Whenever I am away from home - whether it's in London itself or thousands of miles away for weeks on end - I generally do not leave without my trusted iPad Mini. It has become a powerful tool for my business, and thanks to the wonderful technology of apps, it has become incredibly easy to run literally any part of my business.
When I wrote this piece on 12 tools for running your business remotely, I also wrote briefly on how I travel and work on my business with just an iPad Mini. Since then, I have been asked numerous times about which iPad applications I use. I thought I’d share here my top ten favorites. I use these applications on a near-daily basis.
1. Evernote: This is my top favorite app. I store all my notes and write all my business plans, email drafts, book plans, coaching program notes and literally everything inside Evernote. I love their new interface which makes it very easy to start a new note at the snap of a finger. Plus, I also take photographs of all my bills and receipts which I store in Evernote along with all my paperless bills and statements. Evernote is my treasure chest.
2. Dropbox: I count on this amazing service as the entire repository of my life – seriously. My entire business (and some personal documents) are stored on the Dropbox cloud. I’m literally always working in and out of Dropbox when I'm on my laptop, and I've set up my systems so that everything gets saved onto Dropbox. That way, whenever I need a file, a presentation, a template, a spreadsheet, some old reference material I may have saved three years ago, I can just open up my Dropbox app on the iPad Mini and I'll be able to download or grab a link to share.
3. Mailbox Instead of the native Mail app on Apple products, I prefer Mailbox, now owned and supported by the team at Dropbox. It allows me to get to Inbox Zero often and stay on top of my email. Whenever I log in and download my email, I deal with each one immediately by either storing it in an appropriate folder, responding immediately, or setting it up to save and reappear at a later date. Quite smartly, Mailbox shows you a beautiful image every single day once you reach Inbox Zero, so that in itself is motivation as you're always curious as to what it would be.
4. Skype: I love the ability to make all my telephone calls with my iPad Mini. It's only a Wi-Fi iPad, but I can always hook up on my iPhone's personal hotspot and use the connectivity to still operate. Skype has been an invaluable tool for my business as I work with people around the world. It has really let me work smarter and not harder.
5. Bufferapp: I've tried all sorts of services that promise to manage, automate and analyse my social media profiles, but nothing has been more seamless and easy-to-use than Buffer. Although they have a free plan, I've upgraded to their "Awesome Plan" and pay just $10/mo to take complete control and view total analysis on which tweets and Facebook posts have performed well, showing me where I can improve. Plus I can set up custom time schedules and schedule my posting when I'm not around. All I have to do is keep my buffer topped up!
6. 1Password: I use this app to manage login information, passwords, and software licenses. I've purchased it across all my Apple devices and sync all the data so that it is available wherever I am. I'll always remember to install this as the first device on any app I have.
7. Instapaper: I follow a lot of specific websites to do with email marketing, conversion, landing pages, productivity and simple living, as well as the personal blogs and writings of many successful digital entrepreneurs. Whenever there's a new blog post or article published, I simply forward it to my Instapaper account and it gets saved for when I've created free time to flick through and read them. Then I can store them for in specific folders for future reference, or simply mark as read and delete. I also get a lot of ideas from this resource bank I've built up.
8. Kindle: I bought my iPad Mini for two reasons: to manage and run my business in my palm, and to be able to carry dozens of books while I travel. As an avid reader, I always used to carry 4-5 books with me bulking up my backpack or suitacase. Now, I can access ebooks instantly htrough my Kindle app as well as enjoy their lower costs.
9. Zendesk: This is the online help desk software that allows us to manage our customer enquiries, product and service questions and concerns. I log in once a day to read and reply to new and open tickets (a fancy word for 'email threads') that from my clients.
10. iCal: I like this simple to use native Apple calendar. I've set up all my calendars using the Google Calendar system and created different layers for all the different areas of my business - email writing, blogging calendar, ebooks schedule, meetings schedule, webinars schedule. All of these sync automatically to my iCal throughout all my devices.
One I haven't added to the list but I use extensively is Safari. There are several tools such as Infusionsoft and PayPal which I use which haven't made this list because I still prefer their website instead of the apps.
As of October 2013, there have been 1,000,000 apps available for the iPad (with 500,000 made specifically native to the iPad). You have plenty to choose from, and I'm constantly discovering and enthuastically searching for new ones.
I hope you've enjoyed this short list. Over to you, please give me your list of top favorite iPad apps in the comments...
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