The iPad has differentiated itself from the iPhone so much that there now needs to be a separate version of iOS for it, appropriately dubbed iPadOS. But it's not just the operating system itself that helps you become more productive with your iPad, it's the apps! Here are some of the best productivity apps for your iPad that we found on the App Store.
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When it comes to productivity, the first thing you're going to think of is a task manager. Things combines beauty and power with plenty of flexibility to suit your needs.
Unlike other task managers, Things is never complicated and doesn't need a lot of time to learn and start using. You create Areas with Projects under them, and then add in your project tasks. There's always a circle for your projects to show your progression, and all tasks can be given a due date, tagged, have a checklist if necessary, and even flagged for deadlines. Everything can be moved around via drag-and-drop, and there are intuitive gestures to get things where they need to be.
I've been using Things as my daily driver task manager for the past few years, and it makes managing my tasks easier than ever. It's also available on iPhone and Mac.
The second thing you may think about when being productive is your schedule. After all, how are you supposed to get things done if you don't have a calendar to put down all of your important events and such?
Fantastical is my favorite calendar app on iPad, as well as my iPhone and Macs. With Fantastical, you get a beautiful and streamlined interface that is as easy on the eyes as it is to use. You can view the weekly ticker, the entire month, as well as your upcoming agenda all at once on the iPad. Creating new events or reminders (integrates with Apple's Reminders app) is super easy thanks to the natural language input system that it uses. And if you ever need to search for something, the handy search feature lets you go through all of your events, whether past, current, or future.
Email can be a pain, but Spark is an app that helps make managing your inbox easier.
With Spark, you can add multiple email accounts and manage them all at once with Spark's Smart Inbox system. This organizes all of your emails into separate categories: Personal, Notifications, and Newsletters. You can also turn on Smart Notifications per account, which will only alert you to messages from senders that you may not want to miss out on, rather than being bombarded with notifications for everything. It also has other useful features like scheduling emails for later, snoozing, pinning important messages, search, integrations with many third-party apps and services, and much more.
I've been using Spark for years, and it definitely helps me with managing my mess of an inbox.
Scanning important documents to have a digital copy should be something that all of us are doing. But having a physical scanner may not be something that all of us have. Fortunately, there's Scanbot.
With Scanbot, you can launch the app and use your iPad's camera right away to scan a document. It's very good at detecting sheets of paper and will get the edges right and all that in a matter of moments. If not, the app tells you to get closer and to not move so that it can capture the scan nicely. Scanbot supports multiple page documents, has filters that you can apply that affect the scan quality (if you want it like a color photo or just black and white, etc.), and works with various third-party cloud storage solutions for uploading. You can organize all of your scans into folders right in Scanbot itself, and there is also a faxing functionality if you need it.
If you intend on being productive, you can't go without some kind of writing or text editing app, right? And Bear is a great option to consider.
Bear gives you a stunningly beautiful and simple interface that won't interfere with your writing. In fact, it'll help you focus more on the words, rather than tinkering around with various settings as you write. You can even drop in images directly into your documents, as well as web clips, files, sketches and drawings, and more. Bear also makes use of tags for organization, and the search functionality helps you find exactly what you need.
Bear is free to download and use, with some limitations. If you want to get the most out of Bear, including access to different themes, full iCloud syncing, advanced Export options, and more, you'll need to get Bear Pro. Pro costs $1.49 a month, or $15 a year.
While Apple includes Files in iPadOS now, you may still need something that's more robust and powerful than the default option. That's when you need Documents by Readdle.
This all-in-one file hub can replace your document viewer, PDF reader, "read it later," music and video player, file downloader, cloud integrator, and more. You can pull in your files stored on a variety of third-party services, including iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and more. Documents does everything you would need it to with your files, including zipping and unzipping, editing and creating, viewing, sharing, storing, and more. All of your stuff can also be protected with a password too, in case you don't want others getting into your files.
If you're on an iPad, you may be working with multiple apps at once. And when you need to get some items from one app to another, there is no better app for the job than Yoink.
Yoink is essentially a place to temporarily store items that you want to use later in another app. It helps eliminate the need to go back-and-forth so much and streamlines the process. The best way to use Yoink is to have it as a Slide Over app on top of two other apps that you're working in with Split View mode. Drag items like photos and video clips, text, files, web snippets, URLs, emails, and other items into Yoink to store them temporarily. Then move Yoink over and drag those items into your destination app.
To make things even easier, Yoink also has a keyboard so you can move items stored in Yoink into other apps without having to launch Yoink. There's even iCloud syncing for all of your items, Handoff support, an action extension, and more. Yoink is one of those apps that you'll wonder how you did without.
Copied is similar to Yoink, but it is more of a clipboard manager, but it's excellent to have if you're constantly dealing with copy and paste all day long.
With Copied, you're able to view everything that you've copied onto your iPad's clipboard, and go back and copy them again with ease. This applies to everything, from text, URLs, and images. Copied even lets you edit text with rich formatting if need be, and all of your clippings get synced between your iPads, iPhones, and Macs with iCloud. There is also an intuitive drag-and-drop interface if you prefer working that way.
Believe it or not, but your iPad doesn't come with a calculator app built-in. Shocking, right? Fortunately, there's an app for that, and PCalc is one of the best.
PCalc is an incredibly powerful calculator app that will benefit scientists, students, engineers, programmers, and anyone else who needs a feature-rich calculator app. Some of its features include RPN mode, multi-line display, customizable button layouts, extensive sets of unit conversions and constants, paper tape, multiple undo and redo, engineering and scientific notation, as well as hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculation support.
There is a free version with some limitations that you can unlock with in-app purchases, or you can go for the full version for a single, flat-rate price of $10.
What are your favorites?
These are just some of our favorite apps for being productive on the iPad. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.