Productivity Apps for the SLP

Earlier today we met another colleague who has fallen head over heels in love with her new iPad 2.  She was so in love with it that she gave it a name and talked about the possibility of it having a playdate with our iPad 2.  She asked us what productivity apps we’d recommend that she get.  We realized that not all speech-language therapists need therapy apps… but most (if not all) need productivity apps.  So, this post is dedicated to our good friend at the university, J.S.  We hope our applist today will help many of you who, like J.S., have been looking for really good apps that are worth spending a bit for OR are actually useful and free:

Awesome Note HD (+ To-Do / Diary) by BRID:  This note-taking app was awarded the Apple Store Hall of Fame 2011 and Apple iTunes Rewind 2009 and 2010.  Awesome Note is so beautifully designed for the iPad, taking advantage of the screen and displays any folder you’ve created on the left side.  One can create quick notes and later arrange them into folders that can be customized according to one’s desired colors, labels, or order of arrangement.  Choose paper backgrounds, enlarge/shrink fonts, snap a picture and create a scrapbook, create to-do lists and arrange them according to date or priority, email notes, upload a map and draw on it, and set alarms for urgent notes.  One can even set passcodes for a private folder. One of the better features of this app is its ability to sync or transfer to Google Docs or Evernote.  Also available for the iPhone / iPod Touch.  ( $ 4.99 )

iBooks by Apple:  iBooks lets you read ebooks almost literally off the shelf.  It displays ebooks (in *.epub format) in a virtual bookshelf that one can browse through.  Buy more ebooks from the iBookstore, or upload ebooks via iTunes on your computer.  Have more than one iDevice but using one iTunes account?  iBooks syncs content across devices.  This app lets you read ebooks with virtual page-turning, make bookmarks, and find specific pages via the page navigator at the bottom of each page.  Upload PDFs and read them via iBooks.  Find a specific word or phrase by typing in the search bar.  Adjust brightness and font size (for ebooks).  Made a bookmark in your iPad and want to continue reading in your iPhone?  iBooks syncs that for you and you can pick up where you left off.   ( FREE )

Quickoffice Pro HD by QuickOffice Inc:  this app lets one create and edit Microsoft Office Word, Powerpoint and Excel files on the iPad.  It even supports file formats from 1997-2008 versions.  Quickoffice obviously loves cloud services:  one can grab files from Dropbox, Box.net, Huddle, MobileMe, SugarSync, Evernote and Catch.  It offers social networks sharing options as well (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.)  Bring your slideshows / Powerpoint presentations with you and using an iPad-to-VGA adapter, hook up the iPad to a projector.  Choose whether to print a document from Quickoffice via AirPrint, or print it in PDF format.  ( $ 19.99 )  Word has it (pun intended) that Microsoft is going to release their official MS Office for the iPad app soon.  Erstwhile, other options to bring MS Office / Mac OS documents with you are:

Dropbox by Dropbox:  take your documents, videos and pictures with you everywhere you go (as long as you have an internet connection).  Save your files in Dropbox, and it syncs in all your computers that has Dropbox installed in them.  Think you’ll be losing your connection in a few minutes?  Favorite a document for offline viewing.  Share photos, videos, almost any file with family, friends and colleagues.       ( FREE )  Other options for cloud storage and retrieval on the iPad are:  

Noteshelf by Ramki:  One of the most beautiful handwriting apps ever designed for the iPad, Noteshelf is the handwriting note taker that features super natural digital ink, a stunning UI and a comprehensive toolset that will increase the benefits of owning an iPad by leaps and bounds.  Zoom in on what you’re writing with your stylus.  Move the slider up and down to designate the ‘safe’ space where you want your wrist to rest on without messing up your writing space.  ( $ 4.99 )  Other beautifully-designed handwriting apps are:

enso Writer by knowtilus:  Want to write continuously without getting distracted by cluttered interfaces and the presence of formatting buttons?  This app gives you the space, literally, to just create and write.  Upload or import documents from Dropbox, Evernote, and Tumblr.  Draw using your finger.  Also compatible with Siri on the iPhone 4S and allows composition via dictation.  ( $ 1.99 )  

DocuSign Ink by DocuSign:  A rare app that lets you sign documents on your iPad.  Create an account, then create and tweak your signature and save it.  Drag and drop your signature onto PDFs, MS Office files, even text and image files.  The app can also convert PDF form fields, letting you fill them out, sign then send or simply store.  Also comes with Ink, a feature that lets you shoot and import a document for you to sign.  ( FREE )

pdfNotes by AMuseTec Co., Ltd:  iBooks is awesome, but it doesn’t let you write on your PDFs.  Enter pdfNotes.  Use your finger or stylus to write notes, highlight or underline onto PDFs.  Takes a bit of time to convert PDFs to a format that’s writing-friendly, but the wait’s worth it.  Can import documents from Dropbox, email or Safari.  Useful not just in letting kids color on PDF worksheets, but also indispensable when editing article drafts by hand, writing notes on PDF’d handouts, or writing comments on thesis drafts.  ( FREE )

Bamboo Paper – Notebook by Wacom:  Possibly one of our most favorite and most used apps, Bamboo Paper has literally made us ditch our whiteboard and migrate all our drawing needs to it.  Very intuitive drawing strokes whether made by finger or stylus.  Six pen colors to choose from and three thickness options.  Jump from one page to another using the page indicator on the bottom.  Create more notebooks by purchasing a notebook pack.  This app has numerous uses during therapy, but if you have an iPad-to-VGA adapter, hook this up to the projector and draw your ideas live during a meeting or drive your point in hard during a seminar using the iPad 2’s live mirroring feature.  ( FREE )

SimpleMind+ by xpt Software & Consulting B.V:  During therapy sessions, this app is an indispensable tool for divergent and convergent naming.  In the academic setting, this app is awesome to use during meetings, when making notes, or simply when trying to discuss to students the process of accomplishing a specific activity or project.            ( FREE )  Other mindmapping apps out there include:


Snapseed by Nik Software, Inc.  Recently tagged as the iPad App of the Year, Snapseed is a strong rival of Photoshop Express.  Tweak, edit, enhance, transform and share your photos with a few finger touches.  Auto-correct with a tap of a button.    Get a bit more creative by transforming pictures into Vintage, Grunge, Drama or Tilt-Shift.  Show off your creations by sharing these on Facebook, Flickr or Twitter.  ( $ 4.99 )

There you have it!  If you have apps that you think should be part of this list, let us know by shooting us an email.

2 thoughts on “Productivity Apps for the SLP

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I personally use “iBooks,” which I find very helpful not just for convenient reading of the books I want to read but also for using PDF files of speech therapy books during therapy sessions. “Dropbox” is also a must-have for it’s technically a free storage of 2 GB-worth of files. 🙂

  2. LOVE IT! I will check out each and every app. (of course, i must remember to prioritize the list in Reminder! hehehe!). So when is our iPads’ play date?! 😀

    Thank you!

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