If there’s one genre of apps that I spend a lot of time on these days, it’s the productivity apps that have been designed to hone and organize just about every aspect of your personal and professional life.
Now, most people I’ve spoke to will typically find an app that they like and then stick to it rigidly unwavering from their decision and then continuing to update their app, avoiding the competition.
I, on the other hand, try to switch between different productivity apps that offer something slightly different in the way of functionality. This switching can be something of a pain, but most productivity apps these days are fairly well integrated. What it does mean however is that I’m perfectly equipped to rate and rank the various productivity apps out there these days, in this case on the iPad.
Free Productivity Apps for iPad
We run through our particular favorites in the list below, attempting to include both the traditional task management apps and those that simply make your working or your home life easier.
8. Slack (Free)
There are a huge amount of apps out there that are based on the idea of team communication and joint productivity, allowing employees to easily work on projects and share info. I’ll try not to dwell on these apps here, since they are for one specific use rather than general productivity apps, but one that is worth mentioning is Slack.
With this app, you can easily communicate with other members of your team and share files: the basic premise being the app is to bring everything together in one place, and obviously to eradicate those annoyingly endless email chains and the hours you spend each week searching for that one file that someone sent you. – Download from iTunes
7. Wunderlist (Free)
To do list apps are the in thing right now, and one of the better options out there is Wunderlist. It currently accounts for millions of users the world over, allowing them to create lists for just about everything.
Whether you are simply jotting down a quick grocercy list before heading to the store or planning the holiday of a lifetime with friends, the app is designed to help make this process easier.
And you can start conversations about your to do entries, meaning that discussion is now a key thing and you can send photos or PDFs to that end. So no matter what you are looking for from a productivity app, Wunderlist has it all. – Download from iTunes
6. Simplenote (Free)
It’s something of a running argument between me and my friends: they are Evernote people, and use Evernote across a range of different platforms such as their home computer and tablet, for both work and home life. I, on the other hand, tend to prefer the plain text option that is Simplenote and will actively claim its superiority at any and every possible occasion.
As such, this list is something of a confession note since while I prefer Simplenote for its ease of use, Evernote is certainly the more comprehensive. Still, if you’re the kind of user that likes things to be reduced and minimal and without the added clutter, then you might want to check out the former. – Download from iTunes
5. Due ($4.99)
Due is a fairly robust and useful reminders app that allows you to maintain all different kinds of notes in your agenda, whether they be concerned with work or with home.
It’s great for those who don’t have the time to spend inputting data into their various calendar or agenda apps, since all Due needs is one line from you and it can work out when the appointment or deadline is, then will automatically put that into your agenda and remind you of it in the future.
That’s really the main selling point of Due, I believe: its quickness, and the fact that it will recognize just about anything you enter and work out the correct details so that you don’t have to mess around organizing your agenda entries. – Download from iTunes
4. OneNote (Free)
Another excellent and comprehensive note taking app is OneNote, from Microsoft, which has improved over the years to become one of the best options around. It’s the place to bring together all your ideas and to do entries, including notes with images and checklists that can be actively ticked off as you go.
I call it comprehensive, because OneNote is useful both at home and at work, meaning that everything you are doing and everything you have to do is now together under one place and conveniently integrated with many other apps. – Download from iTunes
3. Dropbox (Free)
I’ve tried to stray away from the conventional calendar apps on this list as we recently published or will be publishing a specific article on calendar apps for the iPad, but I won’t shy away from throwing in something like Dropbox which has definitely boosted my productivity when it comes to dealing with work files.
People seem to have pegged Dropbox for a simple cloud storage service and file viewer, but it’s a whole lot more than that and has certainly improved infinitely over the years. My favorite feature of Dropbox on the iPad is the PDF viewer, which basically means that you can share PDF files with colleagues through the app and then view them without having to switch to a different third party app in order to do this.
Basically, Dropbox doesn’t just deal with moving files, but also allows you to view them, too. – Download from iTunes
2. Cloudmagic (Free)
Another breed of very successful productivity apps these days are those that allow you to manage your various email inboxes, which can be ideal if you use a different email client at work and at home, or – like most people – have generated a huge amount of different addresses over the years.
As I say, there are many of these apps out there at the moment including Google’s very own Inbox app, but my personal favorite is Cloudmagic. The app, which has recently been updated to work with the Apple Watch (though you’ll also need an iPhone to use it) allowing you to archive and manage emails from different sources with easy, then easily respond to or highlight messages for later reading. – Download from iTunes
1. Evernote (Free)
As previously mentioned, when it comes to note taking apps, Evernote is certainly king of the castle these days.
Actually, to call it a simple note taking app is doing this one something of a disservice, since it has evolved way beyond that point to give you a very comprehensive tool that will no doubt boost your productivity across the board. Really, it’s one of those apps that you just have to try once in order to recognize how important it can be.
The app provides a detailed workspace that will allow you to manage everything from your personal and professional life, including notes, documents, files, images and loads more. There’s really no limit to what you can do with the app, and it definitely falls into that category of “apps you should never leave home without”! – Download from iTunes