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The Best Productivity Apps for Your Shiny New iPad

The Best Productivity Apps for Your Shiny New iPad

    Last week we tried to help answer the question of if you should buy Apple’s latest creation in the iPad 2. Even though I am a tad bit skeptical of the iPad 2 being such a great upgrade from the first gen model, I can in no way say that it isn’t the best tablet on the market at this very moment, especially for the price. And with the long lines and sell outs of iPad 2 on Friday, it appears that many consumers think it’s the best too.

    We have also discussed several weeks ago how tablets can actually be decent productivity devices, even with their lack of fast input with a full, physical keyboard. I have been using my iPad 1 since its release and have to admit that it is my go to device for keeping my action lists, reviewing and adding to my calendar, and reviewing documents and documentation.

    So, with new iPad in hand, let’s find some of the best productivity apps for iPad and iPad 2 to get you started.

    Action Lists and GTD

      Toodledo

      Toodledo for iPad literally feels like an extension of the web app that many GTD fans have deemed as the center of their system. The sync is fast and the ways that you can manipulate your lists is top notch.

      Universal app: $2.99

       

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        Things

        Considered to be one of the best GTD apps by many Mac-heads, Things is a streamlined, easy to use actions and projects app for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac. It is on the pricey side, but many users say that it is totally worth it for the workflow.

        No universal app: $19.99

          Omnifocus

          Considered by this Mac-head to be the best GTD application in the Apple realm for iOS and Mac OS X. Omnifocus has got some David Allen backing and is definitely a premium app for iOS which you can tell by the pricing. One of the best functions that I have found is location aware contexts. On a side note, if you want full desktop sync on OS X, you are going to have to pay another $79.99.

          No universal app: $39.99

            Todo

            Todo is a beautiful list application that syncs with the Todo web app or with Toodledo online. Todo does a good job of using the iPad’s screen real estate by giving the user the feeling of using a paper planner. You can also change the look and feel of the theme of your planner which gives this app a nice touch.

            No universal app: $4.99

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              Pocket Informant HD

              Pocket Informant has been around for a while, with its start coming from Windows Mobile. PI has done a good job of allowing you to hash your action lists and calendars in any way that you like. PI also syncs with Toodledo or even with Outlook with the download of a desktop app.

              No universal app: $14.99

              Notes and Document Creation

                iWork Suite

                We couldn’t forget the iWork suite that Apple created for the launch of the iPad last year. I have to say that Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iPad show me what developers can actually do when developing for these tablet devices. If you have to create or edit documents that contain tables, formulas, etc. then the iWork suite is the best on iPad.

                No universal app: $9.99 each Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

                  Evernote

                  Evernote is the most ubiquitous digital note-taking tool. Period. I am not exactly sure how any of my projects would get done without this awesome tool.

                  Universal app: Free

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                    Simplenote

                    Simplenote is just that; a simple way to take notes. Simplenote allows you to take as many plain text notes as you want and then can sync them to the cloud via their web app. If you are one of those minimalist productivity types, then Simplenote is the way to take notes on your iPad.

                    Universal app: Free

                      Catch Notes

                      Catch Notes (used to be 3Banana Notes) reminds one of Simplenote with some added features like tagging and “hash-linking” your notes together. I used Catch Notes a lot back on Android, but decided to consolidate everything into Evernote to simplify.

                      Universal app: Free

                        Documents To Go

                        If you don’t want to give all of your money to Apple by buying their iWork suite but still need a way to edit Office documents, then your next best bet will be Documents To Go. Docs To Go has been around for a while now and has created a decent productivity suite on iOS at a decent price.

                        Universal App: Documents to Go $9.99 | Documents To Go Premium (includes Dropbox sync, Google Docs sync, email attachments, etc.) $14.99

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                        Miscellaneous

                          Stock Calendar and Contacts

                          I have yet to find better contact and calendar management than the stock apps provided by Apple. Also, they are deeply integrated into iOS. This means that other apps will use them to add items to your calendar or use contact information. Apple has done a great job of using the size of the iPad’s screen to give you more information and better navigation while browsing.

