Getting Things Done on the iPad

May 22, 2010

I’m a marketer, a geek, and a business owner. I have a busy schedule and am pulled in a lot of different directions, so keeping on top of it all is paramount. When I got my iPad, I knew there was going to have to be a way to make it patch a gap of productivity that I was previously using disparate means to address. These are the apps that help to make that possible.

Evernote – capture notes and sync across all devices. Stay organized.

Evernote represents the best of the iPad to me. I’ve spent the last year and a half getting myself paperless and into Evernote, and somehow knew this was the reason. I keep everything in here, and I reference it often. The iPad is the perfect size and form factor for everything from looking up recipes in the kitchen to reviewing meeting notes in a coffee shop, along with countless other uses.



All my staff use Dropbox, and with the iPad, I can access any of their working files for review or to show to a client in a meeting. Combined with GoodReader and the iWork suite, this is a mobile worker’s dream come true. (If you’re not already a Dropbox user, you can sign up here: – and by using that link, we both get some extra space for free.)


GoodReader for iPad

One of the limitations of the iPad is that once you’ve modified files on it, it’s a little tough to get them back where you opened them from. GoodReader allows you to set up Dropbox as a destination, along with FTP servers and a variety of other destinations. It truly makes it possible to use the iPad in lieu of a laptop on the road on any other remote work setting.



If, like me, it’s hard for you to imagine a workday without a spreadsheet, you need Numbers.



It’s wonderful to be able to sit in a coffee shop or bar, sip a drink, and conceptualize a presentation that you might make to a prospect. Sure, you could do that with a laptop, but the touchscreen interaction makes it feel like I’ve removed a step in capturing my thoughts.



Yes, it’s $50. And yes, if you’ll use it, it’s worth it. Here again, the touchscreen interface is a game-changer for capturing ideas. I find myself diagramming and sketching a lot more abstract ideas with this than I ever do on my laptop. I’ve probably already gotten $50 worth of value out of getting clarity in my thinking around my business, and I’ve only had the app for a week.



One more argument in the case for “touchscreen beats mouse or keyboard” but here we can also argue superiority to pen and paper. Imagine being able to sketch, label, and jot as if you’re doodling on paper, but to just as easily be able to wipe the slate clean, erase a section, redo a line, and all without wasting paper. Also, to bring this full-circle to my paperless lifestyle in Evernote, if I capture my notes in this app, I can keep them handy without ever having to scan them in. It’s a time-saver and it just makes sense.

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