Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My 3 Favorite iPad Productivity Tools

I'm not much of an edtech writer – there are already hundreds of voices and tons of information out there regarding technology and I’m not sure that one more voice would add much to the conversation.  That being said, I have always loved edtech.  I remember arguing with division IT guys back in the late 90s because the blocked blogger on the school network. (Of course they did this after I had set up class and student blogs – something about the randomness of the ‘next blog’ button.)

Now that I’m a central office administrator I still take the time to review the latest gadgets and software that enable student learning.  I’m also the office guinea pig when it comes to tech.  For instance, I have the only iPad in the office.

As an Android guy (my favorite gadget right now is my Razr paired with my Motorola Lapdock) I found it hard to make the iPad productive.  We are a Microsoft district so the iPad has trouble talking with my work documents and projects.  Plus, for me anyway, the iPad is awkward to type on.  It’s taken awhile but I’ve found some work-arounds that enable me to use my documents and files on the go.  I’m excited about it so I thought I’d do a quick write-up.

Here are my favorite iPad productivity tools (subject to change at anytime).

Quick Office Pro HD

A bit pricey but it allows me to see all the ‘stuff’ I create in Office to be viewed and manipulated on the iPad. It also serves as a PDF viewer so I can carry large files without actually carrying large files.   I use it in conjunction with Google Drive to easily move files back and forth wirelessly.  Just be sure to download items to the iPad otherwise you might get stuck without Wi-Fi and in desperate need of a document.

Google Drive

Five free gigs of storage and anywhere access make Google Drive my favorite cloud storage.  Download the desktop app to your Windows machine and you can drag and drop items rather than uploading via the web.  Use a separate account to store work related items unless you want your vacation photos to become “discoverable” should something go awry.


I hate typing on the iPad.  Penultimate allows you to write on your iPad using a stylus.  Multiple tools, styles, and pens give you versatility and allow you to be creative.  Pages can be organized into notebooks and sent via email, Wi-Fi, or the cloud.  Currently, integrates with Evernote and Dropbox but I did find a way to integrate with Google Drive by going through Quick Office. 

Not the flashiest of tools but they have helped me to be more productive.

What are your favorite iPad tools?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

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