Creative Tools: iPad

May 19, 2010

After a month with the iPad, I’ve found it’s more useful in my creative workflow than I imagined it would be. Here are my favorite apps on the iPad for my creative processes:

SImplenote (iTunes)
This is one of the two apps that makes the pad most useful for me. Simplenote is my primary writing app, useful for capturing drafts (which I’m doing at this very moment). But, it also serves as a giant reference library. I have five years of book/research notes or brainstorms that I’ve collected with me at any time. And they all sync with Notational Velocity on my MacBook Pro. SimpleNote makes all my notes available on my iPhone too, but they are more useful on the iPad.

Instapaper Pro (iTunes)
The second killer app for me is Instapaper. I won’t even consider a Twitter or newsreader app that doesn’t have built in instapaper support. I toss articles and blog posts from twitter and my rss feeds into Instapaper all the time. It’s my own newspaper.

Kindle (iTunes) / iBooks (iTunes)
The iPad has, grudgingly, replaced my Kindle. The Kindle, in my opinion, is a better reading experience, and offer less to distract me. But it doesn’t make sense to carry both. I prefer the Kindle app over iBooks because of my library, and because all of my notes and highlights sync back to the Amazon website for my reference.

Articles (iTunes)
Articles is a wikipedia client that I use almost everyday. I can hardly watch a movie or show without consulting Articles to learn more about an actor or related topic as I watch. I realized just how true this is when I was at a movie theater this weekend and wanted to look at Wikipedia a few times, but didn’t want to disrupt those around me.

NewsRack (iTunes)
NewsRack is a nice looking reader with, of course, Instapaper support. It syncs with Google reader, and therefore with NetNewsWire on my laptop, so that I can always pick up where I left off. And…it’s a universal app and works well on the iPhone as well.

OmniGraffle (iTunes)
I have a longer post coming about OmniGraffle, but in short, it’s my favorite app for sketching out ideas visually.

Photogene (iTunes)
I’m not happy with the selection of image editors available on the iPad so far, but Photogene is the best I’ve found. Mostly, I need it for cropping and resizing images I might want to use in a blog post.

Markup (iTunes)
I wanted a basic FTP/editor for the ability to edit code in a pinch. But, I also wanted one that would let me upload an image to my server for a blog post. I also looked at Gusto, but Markup was first to the app store with image uploading, so it became my choice. For now.

Gowalla (iTunes)
How is this a creative tool? Since I often work on the go, I sometimes use Gowalla to see where others I know are already at work. Creativity loves company.

Dropbox (iTunes)
I don’t need to explain right? You are using Dropbox, aren’t you? If not, you should!

Penultimate (iTunes)
I don’t use this as much as I thought I would, but it stays on my home screen. If I can’t set my iPad down to easily type, I use this to quickly scrawl some thoughts with one finger and send them to myself for later use.

1Password Pro (iTunes)
Essential. Passwords for all my sites and all my clients’ sites are with me anytime I need them. Essential.

TextExpander (iTunes)
The only iPhone native app on my iPad. The only time I open it is to sync my snippets so that they are available to me in Simplenote. (And don’t miss this TextExpander coupon, good until June 15.)

At Bat 2010 (iTunes)
I’m sure this makes me more creative and productive. I’m just sure of it.

Oh the Places You’ll Go (iTunes)
I love Seuss, and this story inspires me as much as it does my little ones. Maybe more.

I’d love to hear your list too. What are you using?

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