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.

More Than Fun: Doing Business With Your Tablet Computer

Feedly on iPad
Feedly on my iPad

Got a tablet computer? Chances are that you use it in your business. Businesses are finding many uses for their tablets.

This article, Go Remote: 10 Ways To Use a Tablet for Business, gives you ten ways.

My favorite way, which is perfect for my fellow creatives:

“Create a Digital Portfolio

This is quite possibly one of the highest ROI uses of tablets for business – showing your presentation to a prospective  client on an iPad or other tablet.  It helps get sales. From photographers to real estate agents, tablets are useful for showing your digital portfolio.”

Tip if you’re a writer, designer or photographer: stuff everything you can think of into a “portfolio” folder in Dropbox. You can view most popular types of files in Dropbox.

Dropbox Graphics

Viewing graphics in Dropbox (iPad)

Whatever kind of business you’re in, once you own a tablet, you’ll find yourself incorporating it into your workflow and working life.

After conducting a straw poll among those of my clients who use their iPad or other tablet in their business, their most common reasons where:

* The tablet’s “always on” ease of use.

Sure, you can open your notebook computer and find a document and open it. However, your iPad is much faster — and lighter to carry. Once you get used to taking it with you, you’ll feel naked without it.

* You can carry your library of sales and other documents around with you, and use them on the spot.

Need a contract? A receipt? Tap, tap tap … and you’re done. If you need an app to sign documents, SignEasy (iPad) is great.

Tip: I use Penultimate (free for your iPad) to get signatures, because it syncs to my Evernote account, and once the signature is in there, I can add it to the client’s notebook.

* Easier presentations.

I love giving presentations. I love them even more now that I can use my iPad. You can even create presentations ON your iPad, using the nifty Haiku app.

How you use your tablet computer in your business depends what you want to do. TNW gives you a list of 30 apps to get you started.

Once you start using your tablet computer for business, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.

Angela Booth is an Australian copywriter, Web writer and content strategist. Want your website to do more for your business? Contact Angela via email to set up a chat. She loves to talk about business and the Web.