These days, I do the majority of my work on my iPad, a device I’ve come to love more and more over the years. Many people often ask me what are some of my favorite iPad apps so in today’s post, I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
This is my main long-form writing app. I mainly use it to write novels though I have done certain types of journaling in it as well. It’s a powerful and flexible writing app that is probably my most used one as well. There are so many wonderful features to this app: the ability to easily rearrange sections/chapters, color coding, powerful outlining capabilities, project/session targets, export to ePub and mobi, corkboard (an Index Card view), full-screen composition mode, and autosave.
This is another writing app, but I use this one for my short-form writing, such as blog posts. I love its organizational tools, especially the single hierarchical library and its ability to export and share to various formats. I especially like its clean and distraction-free interface, which makes writing it in enjoyable.I’ve tried getting rid of it a few times because it’s a subscription, but I go running right back to it. It does so many things that other markdown apps can’t do, so for now, it stays.
- Netflix/HBO Max/Hulu/Amazon Prime
I’ve grouped these into one category because I go back and forth between them. For example, if there’s a show I want to watch, I’ll subscribe to one of them, watch all the show’s episodes and then unsubscribe. This way, I only subscribe to the service that I’m actively using at the moment.
My web browser of choice. I use this because of its security and privacy features. However, if there’s a site that refuses to work with Firefox, I’ll use Safari in that case.
This is another note-taking app but one that works flawlessly with the Apple Pencil, allowing me to take hand-written digital notes. I actually keep my digital journal in Goodnotes. I also use this to mark up drafts of my novels. I’ll import a PDF version of the book and then make pen corrections to that version. I find that this app comes in handy for so many things.
- Kindle App
The Kindle app is my ebook reader app of choice. Though I read most of my ebooks on my Kindle Oasis, I will occasionally read them using the Kindle app on my iPad, especially if the book contains illustrations. I love that the app will sync what I’m reading with my iPhone and my Kindle.
Instapaper is a read-later service that allows you to save web content so it can be read later on your devices, such as on a smartphone, iPad, or computer. I use this app daily to curate articles that I share on social media or articles that I want to read later on.
Instapaper syncs the articles and videos you save so that they’re waiting for you on all your devices – iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle. You can read anything you save, anywhere and anytime you want, even offline!
This is another of my most-used apps. Drafts allows you to quickly jot your ideas down, whether it be for a tweet or an idea for a novel. You can then come back later on and share it with a variety of services or apps. Almost all of my Tweets begin in the Drafts app.
I subscribe to Adobe’s Photographer’s package, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop. Though I do most of my photo editing in Lightroom Classic on my Mac, I often edit photos in the iPad version as well, especially if I quickly want to share them online.
- Playground Sessions
I’ve recently begun learning the piano, and this is one of the apps I’m using to learn. It has some great lessons and methodology, and I use it every day. Unfortunately, the iPad app is kind of buggy (though they are supposedly coming out with an update shortly). But that aside, I’ve had a lot of fun learning piano with the app. They also have an amazing and supportive online community.
- Piano Marvel
This is the other piano app that I’m using every day to learn piano. It has excellent sight-reading features, which initially drew me to the application. The method they use to teach songs is super helpful, especially the ability to work on only specific measures of a piece. Again, another app I use daily.
- YouTube Music
Right now, YouTube Music is my music service of choice (I jump back and forth between Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music). One strong reason for subscribing to YouTube Music is that it removes ads from YouTube videos. I also enjoy watching music videos, and I can do so right from the app.
- Excel/Google Sheets
Because I’m not too keen on Google’s privacy track record, I tend to use Excel for all of my spreadsheets (I have a subscription to Microsoft Office). I keep a few things in Google Sheets that I want to access from any device.
I’ve been using DevonThink since its early days, and it still is an app that I use almost daily. It’s essentially a database for storing, tracking, and tagging all types of information. What I love about this app is how easy it is to get data in and out of it. Additionally, you can store data in its original format, such as PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, HTML files, text, and files. I did use Evernote for a while, but it didn’t meet my needs like DevonThink does.
BoxCryptor is a reliable and secure software encryption app that I use to encrypting the sensitive files that I store on the cloud. What’s nice about BoxCryptor is that I can access my encrypted files from my iOS devices. I encrypt pretty much anything with personally identifiable information.
This is my favorite app to use when I’m cooking or baking as, for the most part, their recipes are foolproof. In addition, the app includes tested recipes from publishers such as Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and many others. I love the ability to save recipes, create shopping lists and find pretty much any recipe I’m looking for. I find the reviews for each recipe also incredibly helpful.
I’ve experimented with many to-do/project management applications but always come back to Todoist. Todoist is a cloud-based task management service that is a cross between a to-do list app and a project management service.I love its flexibility, natural language input ability, the ability to use it on all major devices and platforms (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, etc.), productivity reports, and the ease of use, though it is pretty powerful. This feature-packed app is one for which I don’t mind paying the yearly subscription fee.
If I need to create a quick text or markdown document, I use Byword. I also use this sometimes to make a quick, on-the-fly blog post. It’s simple yet an app that I always return to. The app also allows you to publish directly to Blogger, Medium, or WordPress.
- iThoughts (MindNode went subscription)
iThoughts is a mind-mapping tool that I use to generate quick ideas. It’s excellent for visually organizing your thoughts. I also use it for general brainstorming, coming up with novel ideas, project planning, goal setting, and more. You can also export to a variety of formats such as PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Project, Microsoft PowerPoint, PNG, and Markdown.I used to use MindNode until it went subscription. I’ve been an iThoughts user for many years now and am still extremely happy using this flexible app.
- DayOneDayOne is a journaling app that I’ve used on and off. I mainly keep my journals in physical notebooks. I did start transcribing my journals in DayOne a while back. Additionally, I take a break from pen and paper writing every now and then and instead do all my journaling in the DayOne app. Regretfully, DayOne went subscription a few years ago. I feel silly paying $36 per year for a journaling app, especially when I have other tools (that aren’t subscription) that I can use. When they started charging yearly for the app, I didn’t move over as I deeply entrenched into their ecosystem. Okay, but I’m seriously thinking of moving my digital journals into Scrivener before my next subscription renewal date. We’ll see.
TextExpander is a productivity app that allows you to insert blocks of text using keyboard shortcuts. For example, whenever I type in ddd, TextExpander will insert directions to my house. Likewise, typing my initial will insert my email address. Though this app also follows the subscription model, I don’t mind paying for it. I find it an invaluable tool in my workflow, and I save tons of time using it.
What are your favorite iPad apps?