Free Productivity Apps for the iPad

Someone using an iPad to create and review charts.
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If you are going to get the most out of your iPad, chances are you are going to end up spending a little money in the app store. But lurking between the iWork suite and cool apps like Things are a whole host of free productivity apps that will let you squeeze out the most from your iPad without squeezing your wallet. 

These apps include great ways to take notes – whether you want to type them out, record them or write them by hand – and great ways to enhance your productivity on the iPad, including a free photo editor, a dictionary and even a way to easily transfer files from your PC to your iPad. You can even use the world's most popular Office suite on the iPad.

Microsoft Office for the iPad

Microsoft Office logo
Microsoft Office

While Microsoft offers a subscription plan for more advanced features within the Office suite, there's a lot of key functionality available for free. If you mainly want to do some light editing of Word or Excel documents or adjust a frame in your PowerPoint presentation, you won't need to pay a dime. And for those that need to unlock more features, the price is well worth the features offered in Office for iPad.


Sign Up for iWork for iCloud via an Apple ID

Screenshot by Cindy Grigg, Courtesy of Apple

Apple made the iWork suite of productivity apps free to anyone buying a new iPad or iPhone, which instantly makes them some of the best free apps for getting something done on the iPad. The iWork suite includes Pages, a word processor, Numbers, a spreadsheet, and Keynote, which is great for creating and viewing presentations. If you would rather skip Microsoft Office, or need functionality that can only be unlocked with the subscription, iWork is a great alternative.


Free List of 150 Free Evernote Tips and Ideas

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Easily the best note-taking app on the app store, Evernote will not only store out the notes you tap onto the onscreen keyboard but also the notes you record with your voice. You can even store photos and synchronize your notes with your Mac or Windows-based PC. You can even geotag notes to make them location-based.


Using Dropbox on iPhone
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If you are going to be productive with your iPad, you will probably need to get some files from your PC or Mac onto your iPad. That's where Dropbox comes into the picture. Perhaps the easiest ways to gain access to your word processor documents and spreadsheets, Dropbox gives you up to 2 GB of free space before you need to upgrade to a premium account.

MyScript Calculator

MyScript Scientific Calculator

 MyScript Scientific Calculator

A conventional calculator is great for doing quick arithmetic, but what if you want to multiply 26 by 42, divide the answer by 8 and then add 4? You can do it on a calculator, but it's much easier to just write out the entire calculation at one time rather than calculating it one piece at a time. That's what MyScript Calculator does: It takes a handwritten calculation and does the math for you.

Remember the Milk

Milk glass
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Scribbling in a quick note not enough? If you need a full-fledged task manager capable of creating to-do lists, Remember the Milk is the app for you. The easy-to-use interface makes note-taking easy, and the cloud-based design means you can type up the note on your PC and then view it on your iPad.

Use Your Handwriting

Learn how to approach the variety of interesting challenges that old documents and records can present, including tips for reading old handwriting such as that seen in this old handwritten letter.
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Speech-to-text isn't the only quick and easy way to leave yourself a note on the iPad. You can also go the old fashioned route and just write it by hand. Use Your Handwriting puts those kindergarten years of painstakingly drawing out capital and little case ABCs to good use by letting you scribble in a quick note to yourself. And with Use Your Handwriting's ability to note when you are getting close to the edge and moving over to give you more space to write, you'll actually find yourself getting the word out a lot quicker than you might think.

Mint Personal Finance

Here are two reports found a personal finance software. 

If you want to get a handle on your personal finance, Mint is a great place to start. Mint grabs financial data from sites like your bank and your credit cards, arranges it into categories and puts it all into one place. This makes it a great way to set a budget for certain activities such as going out to eat or making financial goals like saving a certain amount of money each month. Best of all, the service is free. And as a cloud service, you can log in via the web or via your device, which makes it easy to check your finances from your PC or your tablet.


Calculator, graphs and financial figures calculating budget
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Whether you need a little bit of multiplication and simple division or you are trying to turn 248 into a binary number, TouchCalc has you covered. This simple productivity app can be a lifesaver if you need access to scientific functions, and programmers will like the different logical operators like AND, OR, XOR, etc. TouchCalc even has a statistics mode that will calculate mean, median, variance, standard deviation, and range.

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook users on the desktop have been shortchanged on the iPad, where Microsoft's mail program had a very limited feature set. But that recently changed, and Outlook has gone through a big makeover, with the end result making it one of the better email apps on the App Store. And best of all, it is free. If you love Outlook on your PC, you'll want to check it out on your iPad.


Wikipedia App or Add-in for Microsoft Word

Screenshot by Cindy Grigg

If your job entails doing research, you probably get a lot of mileage out of Wikipedia. But as great of a quick resource as Wikipedia can be, it's not always quick and easy to find the information. That's where Wikipanion can help. A great search tool for Wikipedia, this app will also let you quickly navigate the page to get the information you need.

A screenshot of

How many people can brag about carrying around two million words in their tote bag? That's just the type of ability the app will give you, though unless want to be considered some type of book geek, you might not want to actually brag about it. The app doesn't require an internet connection to check out words, so you'll always have quick access to check your spelling, check the meaning of an unfamiliar term or just look up synonyms in the thesaurus. You can even tap the microphone and speak the word you are looking up.


The out-of-pocket maximum on your health insurance plan could go up in 2017
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Ever come across an interesting article or website but didn't have time to really enjoy it? Pocket is the best way to save these websites for later because with Pocket, you don't need an internet connection to read a website. When you pocket an article or video, it saves it across all of your devices, making it easy to find again no matter where you are or which device you have on you.




This neat little app is great for doing simple flow charts and organizing tasks. And the easy interface makes mapping out the chart a breeze. Simply type the task into the hierarchy and then swipe in the direction where you want a related task to appear. You can even synchronize your flowcharts and visual maps through Dropbox.

Photoshop Express

Screenshot of the online photo editor Adobe Photoshop Express Editor from

 Adobe Photoshop Express Editor

The iPad's camera has come a long way, with the newest 9.7-inch iPad Pro sporting a camera that could rival most smartphones. But even with a great camera, you may need a little editing to get the best picture. Photoshop Express gives you a number of cool tools to help boost the quality of your photos and features a collage tool to help layout your photos.


WordLens in Google Translate

 Google Translate

We might not quite be up to Star Trek standards, but the universal translator concept got a little bit closer when iTranslate hit the app store. Serving up over 50 languages, iTranslate even has some popular languages with free voices, which means you can hear how financial. It even has built-in voice recognition, though you'll have to buy transactions to get access to that feature.


Close-Up Of Liquid Bottle With Text
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LiquidText can be used to view documents from PDFs to PowerPoint presentations to web pages and then pull out bits and pieces to form a unique document. This makes it great for working on work presentations or research projects. You can also save your work in a variety of cloud-based storage options like Dropbox or iCloud Drive. The pro version allows you to work on multiple documents at a time.