iPad for Business: 11 Inspiring Apps To Try Today

Apple wants you to use your iPad for business
Apple wants you to use your iPad for business

Are you using your iPad for business? Apple wants you to. It’s set up a new website for iPad business apps. Check it out, it may inspire you.

When I bought my first iPad, I had no intention of using it for business; for me, it was an ereader and notetaker par excellence. Last year however, I discovered that the iPad works better for some things than my iMac. Who knew?

These days, I’m as likely to use my iPad as my primary machine. It goes with me everywhere.

Here are my favorite business apps. Many of the apps are FREE. I’ve tagged those which aren’t “commercial.”

Your preference for business apps will vary, of course. It’s worth Googling your industry for iPad apps. Lawyers for example, have embraced the iPad, so there are many apps for them.

1. Evernote for EVERYTHING

Evernote is my “everything” app on all my devices. I use it for research, contacts, reminders, meetings, and client data. When combined with Trello, you can catch up with clients no matter where you are.

I’ve mentioned before that Evernote allowed me to keep working when my hard drive and cable modem died. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. It really is an external brain.

2. Kindle app – read everything everywhere

The Kindle app is a gem. Not only can you read all your ebooks, but you can read other documents too – just Send to Kindle.

3. Trello – lists on the go

With Trello for iPad you can manage all your lists everywhere. They’re updated in real time. I use it for client work, as well as personal stuff. You can keep your personal and organization boards separate, so on the iPad, filter your boards to quickly find the board you want. You’re notified when someone adds something to a board.

4. Quip – collaborate on documents and projects

Quip’s a very clever social word processing app, which you can use anywhere. I like Quip on iPad because I can collaborate on clients’ documents. It’s easy to create a version of a document, and get a review and comments quickly.

5. Drafts (commercial) – quick notes to wherever you choose

Drafts is a fast note-taking app, and much more. It has Actions, which automate your workflows. For example, it’s easy to send notes to apps like Dropbox, Evernote, and Day One, and to post to Tumblr blogs and Twitter. You can create your own custom actions, of course; Drafts is completely customizable.

6. Blogsy (commercial) – blog on your sofa and at the coffee shop

No time to blog? Consider Blogsy for iPad. You can post to all the most popular plaforms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org, Typepad, Blogger, Tumblr…

7. Haiku Deck – fast presentations for lazy people: share your ideas

If you hate creating presentations you’ll love Haiku Deck. I used to consider creating presentations a punishment until I discovered Haiku Deck.

Haiku Deck is so fast and easy, it makes you look like a creative genius without effort.

8. Dropbox – take all your files with you

Do you trust your backups? You shouldn’t. I’ve always had a backup solution, and over the past couple of decades, I’ve been let down badly TWICE. And not just because I had a single backup – take it from me. Multiple backups can and do fail, at the worst possible moment.

Now, everything that’s a current work in progress gets backed up to Dropbox. Some apps (like Scrivener) do this for you automatically.

Dropbox for iPad not only allows you to access files anywhere, it also gives you peace of mind.

9. GoodReader (commercial) – read and markup with ease

I’m a big fan of Victorian novelists like Anthony Trollope, Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s comfort reading for me, and this makes me a Project Gutenberg fan AND a GoodReader for iPad fan too. GoodReader makes reading long text files a joy.

GoodReader also does an amazing job with PDF files. You can mark up your PDFs in many different ways, and handle enormous files with ease. Beyond PDFs, GoodReader will handle most kinds of files – MS Office, images, and audio and video too.

10. iThoughtsHD (commercial) – mind map your brain

I’m a constant mind mapper. I create them on paper, on whiteboards (snap an image of your creations into Evernote), and in various apps. Much like the never-ending search for the perfect shoes, I hunt for the perfect mind mapping app.

iThoughtsHD comes close to mind mapping perfection.

11. iWork for iPad (commercial) – prime office apps for iPad

Oddly enough, I tend to use Pages and Numbers more on my iPad than I do on my Mac. iWork for iOS is a pleasure to use. If you need MS Office compatibility, iWork is the way to go. You can work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on your iPad.


Article update: June 3, 2014

Are you using your iPad for business too? It’s been nine months since I compiled this list of apps. I thought I’d go through them to see what had changed — had I stopped using any of the apps? Was I using other apps?