                          Free, comes with your iPad!

                            Dropbox

                            I and many others consider Dropbox to completely change the way that you store your files, especially if you work cross-platform. Dropbox for iPad takes advantage of the screen and also gives you previews of your documents, photos, and media. You can open your documents in whatever app you have installed that supports that type of media.

                            Universal app: Free

                              Mindnode

                              If you are like me, then you think in mindmaps. If that is the case then the best mindmapping software for iOS for the price is Mindnode. There is something visceral about creating mindmaps on a large touchscreen device; it feels much more natural than point and clicking with a mouse, often resulting in more dynamic and free-flowing brainstorm sessions.

                              Universal app: $5.99

                                Goodreader

                                This is the first app that I purchased for my iPad to read and review documents and PDFs and can’t say that I have spent a better five bucks in my life. Goodreader syncs with just about any cloud-based document service you can think of (Dropbox, Sugarsync, Box.net, Google Docs, etc).

                                No universal app: $4.99

                                More by this author

                                CM Smith

                                A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

                                Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better Why Getting Things Done is the Best Productivity System For You How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Ways to Beat It Once and for All To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

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                                1 How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide) 2 How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks for Maximum Productivity 3 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 4 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know 5 10 Practical Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills Drastically

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                                Last Updated on June 26, 2019

                                How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                Everyone has their own definition of what success means to them. Well, at least we all should by the very fact that no two individuals are created 100% alike.

                                Our road map to success should be different to the person standing next to us. But we can get caught in the dangerous trap that someone else’s ideas of success should also be ours. Be careful.

                                Regardless of whether or not we’re talking about your working career, business or personal life, it is truly hard to resist the contagious excitement surrounding those fantastic dreams and goals you allow yourself to explore.

                                The ‘come-down’ after attending a euphoric state-inducing personal development seminar can often result in you feeling the slump of post-seminar blues. Worse still, your everyday circumstances don’t accommodate the changes you swore to make that weekend. Nothing changes.

                                Get ready to kiss goodbye the post-seminar blues and skip to each destination on your roadmap to your successes. By repeating over and over these simple steps, the quality of your life will improve.

                                You will want to use these steps as standard strategies to carry you toward further success in whatever shape or form you choose.

                                1. Define What Success Means to You

                                Is it just having enough money or more money than you might ever need that allows you to feel and judge yourself a success? Is it about having a beautiful house worth more than $2,000,000 on the upper east side of Manhattan?

                                Is it about having a loving partner who supports you in your endeavors? Do you equally support each other?

                                Is it through the tertiary education roadmap that you only feel valid you can make a meaningful and successful contribution to help the world economy turn? Is that your definition of success or is it someone else’s? Maybe your mom’s or your dad’s?

                                When her daughter Christina found her on the floor of her office, in a pool of blood having hit her head and breaking her cheekbone as she fell, CEO of Thrive Global and celebrated author of Thrive, Ariana Huffington had a wake-up call in more ways than one.[1]

                                The exhaustion and overwhelming stress which had led to her fainting drove Huffington to radically introduce new work ethics, values and rules at the editorial.

                                Ten years on from her accident, Huffington still leads the conversational charge amongst global leaders to change the badge of honor that successful people need to work 24/7, and give everything of themselves and more, even it means compromising their health.

                                As opposed to letting power and money be the two measurements of success, she explains wisdom, well-being, wonder and giving will give you greater success by nurturing your psychological well-being.

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                                We can’t argue with Huffington that without that, we are proverbially dead in the water.

                                Warren Buffet stated the way he defines success nowadays has nothing to do with money:

                                “I measure success by how many people love me”.

                                You can’t but fall in love with the wisdom and nobility these words seem to reflect, but keeping it as your only definition of success is probably dangerous. Lacking today’s wisdom at 20 years of age, would Buffet have had the same definition of success?

