5 Must Have Productivity Apps for iPhone/iPad

23 Jun

My generation, the late 80’s early 90’s babies, have never read directions for technology. We just can innately figure out random devices, but as I enter my senior year of college, I finally had to “read the directions.” I’ve never written for a blog. I have written just about every other type of prose, even poetry, but the “post” has always eluded me.

First, I read WordPress’s directions; one line really struck me, “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” Then, of course, I Google’d “do’s and don’t’s of writing a blog.”  What would we do without Google? Actually, maybe that should be the topic of my next post… hmmmm…


Let’s talk about Apple Apps. (Say that three times fast.) You don’t need to be super tech savvy to rock an iPhone, iPad, even the iTouch. With the application riff-raff, over half a million apps, which ones are worth the money, let alone using up your monthly data allowance? Here are five, in no particular order, that I think are definitely worth it.


I have been in love with my Google Calendar, and the other Google Applications, for years now. I questioned how I would have ever survived hectic college life (and summer where the days run into each other) without it. I was wrong, dead wrong. iStudiez allows you to organize your classes, syllabi, to do lists, important deadlines, and just general events to remember…all in one place, your phone’s calendar. It allows you to color code your events, organize your tasks in countless ways, and gives you a ‘today’ view of everything that needs to be done. With the countless items that need to be done today you will never forget with notifications on your phone reminding you. All of those things are great, but my personal fave; the class countdown. Oh and there’s a free version that does everything except track your GPA, who needs to do that anyways…


Evernote for iOS iconYou know that infomercial on at 3am, when you are struggling to find sleep, about the machine to ‘read’ your receipts and notes and organizes them on your computer? This is even better, AND FREE, for your phone! Evernote has over 20 features to keep all your information in one place; you can make to-do lists, record audio, search for text inside images, email or tweet your notes, take pictures of the black (or white) board full of notes, even view web pages when you are no longer online. Best part? You can sync all of your notes across your computers and devices.

Pulse News and Instapaper


Instapaper (Photo credit: Johan Larsson)

Keeping up to date with various social media, newspapers, and even epic blogs (like Changing the Way You Work) can take a lot of time and energy. Pulse News allows you to combine all your news sources into one screen, no more swapping windows, or missing out on ‘the newest thing’ while checking another source. Instapaper, on the other hand, allows you to save web pages to read later, offline. We all know there are times you don’t have a signal, or you have to turn on ‘airplane mode’, but you need to keep yourself occupied. The app also lets you change the font and text size to what suits you. Pulse News is free; Instapaper is $2.99, but well worth it to catch up on news, gossip, friends and family while on the go.


Okay, I’ll admit it, I have walked out of a building and rhetorically asked, “Where did I park…?”, but I swear it’s only been a few times! Some parking lots are straight up labyrinths and even if you ‘kinda’ remember where you parked, everything looks the same. iParkedHere to the rescue! It uses the GPS in your phone to ‘drop a pin’ where your lovely vehicle is and will help you find it later. It also has a handy parking meter counter so you will get notified when your meter is close to running low. For a $2.99 price tag, it will easily be worth it when you don’t get another parking ticket.


Remember back to that time you went to a job fair, or really any networking event, and you had countless business cards to keep track of. Not to mention, having to email thank you’s to some and resumes to others. This app, ScanBizCards, allows you to take pictures of all the cards and then automatically imports the information into your contact list for easy emailing. I wish I had known about this app when I went to the job fair, I had so many cards and couldn’t keep straight who had said what and I think a few fell out of my folder. I was a mess. For the super low price of free you can be much classier than I was last spring.


Those were my five-ish, yes I combined two, apps to help you get your life together, but this next one I had to post about because it is just plain awesome. Daniel Chao, ten years old, created the iReadMonthly app to keep track of how much time he spent reading. Entrepreneurial spirit is starting earlier and earlier. Love it!

I survived my first blog post! And you survived reading it! Congratulations! So maybe, blogs are not so enigmatic. For years my English teachers told me I “wrote too conversationally”; what they didn’t know was my style was perfect for blog postings. According to Mashable.com, a blogger must “be willing to talk like a human being…show feelings and a point of view. Let your inner self come out…Just speak!” Hope you all enjoyed my first ever blog post, you are now part of history. I would love some feedback on it, other topics you’d like to read about, or just questions/comments in general.


9 Responses to “5 Must Have Productivity Apps for iPhone/iPad”

  1. Patrick June 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I love Instapaper! Great App suggestions Sam.

  2. mellonryan June 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    iParked here. I need to get it. Thanks.

  3. Mary Robinson June 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Great info. So helpful!!!

  4. sls5517 June 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Thanks Patrick!

    @Mellonryan: It is so awesome, much better than hitting the ‘lock’ button over and over to hear your car.

    @Mary Robinson: Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Liam June 25, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    I need an app that will keep all my other apps organized. Any suggestions?

    • Patrick June 25, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      @Liam Launch Center Pro is an awesome solution for keeping all of your apps organized! Check out the review on Computerworld

  6. david August 29, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    Hey Guys!
    Nice list thanks for sharing… Would like to add Future Scheduler app (paid) for iPhone this helps you in scheduling text messages, emails, status update and phone calls. Check it out!!!
    Download from

    • sls5517 August 29, 2012 at 10:59 am #


      Thank you, glad you liked the post. My friends and I were actually just talking about that app last week, we just couldn’t remember the name of it. We thought it would be super helpful, especially during the insanity of getting back to school to remember to keep in touch with each other, and the parents.

      Thanks again for reading!


  1. 10 Applications to Help Combat the “Back to School Blues” « Changing the Way You Work - July 5, 2012

    […] as mentioned in my previous blog post will help you organize all of your to-do lists, audio recordings, pictures, and […]

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