhanced sharing. Let’s take a look!

Getting Started

Moxtra revolves around your project binders, metaphorical folders of content collectable by a common theme. You could setup a binder for a work project, to collect media from a vacation or whatever you choose, although the focus of the app is certainly on productive purposes. Once you’ve created a binder — easily achievable from the homescreen of the app — you’ll be able to easily invite members into collaborating on your active binder by email or Facebook and, when you’re ready, send a viewable version of the binder around.

A sample Moxtra binder, showing all related content living inside the same folder.

A sample Moxtra binder, showing all related content living inside the same folder.

Adding content to your binder is also a really easy process. Choosing to add content from the bottom menu bar reveals a wealth of filetypes supported for inclusion into your binder, including the standard options of photos and videos. You can, however, even include full scrollable webpages (or cropped clips of pages) and embed documents from Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and Evernote. The latter options simply require you to log in to the respective service and then select your document, although I’ve experienced display and compatibility issues with a number of formats so proceed with caution.

When adding content you can even embed multiple items from a single “type” at once, rather than adding each one individually, a useful feature which saves a lot of time when bulk selecting.

Annotation 101: How Not To

Annotation 101: How Not To

Furthermore, Moxtra has built-in remote access tools, allowing you to connect to a Mac or PC to grab files. To do so, you simply have to grab the Moxtra Desktop app for OS X or Windows and then launch the relevant section on your iPad to gain remote access to your desktop.

Further editing of your content can be achieved from a basic set of annotation tools which allow the overlaying of text, additional images and more onto your slides of content. This means that you could easily point out something in, for example, a photograph by simply dragging out an arrow rather than relying on another app or remembering to physically do it if you presented your binder in person. For a free app, it’s a surprisingly nice consideration, even when considering that it’s more than just a single-thickness pen.

Presentation Time

When you’ve collected together everything for your binder, you’re ready to share! Moxtra Binder works with Moxtra Note to actually allow you to record a presentation of your binder complete with voice narration from your iPad microphone. Hitting the REC button on any slide of your binder kicks off a countdown after which you can beginning switching between your slides and talking. Once you’re finished, the video version is conveniently stored within the respective binder itself and can be shared individually.

The recording button allows users to tie together their binder into a video complete with voice narration.

The recording button allows users to tie together their binder into a video complete with voice narration.

When you do want to share your creation, Moxtra provides a welcome wealth of sharing options through the action menu of either an individual item or from the overall binder view. You can email, text or simply copy to your clipboard a link to a viewable web-based version of your binder, or save the entire binder to your iPad’s photo library. Doing so adds each item as an individual image in your photo library, including your narrated video, allowing for it to be exported and edited with third-party apps and services on and off the device.

Design and Interface

Moxtra offers up an intuitive, simple interface that makes adding content really straightforward. Everything’s pretty much where you’d expect it is which means you can jump in with a little tutorial and start straight away.

Moxtra's interface is as simple and straightforwar as it could ever be.

Moxtra’s interface is as simple and straightforward as it could ever be.

Moxtra opts for a partly-skeuomorphic design with binders visually resembling actual binders but, overall, it’s clean and non-intrusive to your actual content.

Final Thoughts

Moxtra‘s aim is to tie together all your different content for a specific project into one location, and it does this superbly. The annotation and recording/narration features are particularly welcome, and offer a useful set of tools for curating your content that offer valid rationale for taking your content beyond the apps you created them in.

Whether you’re putting together a home improvement journal or managing a project in the enterprise, Moxtra presents itself as an easy way to curate your content, all within an interface that is as fittingly unobtrusive as one could hope.


Summary

Moxtra is a virtual binder, bringing together all your content into one, narrate-able presentation.

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