                                Think about where you are on your journey. You are likely to have different goals and different measures of success as you navigate your roadmap. Huffington and Buffet explain non-tangible ideas of success are crucial for our overall success.

                                Let’s also not forget though that through tenacity, persistence and many other success habits, these business leaders also rate extremely high on the power and money metrics. However, that’s not all there is to it.

                                If you are not sure how you would answer if someone asked you what your definition of success is, here are some clues to get you thinking and feeling.

                                As your head hits the pillow and before you close your eyes, what’s most important is that you can internalize that you have chosen your definition of success and you can full responsibility and accountability for deciding upon it.

                                2. Review Your Progress and Satisfaction in Life

                                Review the main areas of your life. Not just those where you feel you need to make changes. Review all of them:

                                • Your career vocation or business life;
                                • Your relationships – your intimate or life partner, family and friends;
                                • Money health and financial management strategies;
                                • Commitment to your faith or religion and spiritual personal development;
                                • Your physical and mental health;

                                What leisure or recreational activities you pursue for fun to energize your spirit and enrich your soul.

                                Do you have ideas of what success looks like for you in each of these areas?

                                Neglecting to look at even one area is like trying to restore function to a beautifully crafted Swiss watch, whilst failing to attend to a rusty-looking cog in the tiny internal workings that needs attention. Turn one cog, the others all turn. Ignore a damaged one, the system malfunctions.

                                For each area, give yourself a rating out of ten – one signifies the least satisfaction and ten signifies the most – and ask yourself the following questions to help you start identifying what’s important to you:

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                                • How satisfied or content with this area of my life am I presently?
                                • Where would I like to live this current level of contentment to?
                                • What would that new level of satisfaction look like, feel like?
                                • How important is this area compared with the other areas of my life?

                                Regardless of what areas you recognize need to be your core focus, consider making personal development and improvements to your physical and mental health, and well-being a constant feature of your action plan.

                                You will need to continually recognize obstacles you’ll face from your outside world, as well as those internal psychological battles that will arise from within.

                                Without your mental and physical health intact, it’s unlikely the rest of the ‘cogs’ are going to turn properly.

                                3. Get to Know Your Values and Priorities

                                Don’t make the mistake of thinking goal setting can be done in one sitting. You want to make sure the pursuits you put down on paper aren’t fly-by-night moments of excitement that ebb and flow with the rise and fall of tidal trends.

                                Become better at identifying your priorities by exploring how you feel about each of your life areas. Think about the ratings of satisfaction you might have denoted for each. And now write down what you want to be, do and have.

                                Put aside your initial literary ramblings and revisit them in a couple of weeks or one month. Without looking at your initial thoughts, do the process again and see what consistencies show up. What keeps coming up as feeling important? Around what ideas is there the same yearning or emotional pull?

                                If you’re unsure about what you feel you wish to head towards, be in allowance of this. Don’t be jumping to quickly fill the void. The desperation is likely to have you catching the tail of the last exciting concept in fear of missing out, or trying to fill the void of excitement you yearn for.

                                Increase your practice of pausing and asking yourself:

                                Why does this resonate with me? Could this be a distraction which complicates the route I have mapped out? Am I becoming that person who proverbially chases two rabbits and catches none?

                                In his book The Heart of Love, Dr. John Demartini explains how becoming strongly aware of your values and priorities helps you understand why you are and where you are in your life at any given moment.

                                If you don’t know what you feel you stand for, look at where you direct your time, energy and attention. Look at your behavior and work backward.

                                You might think making money and creating financial wealth is high on your radar. However, if you spend more than you earn and allocate money to depreciating objects as opposed to appreciating assets, your behavior is inconsistent with those typical of someone who is financially astute.

                                Look back to your areas of life and ask yourself if the goals you have set are in alignment with your values. Look at your daily behaviors and ask yourself if the way you operate satisfies steps which take you further toward those goals.

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                                If not, all is not lost. You’ve simply got some harsh truths and reality checks to face before you can go any further on your roadmap to success.

