Apps can be a lot of fun. Who hasn’t lost more than a few hours of their life to Angry Birds or Temple Run? Apps can be truly “useful” too, and really boost the productivity of any businessperson, or even the casual person who needs to get some personal stuff done. The iPad is perhaps the best all purpose tool to increasing your productivity, as it can easily enhance your work at the office or your home, while you’re there or away. Here at NerdWallet we are all about productivity and efficiency, so today we are laying down a few of our favorite iPad apps to help you get the job done, whatever that is.
Air Display: Saving you some much needed monitor space
One of the simplest yet coolest apps, Air Display wireless syncs your iPad as a second monitor screen for your computer. This is a nerd’s dream come true. If you are anything like us around the office, then you probably have 5-6 different windows open and have probably bounced between them since you started reading this post. Us too. Air Display makes this effortlessly easier on us by giving a portable second monitor for us to move some of those windows to so we can work on multiple things in the same field of vision without scrambling around one screen. Air Display can also work for your iPhone or another laptop, but it we include it here because it will obviously be most practical on the iPad for the larger screen, lighter weight, and simple fact that people don’t tend to have an extra laptops hanging around. You can definitely get some work done faster with this bad boy. Air Display lets you download it for free for one main device and then has you pay a fee to buy it for each additional device you want it to be compatible with.
Dragon Dictation: Being productive without hands
Dragon Dictation gives you a personal typist wherever you are. The free app from Nuance has incredibly spot on speech recognition to help with surprisingly error-free note taking, texting, and emailing. You are now able to work on messages even on the go, boosting your work communication (or personal chatting) abilities be a large margin. The price is right and the service is good. The tech side of this app definitely tickles us nerds. The catch? Dragon Dictation’s voice translation happens through the cloud, so you need to have Wi-Fi or at least 3G to use it.
Dropbox: The easiest file sharing on the planet
Without a doubt one of the best online services around, Dropbox allows you to create and share storage folders over the Internet. Dropbox has been providing this service through its website for a couple years now, but the new app takes the service to a new level. Dropbox is extremely useful for sharing public files around an office, sharing files from your work computer with yourself at home, and now makes all these available in transit as well. Need to catch a train but haven’t quite finished that project? Just save it to your Dropbox folder and it will be waiting for you whenever and wherever you want to access it. When done, just save it there again. Dropbox is also great for sharing photo albums or videos that might take up too much space to email around. Dropbox is seriously a nerd’s best friend and will give anyone an edge through file sharing.
iWork for iPad: All the office tools, right with you
Featuring Keynote, Numbers, and Pages, iWork as all the work services you enjoy on your normal lap- or desktop. Keynote has you covered for presentations, Numbers takes the place of Excel, and Pages has Word and then some. Apple offers these apps individually so if you’re not a “Numbers” person you can be spared the fee. They also come at a reasonable $19.99 a piece. For the office nerd and the undergrad nerd alike, these programs will help you take care of business. Each of them is now in an updated version from their original releases and offer serious functionality with little lacking from what your normal set up would be on your main computer.
Bento: Keeping us nerds on track
Sadly, even with all these tools to keep us working efficiently we often still need something to keep us on task. When it comes to staying focused, Bento is our saving grace. Bento is like a personal manager. It will help you organize all your contacts, create tasks and timetables to keep tabs on projects, track inventories and events (like credit card payments), sync with your other devices to help you wherever you are, and share your data with colleagues and friends. This app really does have everything you need to keep you on schedule, making it the perfect addition to your productivity enhancing iPad.