The best iPad apps for productivity and life management

December 25, 2011

The selection in the App Store can be a bit overwhelming for some. We sifted through the best and made your shopping list a little more manageable.

Pocket Informant HD

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Pocket Informant won “Best of Show” at the MacWorld Expo in 2011, which should indicate how well-received it is. It combines calendaring and to-do lists, supports tablet features like tags and filtering and syncing with Outlook and Google Calendar.



iThoughts lets you doodle, draw or otherwise structure thoughts, concepts or tasks into a flow chart-like structure. It works with many popular desktop apps that do mind mapping.

Dragon Dictation

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Dragon Dictation for the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch allows you to both control the device as well as dictate input, whether that’s a Facebook status update or a text message back to a friend.



If you’re about to get on a six hour flight, Instapaper is a great way to save up a ton of articles and blog posts for reading in the air. It strips away all the extraneous content and just saves the text, and can save up to 500 articles on your iPad. Save everything from the New York Times to Facebook updates from your friends.



Evernote holds notes, ideas, photo snapshots and recordings, complete with geolocation tagging of pictures or notes. Evernote will also synchronize with your Mac or Windows desktop.



Whereas iThoughts is more free-flowing, OmniOutliner is a structured thought organizer, excellent for taking notes or organizing thoughts into subsections and bulleted outlines.

Agile Project Manager

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This program uses a particular Agile project management methodology known as Scrum, which gives flexibility and adaptability to changing project requirements. You can plan and track the progress of your development cycle on your iPad during multiple sprints.


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Soulver can do simple calculations on your iPad, but it is much more powerful than that. It can be used in complex, multi-part calculations, and you see the calculation as you type, so you can catch your errors early. You can do calculations over multiple lines, and change any of them. Plus you can put words along your numbers, so it’s not just numerical entries.


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