The best iPad apps for productivity and life management

by Andy Patrizio

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.

Links & Apps

  • 1 Pocket Informant HD
    Slide 1
    Pocket Informant Pro

    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.

  • 2 iThoughtsHD
    Slide 2
    iThoughts HD

    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.

  • 3 Dragon Dictation
    Slide 3
    Dragon Dictation

    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.

  • 4 Instapaper
    Slide 4

    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.

  • 5 Evernote
    Slide 5

    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.

  • 6 PhotoBuzz Pro
    Slide 6
    PhotoBuzz Pro

    PhotoBuzz Pro is an app to search and view all public Picasa and Flickr albums. There is a free version, which has ads and limits on the number of users that can be added. You can make slideshows of your friends' photo albums and they are saved on your device, so you can view them offline as well.

  • 7 OmniOutliner
    Slide 7

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

  • 8 Agile Project Manager
    Slide 8
    Agile Project Manager

    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.

  • 9 Soulver
    Slide 9
    Soulver for iPad

    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.

  • 10 Roambi Pro
    Slide 10
    Roambi Analytics

    Normally business intelligence reports require a lot of processing power and a fancy display, ergo, a laptop. But Roambi's dashboard-style analytics lets you analyze and share up-to-the-minute company information. The Pro edition adds support for Google Docs and Salesforce CRM. If you can live without those, there's a free Lite edition.

  • 11 Analytics HD
    Slide 11
    Analytics HD

    The premier app for displaying Google Analytics data, Analytics HD offers 55 different reports, showing data of up to 100 rows of GA data, more than any other GA reporting tool. It even offers a "Today" report in addition to the prior day. It supports multiple metrics for reports and easily customizes the date range.

  • 12 Priority Matrix
    Slide 12
    Priority Matrix

    There are plenty of organizers out there, but Priority Matrix let's you decide what to do first. Tasks are divided into four categories, from Critical and Immediate to Uncategorized. This helps with day and week planning. Thanks to its cloud sync technology, your data travels with you between iPad, iPhone, Mac and Windows running Priority Matrix.

  • 13 Peak Meetings HD
    Slide 13
    Peak Meetings HD

    Sometimes ideas come to you in the middle of a meeting and the best you can do is jot down a note. Peak Meetings is designed for that moment, giving you a framework for your ideas and insights based on seven different templates designed for different types of meetings.

  • 14 Calculator Pro for iPad
    Slide 14
    Calculator Pro for iPad

    The iPad doesn't come with a calculator out of the box, odd given the iPhone does, but that opens the market to third-party apps like Calculator Pro, which can do simple calculations, or turn it into landscape mode for more advanced, scientific calculations.

  • 15 Delivery Status
    Slide 15
    Delivery Status

    Did you know there are more than 30 delivery services? One app can track packages through them all. Delivery Status follows the app, including the estimated time of arrival. It will also follow orders from Amazon or Google Checkout.

  • 16 WebEx for iPad
    Slide 16
    WebEx for iPad

    The videoconference software for PCs comes to the iPad as well. You can participate with WebEx meetings with the iPad 2, since it has the front-facing camera. The app features voice recognition that automatically switches the spotlight to the current speaker. While you can view shared documents and content, it does not have the desktop sharing of the PC version of the software.

  • 17 Pointer
    Slide 17

    Red laser pointers are now fairly common in lectures and meetings, but thanks to Pointer, you can put that aside. With Pointer, you press and drag your finger around the iPad and that appears on the overhead display, projector, or whatever display unit you are using.

  • 18 Genius Scanner Plus
    Slide 18
    Genius Scanner Plus

    Genius Scan turns your iPhone into a pocket scanner and lets you make JPEGs or PDF, which you can then export to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Docs. Unlike the camera, Genius Scan will do post-processing to correct the angle and sharpen the image.

  • 19 Bento for iPad
    Slide 19
    Bento for iPad

    Bento is a collection of 25 templates for tracking, planning and organizing projects, all of which are stored in a FileMaker database.

  • 20 Documents to Go Premium
    Slide 20
    Documents to Go

    If you use Microsoft Office, this is the de facto collection of utilities for accessing your Office files on an iOS device. You can create, edit and view Word, Excel & PowerPoint files, sync to Google Docs, Dropbox,, iDisk & SugarSync. And you can view PDFs and sync files between a desktop PC and your iOS device.


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  • jakeBusiness
    1 year 8 months ago

    I suggest iDailyPlan. It's great! I can't stay without.
    This is the link



  • Paul Schrader
    1 year 10 months ago

    I recommend NotesDeck for notes!!! My notes show up on all my devices instantly (iPad, Mac and iPhone) and NotesDeck syncs with Evernote and Dropbox so all my old notes from other apps are already in it.

    It's much cleaner than that yellow Notes app. Much more professional. --->

  • jackdawson
    1 year 11 months ago

    WOW,,,, I can't believe how expensive some of these apps are!

  • msabra
    2 years 4 months ago

    Thank you for this list
    You may also like Meeting Minutes, it's an app specifically designed for those who attend lots of meetings, it can help you be more organized and productive.
    Through seating arrangement of your attendees, recording, scanning all the important data.
    Available on the app store
    Twitter: @Meeting_Minutes
    It Worth!

  • msabra
    2 years 4 months ago

    you may also like Meeting Minutes, it's an app specifically designed for those who attend lots of meetings, it can help you be more organized and productive.
    through seating arrangement of your attendees, recording, scanning all the important data, and many more.
    Available on the app store
    twitter: @Meeting_Minutes
    It Worth!
    thank you,
    Mahy Sabra.

  • Marc Belon
    2 years 8 months ago

    I didn't know about Roambi. Looks interesting in a business perspective, but really too expensive.

    you should check as well Beesy, an iPad To-Do and note taking app at
    They integrated notes from meeting in a smart To-Do organizer. Really efficient for those of us of have lots of meeting.

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