Do you have a messy iPad inbox? Mailbox might be able to help. It’s built on the “inbox zero” philosophy which encourages you to delete or archive every email you receive, to stop your inbox becoming a cluttered mess. It uses gesture-based navigation so you can quickly sort and organise your inbox with finger taps and slides. The three main options being archive, delete or “read later”. The latter includes a customisable reminder so your read later folder doesn’t get backed up. There are a couple of drawbacks though, including a lack of customisation options and limited integration, as it can only sync with Gmail and iCloud accounts.
Doc Scan HD
Document scanners use your tablet’s inbuilt camera to “scan” content from printed documents such as books, magazines, newspapers etc. They do this by taking a high-quality photo before using image enhancement to crop, straighten and sharpen text. While there are plenty of scanning apps available, Doc Scan’s speed, accurate touchscreen cropping and simple editing options are impressive. You can tweak brightness and colour to improve clarity and you can highlight or make small notes on the digital pages then export files as JPG or PDF.
Evernote aims to be your memory in the cloud. This enormously popular personal note catalogue can collect and collate your thoughts, ideas and creations on the desktop or on the go. It’s very handy for storing articles “clipped” from the web, similar to saving recipes, for example, but without the huge pile of paper tear outs. Cloud synchronisation means you can access your notes on your smartphone, tablet or computer when logged in with the same account. The Android version has a slightly different layout, but the features are the same. Premium subscription adds some useful functions including offline access to notes and collaborative editing but the free version is packed with features suitable for the average user.
Penultimate is a note-taking app designed for people who prefer to sketch and hand write rather than type, which makes it a great tool for sketching out rough graphs, charts or visuals aids. It can also import photos so you can make notes on or around your images. Your masterpieces or scratchings are organised into notebooks which can sync with your Evernote account.
ColorNote reinterprets the sticky note concept so you don’t have to line your computer monitor with little yellow squares. Instead you can enter notes or reminders onto ColorNote’s grid-like layout and organise them into categories or a calendar schedule. The simplistic approach to quickly taking and storing ideas/reminders works if you’re pressed for time or jotting things down on the go. And unlike a pack of sticky notes you'll never run out of digital squares to doodle on.
Mind maps can be a great tool for expanding your ideas without losing track along the way. Idea strips things back to simple elements required for effective mind mapping, and doesn’t get bogged down in extra features. It’s almost entirely gesture based so a single tap will reorganise your mind map into a file tree format, for example, while swiping up, left, right or down will also auto arrange its branches. It can export the final product as a PDF, PNG, TXT or VDX (mind map file). What it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in simplicity and versatility.