The iPad is proving to be a smart way of managing all aspects of business, whatever the scale of the operation, from solo freelancers to big companies. The device’s large screen and extensive capabilities enable users to access and control every part of their business on the move, and there is a wide range of excellent apps on offer to cover all work requirements.
This post brings together 15 of the finest iPad business management tools available from iTunes, a mixture of premium products and apps that may be used free of charge.
What it does: Word processing
Pages is one of the trio of iPad apps in Apple’s immensely popular iWork office suite along with Numbers and Keynote, which are available individually but together form a powerful set of business tools. Pages clearly shows the care that has gone into completely redesigning this app for the iPad to create one of the most powerful word processors for a mobile device. Users can write, layout, edit and share documents of all kinds using multi-touch gestures and Apple’s brilliantly designed templates. Finished documents can be viewed full-size on the iPad’s crisp display, delivered in various formats to colleagues, clients and customers, or sent to print.
What it does: Spreadsheets
Numbers, Apple’s spreadsheet management app, has also seen a complete refit to take advantage of the iPad’s capabilities. The app features more than 250 functions to allow users to quickly and easily produce attractive spreadsheets. The tools available cover all your needs for organising data, calculating information and managing lists using Apple templates. You can also import your own tables and the app’s compatibility means you can use Numbers ’09, Microsoft Excel or CSV files.
What it does: Presentations
Keynote is the third part of the iWork office suite, a superb app for making and delivering powerful presentations. Users have their audience captivated with slick graphics, animations, slideshows and video clips. The app makes the most of iPad’s potential with beautiful Apple-designed templates, and users can import their own themes. Completed presentations can be viewed on the iPad’s vivid display at meetings, or for larger conferences the device can be linked directly to a projector.
What it does: Note Taking
Evernote is a neat app for note taking on the move, allowing you to take text, photo, audio and video notes of any kind, from memos and meeting minutes to visual snapshots and moments of inspiration. You can view all your previous notes at the tap of a finger, and Evernote instantly synchronises with your iPhone, Mac or Windows desktop.
What it does: File Sharing
Dropbox is the simple and easy way of synching and sharing files of any kind to and from your iPad. Essential business documents can be viewed and shared remotely across multiple computers, and the app doubles up as a PDF and document reader.
What it does: Online Meetings
WebEx offers a variety of powerful features for online video conferences allowing multiple webcams to join meetings with smooth data and audio streaming. The app features voice recognition that automatically switches the spotlight to the current speaker, and the high quality video recreates the full meeting experience. With a host account users can schedule meetings and invite participants, meaning you can stay connected with your team and clients wherever you are.
What it does: Stock Analysis
It’s one of the more expensive iPad apps available on iTunes, but Market Scan is actually a shrewd investment for users wanting to keep up-to-date with the latest market developments. The fast-loading interface offers a variety of powerful stock analysis tools, quickly identifying the best profit opportunities based on personalised technical criteria. The app features ready-to-run predefined scans that may be customised using thousands of combinations to meet your precise trading requirements. As business apps go, this is one of the very best.
What it does: Financial Information
An essential and highly trusted source of financial data and news, Bloomberg presents this app that allows you to follow current market information on your iPad. You can confidently depend on Bloomberg to bring you all the news, stock quotes, market trends, company details, prices, market analysis and much more.
What it does: Budgeting
Expense Tablet for iPad is a great choice for all your personal expense tracking and budget management requirements. The simple, easy-to-use interface allows you to keep tabs on all daily outgoings and get a monthly overview of where all your expenses are going. The app doesn’t cover all aspects of financial management, but has some very useful features including category and account tracking; monthly budget reports; graphs representing your recent expenses history; PIN protection and live search updates; everything you needed for easy expense tracking.
What it does: Project Management
e-Task Project for iPad is a simple yet highly effective app to manage business projects online and on the go. The app has some excellent features for both solo operations and team projects, in which project managers and co-workers can synchronise their collaborations. Specifically designed to aid business management, e-Task Project helps you track leads; collate client and colleague information; organise projects; track time and tasks and maintain timesheets.
What it does: Databases
Bento for iPad is Filemaker’s popular personal database app, based on Bento for the iPhone but expanded and improved to make use of the iPad’s bigger screen and wider capabilities. The app comes with 25 ready-to-use templates that can be personalised to suit virtually any type of information, manage contacts, plan and tracking projects. The app allows you to watch videos, view photos, send emails and browse the Internet, and is easy to synchronise with Bento 3 Mac.
What it does: Task Management
Things from Cultured Code is a brilliantly intuitive task management app, which achieves the delicate balance of accessibility and strength of features. Things may be used as a stand-alone tool or in conjunction with related apps for iPhones and Macs, and the iPad version has been specifically designed to make use of the device’s potential. Users can quickly and easily create to-do lists, make notes, set dates and follow projects, with handy daily reminders to keep your schedule organised.
What it does: Twitter Interface
For businesses that use Twitter for social networking, TwitterDeck is a great app for keeping in touch with clients, colleagues and following all the latest trends and developments. The interface makes full use of the iPad’s screen size, allowing you to watch everything in multiple columns and multiple accounts. Social networking is becoming ever more important in business management, and TwitterDeck is the perfect way to organise this aspect of your work.
What it does: Travel Shopping
KAYAK HD is an essential app for travel shopping, offering fast and reliable searches to discover the perfect flights and accommodation for business trips. The app provides reviews, compares prices and offers information, photos and recommendations of the locality you are visiting, all viewed within an attractive map-style interface.
What it does: Invoicing
Omni Invoice allows you to create professional invoices and quotes anywhere and email them in seconds from your iPad. Quotes can be drawn up on site or during meetings so you can secure contracts straight away, and it’s simple to produce and send invoices to help the payment process, a basic essential of any type of business operation.
What iPad apps do you use for business management? Share them in the comments.
(Image courtesy of Rego – d4u.hu under a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution-ShareAlike generic license.)
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