Evernote and 12 More Mobile Apps to Improve Productivity

Published by Sean Lawler on August 17th, 2012 | Topics: Associations

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best mobile appsI just returned to Madison after a very exciting annual meeting in Dallas hosted by ASAE – the American Society of Association Executives.  I wasn’t able to attend as many educational sessions as I would have liked since we were exhibiting at the show and I had other responsibilities, but one particular session stood out.

The “Mobile Playground: Hands-on iPad Training for the Power User” session covered the speakers’ top business productivity apps for the iPad, and then invited audience participation to recommend other apps we found useful.

Evernote: Mobile App for Note-Taking

One of the apps that should have been included in the speaker’s top 10 list, and the attendees and speakers agreed, was Evernote. I’ve been using this free app for the last four months, and it has given me a better understanding of the advantages of mobile devices and cloud-based computing. You can purchase a premium plan that comes with extra storage and additional features for $45.00 annually, but I’m finding the free version to be more than adequate.

As the name implies, Evernote is a note-taking tool. What makes it great is by using the cloud as a storage device I can access my notes not only from my iPad, but also as an app on my iPhone, an application on my work computer or via any internet browser. You can sync to the cloud anytime you have an internet connection and pull down all of your notes to your device, and if you don’t have an internet connection you can still take notes and just sync up later when you’re connected. Now you can have that information follow you around wherever you are.

It seems like a small thing, but consider I started writing this post in Evernote near the end of the work day on my work computer, synced it up to the cloud and went home. Then, I finished this post the very same evening using my iPad from the comfort of my own couch, and fired it off in an email to Sara Olbrantz to post on this blog. I don’t know about you, but my inner geek thinks that’s pretty darn impressive.

That core note-taking ability also allows you to add pictures and audio to your notes as well as tags. The tagging feature lets you see all of the notes on a subject even if you have multiple notebooks. You can even add an Evernote web clipper to your browser and add snippets or pages from the web to your notes.

Finally, the Evernote Trunk is a place where you can see all of the other 3rd party software and hardware that you can integrate with Evernote, like Salesforce or Instapaper. It works on many other platforms and devices too. Evernote even creates an email address for you to send emails straight to your notebook. You can see why Evernote is my new favorite app.

One of the attendees thought the app was not intuitive, but in my case the biggest obstacle was discovering all the different things you could do with it. If you’re having trouble, there are plenty of training tools available online including on Evernote’s website.

12 Mobile Apps You Must Download

Here’s a list of some other apps that were recommended, and while many are free some can cost you $9.99 or more. So before you begin you may want to download the app that I suggested at the session, AppShopper. It’s free and will keep track of prices and updates to any apps you add to your wish list.

  • Instapaper – save web pages from your desktop or mobile device to read later
  • Dropbox – cloud-based file storage
  • Flipboard and Zite – great for reading multiple RSS feeds from your favorite sites and social networks
  • TripIt and Kayak – travel management apps
  • iAnnotate PDF – productivity tool for PDF note-taking and annotation
  • GoodReader – highly acclaimed PDF reader
  • 1password – password management app for all your accounts and devices
  • Documents To Go – view edit and create Microsoft Office files
  • OmniFocus – task management

What are some of your favorite productivity mobile apps?  Let us know in the comments.


Photo courtesy of Evernote.com


About Sean Lawler

Sean is the Product Director of Digital Services here at Omnipress... handling their online abstract management/speaker file collection, digital publishing platforms, mobile event apps, and other digital media delivery. He understands technology very well, but can relate it to non-technical people better than most. ...read more

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