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Productivity Apps for iPad

A bunch of people at work got new iPad’s recently and I figured some may find it useful to know what productivity apps I’ve been using on my iPad. Over the last couple of months the iPad has really become a critical tool for me.

OmniFocus for iPad

I use OmniFocus all day, constantly on my iPhone, iPad and Mac. Everything I need to do gets put in it. It’s a GTD-style task tool. YMMV, but I find it very useful. OmniFocus sits in my home row on all iOS devices.

OmniOutliner 2

If I’m taking notes in a meeting I’m always keeping them in an outline, and a proper outliner is a huge win for that. I also use OmniOutliner 2 to frame out any presentations I’m giving. One thing I particularly like to do is have an outline document for each recurring meeting, and then have a “node” in the outline for each week where I put my notes. Makes it super easy to see last meeting items.


I’ve been using HipChat for team chat. It’s awesome, and the iPad version lets me stay connected all the time. Great tool.


If you are at all into mind mapping this is the best one by a mile for the iPad. Great tool for brainstorming a topic.


I use 1Password to manage 400+ unique passwords for everything I use. Critical to have it on iOS as well.


An obvious one.


I know most folks are PowerPoint junkies. Personally if I can I prefer Keynote. The iOS version is on par with the desktop one. Enjoyable to work on slides on a plane using this.


The calculator builtin is no fun at all. This is a serious, heavy hitter calculator that supports RPN for folks that are into that sort of thing. I don’t know if it does the beloved 12C functions for all the finance folks, but this is my preferred calculator by a mile. Nice bonus is you can email the “tape” if you’ve done a set of calculations.

OmniPlan 2

Like Microsoft Project but for the iPad. If you need to do any standalone project planning this is a great tool.

iA Writer

If you are brave enough to write long form text on your iPad, this is my preferred tool for that. Has great keyboard setup that makes writing longer form things much better.


Pretty much required.


If your gonna Twitter, ditch the Twitter official client for Tweetbot. It’s about a million times better. At some point a new iOS 7 optimized Tweetbot will come out for the iPad, it’s already out for the iPhone, but until then this current version is the best out there.


  1. Although if I have to ask, I probably won’t understand: “why use HipChat rather than iMessage?”

    Is it a function of the ability to use it across various platforms/OSs? or ability to control data?


    • Most traditional chat applications are for 1:1 chat. They may allow you to do more than that with a group as well. Systems like IRC as well as Campfire, HipChat are room based. So, rather than Jamie sending a message to Nick, Jamie is sending a message to everyone in the room Development. The rooms allow topical conversation instead of all point to point. The other big difference is that most room based systems have archival and search, as well as API’s so Bots are very common. Often times the entities in a room are a mix of people and bots, and you can get a lot of power when the people can tell the bots to do things. Like “Close ticket #37″ and the bot just does that for you. This automation can result in a lot of productivity boost.

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