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How to Use GoodReader to Get Things Done

How to Use GoodReader to Get Things Done

    iPad has changed the way I do everything digitally. The way that I interact with devices, read, write, organize, and get things done. It is engrained into my life and I wouldn’t want to go back to the way I was before without it.

    One of the apps that have slowly creeped their way into my life is GoodReader for iPad. GoodReader is an app that allows you to read, manage, organize, access, and annotate just about any file that you would want to. It was released as primarily a PDF reader / “annotater” at first, but now hos taken on a life of its own with ways to download files, sync with Dropbox, create, edit, and manage annotations on PDFs, and much more.

    Here are a few ways that I use GoodReader to get things done.

    Syncing documents with Dropbox

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      This is what I use GoodReader for the most and without it, my PDF reading / annotating on iPad wouldn’t exist. This feature allows you to sync an entire directory of documents from your Dropbox folder and with a decent WiFi or 3G connection you can keep documents and PDFs in sync with all of your other Dropbox enabled devices.

      I have an extensive collection of technical PDFs that I use for reference as well as to learn new languages and technologies that I keep synced between a Dropbox folders and GoodReader on my iPad. I can then make annotations, create new bookmarks, and search these documents on iPad. Any changes I make can be easily synced back to Dropbox.

        Where this workflow gets very interesting (and possibly dangerous) is if you have a shared folder in your Dropbox that many people are using a well as synced to GoodReader with your annotations and changes. In my very limited experience with this, having multiple accessors of a single document or folder and those documents syncing with GoodReader seems to work but I have a feeling that it wouldn’t if there were multiple editors of the same document.

        Better (paperless) meetings and discussions

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          One of my issues to resolve this year is to make my life more paperless. GoodReader helps with this.

          Instead of printing out email and agendas for meetings I can create a PDF copy, upload it to Dropbox, email it to myself, or even sync it manually through iTunes. I can then open all documents that I need for the meeting or discussion and use GoodReader’s tabbed interface to view each document when I need it. And, of course, I can make a new annotated copy or annotate the document directly and sync it back Dropbox.

          I can see this process is going to save paper (and headaches from missing notes) this year.

          Signatures

            One of the quickest ways that I have found to sign a digital document is with GoodReader. Yes, I do use PDFpenPro on my Mac, but if I have access to a PDF on iPad that needs signed, I open it in GoodReader, use the freehand drawing tool with my handy stylus (oh, the horror!), zoom in, sign it, save it, and load it up to Dropbox or email it to whomever I need.

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            Showing things off

            The first rule of doing any type of freelance work is too assume that everything will go wrong. I remember about a year ago I was going to show off an interface design to someone and how it would work. I asked them beforehand if they WiFi there I could use. “Of course they did.”

            As I got there, took out my laptop, and then quickly realized that there was no WiFi connection, I was out of luck and couldn’t show anything. Of course, no one that knows the freelancing game would do this; they would always have a backup.

            When I am showing off a design or interface to someone I am working with, I take images of them on my Mac or PC, create PDFs, load them to Dropbox, and bring them down to GoodReader. I even go as far as including hyperlinks on interface buttons in the PDFs that will link to the next screen of the interface to show off the flow of the system.

            Accessing Documents from (almost) anywhere

              One of the greatest things that I enjoy and use with GoodReader is its excellent file access options. You can always sync a folder or document with Dropbox like I pointed out above, but you can also access documents from a ton of different places including mail servers and providers, your Google Docs account, box.net, a WebDAV server, and much more.

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              One of the things I love to do with GoodReader is access my Gmail account and see the entire list of attachements that have an @Action or Read/Review label. I can then quickly go through my list of attachements that need attention on my comfortable chair, leaned back, like Steve Jobs. Perfect.

                 

                I also offload most of my photos to box.net, mostly because of my huge, free 50GB account. I can then access these photos from GoodReader and through email or Apple’s Document Interchange, do just about anything with them.

                Conclusion

                As you can see, GoodReader for iPad is in my “top iPad app list” and made its way to my list of best productivity apps for iPad. With its outrageously small price tag of $4.99, you may be slightly insane for not using it for all of your document reading and handling needs on iPad.

                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.

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                Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

                Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

                Let’s dive straight into the list.

                1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

                  If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

                  RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                  2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                    If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                    This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                      This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                      Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                      4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                        Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                        Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                          There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                            Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                            Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                              Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                              This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                              Available on iOS and Desktop

                              8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                                This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                                This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                                  Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                                  MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                    1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                    Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                    11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                      When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                        This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                        Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                          This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                          Available on desktop (macOS)

                                          14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                            Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                            The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                            15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                              Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                              16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                                Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                                  This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                  Available on iOS and Android

                                                  18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                    Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                    Final Thoughts

                                                    The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                    So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                    More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                                    Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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