Saturday, March 26, 2011

My top iPad apps

I have been using the iPad for a while now (got the first model) both for business and for fun. My main goal was to eliminate most of the paper (reference guides) and personal notebooks I carried around all the time. In combination with my iPhone, here is how I managed to do that:

  • I use Evernote as the universal online storage (notebooks) for all my notes. The Evernote iPad app makes it easy to browse.

  • During meetings, I take pictures of the whiteboard (if any) and send them to Evernote so they become available on the iPad too.

  • My personal notes go the same way, either text created with the built-in Notes app or drawings with Jot! (another iPad app). All are emailed into Evernote.

  • The combination of Dropbox (for online file sharing) with Pages, Numbers and Keynote means I can access all my project files on the go, on the iPad.

  • Reading and annotating PDFs is easy with GoodReader and the Dropbox accessibility.

  • With iBooks, I carry all my reference books around on the iPad, with no extra weight or space requirements.

  • I use Omnifocus (synchronized with my laptop) to keep track of my daily tasks according to the Getting Things Done methodology.

That is the essence of my power stack for the iPad. Of course I also enjoy the email client and the browser, but those are not why I bought my iPad.

The only thing I am (just a bit) disappointed in is that handwritten notes are not well supported. I mean: it is hard to write (even with a stylus) on the iPad. You have to type instead, and typing is way faster on my laptop keyboard than on my iPad. So while I can manage for meetings, I can't really see how to make the system work for, say, following a training course and taking real-time class notes like I did in college. If anybody has any suggestions, feel free to post them.