iPad 2: Absolutely Best Business Apps

Dec 22, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

Ipad uses for business haven’t found quite the limelight as the IPad 2 itself!  I know this because every week the article I wrote 11 Key Uses for IPad 2 for your Small Business is still the most popular article from organic search than any other post on my site.  And my site isn’t a technology site!

It is, however, a small business site, so I want to help small business owners get the most from their technology.  So here are my top apps for the Ipad 2—for the most part focused on business:

  1. Zite- (Free) this is a wonderful personal magazine.  I have written a more detailed Zite review here.  I use it for business.  I signed up for categories such as entrepreneurship, small business, social media, psychology, christianity, and health.  It also connects to your twitter and those you follow to gather some great blogs.  This gives me very relevant information and learning that I use myself, forward to clients as applicable, and provides a variety of sharing opportunities on my social media networks.
  2. Notes Plus–  ($4.99) this is my note taking app.  I have tried 4 others (at least) and this is the one I like the best.  First you need a stylus.  I have tried several of these also and I like the boxwave the best!  Notes Plus lets you write big and shrinks it.  It records and is easy to email a page or a whole notebook.  It also has an automatic Drop Box sync.  I actually send all of my notes to Evernote to keep on file in the clouds.  This is the app that helped me go paperless!
  3. Evernote – (Free) s my file cabinet in the sky.  I love Evernote because it is so easy to keep track of information and notes.  For someone who is organizationally challenged like me, this is saying a lot.  In addition to sending all of my Notes Plus notes to store on Evernote I also send all of my Zite articles I want to save.  And Evernote has an icon on the tool bar that you can click on when you are surfing the web to save your research and information finds.  Also, my kids saved all of their Christmas wishes to a shared Evernote file.  This was great because they had links to sites where I could see the exact product they wanted.
  4. GoodReader – ($4.99) is a pdf reader and allows you to write on documents.  We signed 20 + pages of mortgage documents on the Ipad while we were traveling to keep the refinancing of our house going.  I also have clients sign intake forms or other documents and am able store directly to Evernote once they are done.  GoodReader is also an excellent storage of your .pdf files for easy retrieval and viewing.
  5. Kindle – (Free) I now exclusively purchase all of my business books on the Kindle because I can read them from the Kindle app on my Ipad 2.  I used to only buy fiction for my Kindle because the actual Kindle is too difficult to use for reference books that you need to go back to specific information.  But the Ipad 2 is completely different.  You can see everything, search easier, have on-line access that is more reliable.  Plus if you have Amazon Prime, you can lend books.  Now when I want to share a book with a client, I can do it electronically and it automatically comes back in 2 weeks, unlike the real books I have lent out!
  6. 37 signals suite – (App is Free, product isn’t) I talk about Basecamp, Backpackit, and Highrise all of the time.  They can easily be pulled up on your Ipad 2 and all of your projects, customer list, to do lists are all available and are easy to use on the Ipad 2.
  7. FaceTime (Free) – this one is built-in to the Ipad 2, but if you haven’t tried it yet, it is simple and facilitates meeting with people when you can’t find time to physically get together.  I have found it has better connection and less lag time than Skype.
  8. Square – (Free) with Square I am able to accept credit cards in my office without any other equipment than my Ipad2 and a small swipe connection that goes into the earphone plug.  Square only charges 2.75% regardless of the type of charge and their is no account or set-up fee.  It works!  And the client can sign the charge write on the Ipad 2 with a stylus or their finger.
  9. IWork – ($19.99 each) Pages, KeyNote and Numbers work and look fabulous on Ipad 2.  I don’t create all that many documents on my Ipad, but I review many with clients.  Also, with a special adapter you can connect your Ipad to a large screen and give perfect Key Note presentations directly from the Ipad2.  All you have to do is swipe your finger to move to the next slide.  No clicking or need for remotes.
  10. IThoughts HD – ($7.99) this is the best mind mapping tool I have found for Ipad 2.  It is easy to do right from the Ipad 2.  If you haven’t ever tried mind-mapping you may want to check out the book  Thinking for  a Change by Michael Gelb.  I use mind-maps for planning and solving problems in my business just about every day.
  11. Art Studio – ($2.99) You may not need to draw or create art in your business, but many of us do need to sketch out ideas or express our creativity.  This app is like having unlimited canvases, the largest collection of brush types and sizes, and never having to worry about running out of paint or ink.  The tool is intricate enough to create real art!
  12. AwesomeNotes  – ($3.99)I am a journaling fanatic.  I like to journal.  This app does more than just journal, but I like it for journaling and it has a lot of fun elements that too me help my creativity.  I know there is a wave of minimalist writing apps out there to keep us from being distracted.  But, I love to write and I don’t get distracted, so this is the antithesis of minimalist.  It has colors, and symbols, and the ability to add photos and reminders.  It is filled up with features to play with!

I think most of you are aware that you can get all of the social media apps for Ipad 2 (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Hootesuite, and so on) so I am not describing those here.  You can also get apps for most banks, brokerage firms, and money management tools like Mint.com.  Those would be personal to what institutions you use.

All of these apps together (without IWork) are about $25.00 and with IWork less than $100.00.  You can’t beat the value, especially as a business expense.

I hope these suggestions help you set-up your Ipad 2 to being a major information hub for your business in the coming New Year!

We would love to hear your recommendations for great business apps in the comment section!

Other posts on the Ipad 2:

11 Key Uses of iPad 2 for Your Small Business

iPad 2: Eliminate Paper and Filing

5 Steps to Finding Technology That Works for You

Reader Interactions


  1. John says

    Hi Sue, you might also want to try AnywherePad. It’s a mobile solution for meetings, real-time document sharing, and collaboration. Useful for small businesses to meet with clients from anywhere.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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