Top 5 Business Apps for the iPad

By Dominic Monkhouse, published on Real Business 17/03/2011

An iPad not only makes you look like you mean business, but it can revolutionise your IT consumption and productivity.

When you’re on the move, an iPad is a lightweight lifeline to your business: unlike many laptops, it has a brilliant battery life and it’s much faster.

With the right apps, you can become even more productive than you are when sitting behind your desk at the office. Gone are the days when you need to scribble notes down in your notepad in meetings – which, let’s be honest, it’s not like you would ever write them up. Gone are the days of you appearing rude, hiding behind your laptop.

The iPad is the ultimate out-of-office companion and can really change the way your business works.

Here are the top five iPad apps that any business owner should have:

GoDocs – This is a really useful app that allows you to download and access Google Documents effortlessly from your iPad. For those not familiar with Google Documents, it’s a Google service that allows you to create and share your work online, and store your files on Google’s secure servers. Basically it allows you to move your documents to the cloud, which in turn enables you to access them quickly and easily without access to your server, relieving you of any IT headaches.

iWorks – This is a must-have app if you want to edit documents on your iPad. This document-editing suite is comprised of three individual Apple apps: Keynote, Pages and Numbers. It allows you to create new documents, or edit existing ones. Pages is a word processing app: it supports Microsoft Word files, so you can read and create documents, compatibility is not an issue. Keynote enables you to create presentations from scratch – including animated charts – which means you don’t have to worry about USBs, and you can work on presentations while on the way to meetings. Numbers says what it does on the tin – it’s an application for managing numbers (but is the weakest of the three applications). The iWorks package is a must for any business iPad user, allowing you to work remotely and with ease. However, you can buy each app separately.

Skype – This brilliant app turns your iPad into a phone, so you don’t miss those all-important conference calls. The new iPad 2 also has a camera, which will allow video conference calls too. It works over 3G as well as WiFi, and allows you to make free calls to other Skype users. If you want to call landlines or mobiles, you simply purchase credit and away you go. I would advise investing in some earphones with a microphone, so if you’re on a busy train or in a restaurant, you can give the call your full attention.

Evernote – If you don’t have this app already, you can thank me later. Evernote allows you to note down any inspirational, or not so inspirational, ideas you may have (or anything that’s noteworthy, to be honest). Evernote also organises your notes so you can access them quickly and easily. And get this, you can search for text in images too!

Feeddler – Another fantastic app which I use every day is Feeddler. It allows you to reed RSS feeds offline, which is brilliant when you’re constantly going through tunnels on the train. The 3G on the line from Southampton to Waterloo is patchy so this is a favourite app of mine when I’m commuting into London.

An iPad really can change how you run your business. It can transform your productivity, making your business technological processes modern, efficient and fun, rather than a painful headache.

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