No, and no. I’m still devoted to the same apps. If you’ve recently started using your iPad for business, I hope this list of apps inspires you, and helps to make your business life more comfortable and profitable. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Gorgeous Business Presentations for Really Lazy People (Fast)

Haiku Deck - iPad presentations

If you enjoy giving presentations, you don’t enjoy creating them. It’s boring. Not because of the content… When it comes to YOUR presentations the content is always stellar, right? Creating presentations is boring because of the software. My eyeballs bleed whenever I open PowerPoint, and KeyNote isn’t much better.

Whenever I see “create presentation” on my projects list I shudder.

But what if creating presentations could be fun? And fast? And moreover, what if the presentations you created were a long way from dull-as-dirt PowerPoint slides?

If you want to have fun while you create gorgeous presentations, you need an iPad.

Then you need to grab Haiku Deck from the App Store. Cost? Nothing. It’s free, although you can buy additional themes, from within the app if you like.

Haiku Deck is celebrating its first birthday. I downloaded the app almost as soon as it came out. Now I look forward to creating presentations. Yes, I’m serious.

How I create presentations fast

With Haiku Deck, anyone can create a fantastic presentation in less than an hour.

I use sticky notes stuck onto an Oasis pad to create the presentation outline. One sticky per slide.

Then, sitting on my sofa, with the outline on a coffee table, I relax and create the presentation on my iPad. Best job ever. :-)

Does your boss demand PowerPoint?

That’s fine. You can export your wonderful presentations to PowerPoint when they’re done.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

How to Download Flipboard to Your iOS or Android Device

Download Flipboard

As you may know, I’ve created a Flipboard guide.

The most common questions I’ve received have been about downloading the app.

It’s very simple. The app is for iOS or Android only. (Magazines are “coming soon” for Android.)

1. Go to Flipboard.

2. Click the Get the App link at the top of the page — or one of the buttons, App Store or Google Play, whichever suits your device…

3. and download.

Alternatively, just go to the App Store or Google Play and search for Flipboard. It’s free.

I’ve added answers to the most common questions to the page here. Scroll down, and you’ll see a FAQ message.

Ask Angela a Question

Working With Your iPad: iOS File Management That Just Works — Yippee!

Files app - iPad

If you’re a consultant, or other small business person who owns an iPad, you use it for work. You collect your files for meetings into apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote etc and you’re good to go.

However, this presents challenges. You never know quite which files you’ll need, and inevitably, you end up with files you can’t open, or files you know are somewhere on your iOS device, so you hunt for them. While all this is happening, you lose the thread of conversations. If you’re giving a presentation, your audience becomes distracted.

Enter Files App, the file management app which should have been part of iOS from the beginning.

Files App looks like iPages. You can see the app’s minimalist design in the above image.

It’s easy to get files into Files App, just press the Plus button, and choose Mac or PC. Files App opens in your default Web browser. Drag your files in, and they’re loaded onto your device immediately.

Files App supports MS Office files

Like it or not, you can’t get away from MS Office files in business. That’s just the way it is. Everyone exchanges Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Viewing them on an iOS device tends to be frustrating.

Those days of teeth-grinding pain have gone, with Files App.

In Files App, your MS Office files look just as you’d expect them to look. You don’t need to do anything special to view them. Drag the files into the app in your Web browser, they’ll appear on your device, and you can view them.

Here’s an MS Word document I loaded into Files App, and opened.

MS Word document

Files App supports popular file formats, including ZIP archives.

From the Files App page on iTunes:

What you get with Files App:

● Read PDF and Office files.
● Lightning fast viewer for Photos & Videos.
● Listen to Music, complete with playlists, shuffle, artwork and Airplay.
● Drag & drop files from your Mac or PC right into Files App using your default web browser.
● Get files from Dropbox, Google Drive or Box.
● From AVI to ZIP: Support for many popular file formats.
● Organize your files using simple touch gestures.

Collect files into folders

Preparing for meetings just got easier. Drag your files into Files App in your Web browser, then collect them into a folder on Files App. No more searching in meetings — all your files are right where you need them.

Files App’s tagline is: “All your files. One simple app.”

Well said.

If you’re quick, you get this app at the intro price, which is 99 cents. Could be the best 99 cents you spend this year.