                                4. Make Room Deliberately to Work with a Coach

                                You have to come to terms with the fact that you’re likely to be swimming against the tide.

                                Once you make clear unwavering decisions about what goals you’re aiming for, prepare to be un-liked, unpopular, criticized and potentially ostracized. There’s a high possibility you’ll lose the friendship and support of some however you will gain new friends and the support of others.

                                Regardless of what area/s of life your goals pertain to, make room to work with a coach. Choose wisely who that person will be to encourage and walk beside you.

                                Whether it be a certified coach, a family friend/mentor or qualified therapist, find someone who knows how to work with the specific issues and challenges that lay ahead without any agenda other than your success.

                                Having that impartial guide can be an invaluable constant. This helps keeps you on the straight and narrow even if other areas of your life aren’t going swimmingly.

                                5. Get Highly Familiar with Your Habits and Behaviors

                                Despite the scientific evidence in support of it, we’re not recommending you need to start getting up at 5:00 am and exercising for an hour before you even think about starting your day.

                                You should start asking yourself these questions far more frequently:

                                • How well do you know your habits and routine ways of operating?
                                • Do you know what choices and patterned behaviors help or hinder you?

                                You know what you want to work on. Greater clarity on your values has enabled you to discern which priorities are high on your list and which ones are low. It’s now time to reinforce and reward the habits that carry you forward on your roadmap to success, and adjust those habits which delay or divert you staying on course.

                                Remember though that part of the joy of the human experience is to be fallible, so don’t suddenly shelve all those character-building ‘vices’. Your flaws are a necessary part of your unique success jigsaw puzzle; they are the inspiring reasons you’re going on this journey in the first place.

                                Demartini and New York Times journalist and author Charles Duhigg both explain in their books how recognizing your unhelpful behavioral patterns needs to take place first. You identify the emotional and psychological rewards which rule over whether you sustain, break or make a habit.

                                When you know the rewards that light you up like a Christmas tree, you link them to new or modified habits that support values you want to make a higher priority.

                                Say you love eating out. You love artisan cuisine and get giddy at watching the episode of Heston Blumenthal create chocolate water in his food chemistry laboratory. As much as you say you want to increase your investment in appreciating assets, your spending habits speak otherwise.

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                                So, you might start looking for discount opportunities on your higher-end dining. The dishes may not rival Heston’s masterpieces, but your taste buds still enjoy a culinary roller coaster AND you also now to get feel-good allocating the discounted amount to a saving’s program.

                                Your tummy is singing as is your bank account. The whole experience goes well beyond short-term gratification and satisfies several values and goals.

                                Tweaking habits and forming new ones isn’t hard; it’s just a matter of finding a happy marriage. Take time to find it. There will always be ways.

                                6. Celebrate the Wins and Monitor Your Progress Along the Way

                                You must become good at deliberately rewarding yourself when you make changes that take you further along your roadmap to success.

                                Professor of cognitive neuroscience Dr. Tali Sharot explains how the brain responds and adapts far better to rewards than punishment when it comes to learning behavior and creating new habits.[2]

                                When we apply punishment, we reinforce the traumatic memory as being more important than the actual lesson we might have been meant to learn in the first place.

                                When we gamify rewards on our success journey, we inject fun and humor. We also reduce the stress that often comes with learning new things, habits and adjusting to new ways of being, doing and having.

                                Final Thoughts

                                If you hit a progress plateau at any point, you might need to allow yourself to plateau and switch your attention to another priority.

                                The switch may allow you to think more freely and clearly about how to move past your roadblock. Or it might simply be a good time to stop and smell the roses.

                                Your muscles grow stronger in their resting phase after a workout. Animals hunt profusely to build up their energy stores before going into hibernation.

                                Remember that continually forging ahead is not a natural rhythm. Repeat the cycle of rest, recovery and rallying forward then…start again.

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                                Featured photo credit: Tabea Damm via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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