Recently, I added myself to the list of iPad owners. I own Apple products, but not a tablet, so I was excited to put this new technology to productive use.Â Â These apps aren’t free or cheap ($1-2) like a lot of other productivity apps, but they are well worth it. Here are my top 4 recommended iPad apps to help make your workday more productive.
If you need a place to doodle, take notes, or annotate PDFs, Note Taker is for you. It isn’t cheap, but you will get much more functionality than something like Penultimate ($.99).
Note Taker lets you create folders of documents and store those in other folders so it’s extremely organized. It also conforms to your style of note taking. Whether writing, note taking or doodling, you can:
- Insert text via the keyboard
- Insert shapes (Note Taker has 65 built in) or pictures from both your photo library and your camera instantly
- Change the color and size of your pen
The zoom writing feature allows you to write accurately as large or as small as you’d like. When you want to advance: tap the right arrow to continue on the same line and the left to go to the next.
The gray bar is the wristguard feature. When most people write, they rest their hand on the writing surface. In Note Taker, the wristguard makes sure you don’t mark or mess up the line you’re writing on. You can toggle it on or off in zoom tools.
My Favorite Feature
My favorite feature is the ability to annotate PDFs. I needed to fill out some forms for an online class I was taking and had left my computer at a friends house. I downloaded the forms (as PDFs) I needed, filled out all the subject fields, and sent them in from my iPad.
Note Taker Tips and Integrations
Note Taker has a lot of features and is extremely powerful, but it has a bit of a learning curve, so you have to be patient with it. To read a comprehensive Note Taker user’s guide click here.
Overall, this app rocks. Plus, its only $5 for one killer note taking platform.
Scanner Pro is a dream: powerful and simple. Once the app is open, you can either scan using the camera, or upload from your photo library.
Scanner Pro Tips & Tricks
For scanning documents, the sky’s the limit. You can scan almost anything and use custom sizes.
I use “Select All” to choose which part of the document to save, but you can adjust it using the blue dots in the corners.
Once the document is scanned, you can edit the contrast and brightness then export as a PDF or JPEG. Scanner Pro syncs with Dropbox, Google Drive (previously Docs), or Evernote.
Scanner Pro is powerful, so if you don’t need an app of this caliber you can try Genius Scan which is free but has limited capabilities.
CloudOn’s claim to fame is being the first to bring Microsoft Office to iPad. It’s great for editing your PowerPoint, Word, and Excel Microsoft Office documents on the go. Â CloudOn’s downside are the limitations with creating new documents or doing heavy re-structuring.
The keyboard responds to commands like cut, copy, paste, and undo. All of the buttons in the interface are click-able but not all of them work.
I use CloudOn for minor editing and changes like font family, size, and type.
It’s especially helpful in PowerPoint because you can easily edit, add, or delete slides and save to the cloud.
CloudOn links with Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox. You can save, edit and access your files anywhere with Internet.
CloudOn is great for the price and offers on-the-go editing for the on-the-go person who needs to make quick edits to their Office documents.
Pocket Informant HD is expensive compared to some other apps in the App Store and Â is the most expensive app I’ve included in this review. Â However, if I had to choose one app as a must have, Informant is that app.
At Schipul, we use Google Calendars for scheduling and Informant syncs seamlessly. It also syncs with Toodledo, Google Tasks, and iOS Calendar.
The beauty of Informant is that it does everything. It has a calendar (with customizable views much like Google Calendar), tasks & events, notes, and contacts. Each item is tabbed and color coded.
Features that Make Informant Worth the Extra Cash
- With Informant, you can call anyone (via FaceTime) straight from the contacts tab.
- Informant also enables you to link contacts and send them invite via Google sync or the iPad’s email client when creating tasks/events.
One or more of these features come standard in every scheduling app, but Informant effortlessly puts them all in one place, for you to use. For the same price as a good notebook planner, you always have it, and it integrates digitally.
Increased Productivity for Just $26
I use these apps daily and Â I strongly recommend all of them. Together, they make your iPad more than just a portable toy for playing Angry Birds by giving you a suite of tools to increase your productivity at work.
Informant is a stand alone app and the other three apps integrate with each other. I’ve found it is pretty easy using Note Taker, Scanner Pro and CloudOn in unison.
You can get all of these apps from the iTunes iPad App Store for just $26 dollars (less than dinner and a movie)!
While You Are on Your iPad…
Come check out some of Schipul’s recent mobile responsive sites from your iPad! Â Responsive design gives your website the cool ability to display an optimized user experience based on the size of each site visitor’s screen. Â Come see how these sites look on your iPad compared to your desktop and smartphone: