What apps should I have on my iPad? What are the best iPad apps for a college student? For organization? For productivity? Note-taking?
Worry not, young grasshopper. Ask and you shall receive.
Whether you’re a student, teacher, mom, nurse, event planner, or something else, you’re here because you have something in common with every other person reading this. You’re that girl. The one with her life together? Yeah, that’s you.
Nope, none of that “well… that’s who I want to be” or “that’s who I’m going to be”. No ma’am– you’re already her. Today is day 1. Claim it.
Now since we’ve already confirmed that you’re her. It’s time that we address “that girl behavior”.
That girl has an iPad. Whether it’s an iPad Air 4, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 12.9, or another model, she’s got one. Personally, I have a 2017 iPad pro 9.7 (that I got from BackMarket no less, for $240. Use code: 221a192f7a603871 for $10 off thousands of professionally renewed electronics and appliances at up to 70% off!) with a 1st generation Apple pencil, so trust me when I say that it doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
Want to know what will make you feel fancy though? The apps that you put on said iPad. Between productivity apps, note-taking apps, planning apps, organizational apps, creativity apps, and more, Apple is in no shortage of apps for a put-together life.
Before you stress yourself out over sifting through the massive hubbub of applications, check these must-have iPad apps off your list first. You just may find that you don’t need any other apps afterward 😉
Apps for iPad that every college student, mom, teacher, & #boss need
How cliche, I know. But need I say more? There’s not one digital planning application out there more popular than Goodnotes. And for fabulous reason.
Here’s one snap from my very own Goodnotes digital planner.
A digital planner is the physical form of getting one’s life together. Try and convince me otherwise. You can’t.
Goodnotes gives you total flexibility and freedom when attacking tasks that used to be painfully paper-based. Now you’ve got:
- the undo button
- an eraser for pen, marker, and highlighters
- virtually infinite stickers
- the power to add pages whenever
- lower prices than paper products
- The full hex wheel of colors
- the power to add and change templates whenever
- the ability to type text or write it
- the ability to add photos straight from your gallery
Need I say more? Next.
2. Microsoft OneNote
Woah, Woah, Woah there, Cierra. How are you gonna follow up Goodnotes with one of its biggest competitors? Yeah, that’s right. I did. Sue me.
Both have their place in the iPad of that girl. As a college student whose school’s online platforms are nearly entirely Microsoft-based, OneNote is a must. And I know I’m not alone in that.
Microsoft is, in a way, the status quo for big organizations. Whether you’re a businesswoman, a student, a teacher, or in another profession, there’s a good chance that you’ll come into contact with Microsoft. And there’s a good chance that Microsoft will be the preferred/required means of communication, file-sharing, spreadsheet management, etc.
So… since all your organizational-based tasks are in Microsoft, it can truly make for a seamless experience to take your notes in Microsoft. Especially if you/your superiors/your colleagues/your classmates save information to the calendar in Outlook.
If your email is hosted in Outlook, then you can automatically add tasks, dates, deadlines, etc. to your Outlook calendar. Typically with the click of one button.
That means if someone sends you an email containing a date, there’ll typically be an option to add it to your calendar.
You can also forgo the calendar altogether in favor of Microsoft To Do. Microsoft’s cloud-based task management application. It allows users to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet and computer.
These tasks and/or calendar dates are stored in Microsoft which means they’re immediately accessible when using OneNote. It makes for a very seamless experience, particularly when note-taking for meetings. Goodnotes maybe my choice iPad app for digital planning, but OneNote is my choice iPad app for digital note-taking.
Taken directly from my iPad, here’s an example of how snazzy OneNote is with meeting notes.
Likely an unexpected pick, but understandable by anyone whose ever used Pinterest.
Pinterest is a powerhouse and storage unit in one of all things inspiration. And no, I wasn’t paid to say that.
If you want to be inspired, go to Pinterest. If you need ideas, go to Pinterest. If you need motivation, go to Pinterest.
If you want to be a part of the internet’s most sizable inspirational, creative, and friendly community (honestly, debatable, but I’ll stand by it), go to Pinterest.
Every “that girl” I know has an account on Pinterest.
Including yours truly, where I post regular digital planning content, creative content, and overall glow-up-inducing content.
I used to be one of those chicks who preferred to read things meant to be read and listen to things meant to be listened to. Books made the former list.
However, as I’ve gotten older and quite frankly, busier, I’ve come to appreciate the convenience of audiobooks. I listened to my first Audible book in 2019 and then didn’t for a full two years, and finally chose another one in December of 2021.
And I don’t know why I waited so long. Like… at all.
Your girl has a lot of goals and allowing myself that final hour of the night to listen to a book and crochet, practice calligraphy, or design on Procreate has been amazing.
I really enjoy reading, but that near hour every night can really come back to bite me if I’ve got personal goals I’m trying to reach. Time is precious, after all.
Plus, I can listen while I clean, walk my dog, ride in the car, cook, bake, etc. Sure I still may listen to music sometimes, but at least I’ve got the option.
I’m not saying “double-task” all the time. After all, there is something quite therapeutic about sitting (or laying down) over a book and getting lost in it. But get yourself an audio version of the book too. That way you can take in literature while still completing all your must-do tasks and/or hobbies.
Sorry, y’all but I had to put Zoom on here. I know way too many college students who don’t have Zoom installed on their iPad or laptop. And quite frankly, it makes them look slightly unprepared and un…up-to-date.
We’re living in a pandemic for Christ’s sake. We’ve been doing things a whole lot more virtually for basically the past two years. I don’t care if your classes or job meetings only use Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. I don’t care if your little boo thing only Facetimes you or your auntie only calls through Google Duo. Zoom has become the de facto.
Zoom’s extensive feature set and extensive platform support has made it a popular choice across the world.
Why wouldn’t it be? Screen sharing, encryption, and live annotations all come a standard with Zoom, regardless of whether you pay or not.
And it works with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Web.
If When someone sends you a Zoom link or you decide to attend a virtual event, you’ll be glad that you had it installed.
Get with the times or get left behind. It’s not cute to be unprepared.
Ah, Skillshare. The teaching app for creatives by creatives. Or perhaps, wannabe creatives.
If there’s a skill that involves absolutely any kind of outside-the-box thinking, I guarantee you it’s taught on Skillshare. In a colorful, nifty, bite-sized course.
Nothing screams that girl more than knowing how to make a bomb latte, paint a watercolor flower, play an instrument, and do yoga properly. I’ve learned how to do all those things from Skillshare. Although I admit I don’t do all four of them on a regular basis… but occasionally is good enough in my books. Literally, nobody can say that it’s not nice to have a nice variety of skills.
The instructors on Skillshare are the real deal too. There are lots of them and you can tell from the jump that your learning is in good hands.
Get your first month free on me.
I even teach some classes on the platform if you’re interested in unlocking your digitally creative side.
Notion is an app that I myself have really been trying to utilize more. It provides prime real estate for planning out long-term goals and life-long dreams.
It can be so much more than just what you want to do. Rather, serving as a tool for who you want to be.
And you’re able to do all of this extravagantly simple planning in an aesthetic, totally personalizable space.
Plus, since it’s saved to Notion’s cloud, you can never lose whatever visionary/planning layouts you create for yourself.
Found through the Reddit community, r/Notion, my favorite premade Notion template is the “Lifebook” template by Ella. Captioned with the text “I am creating the life of my dreams“, I think you can see why this particular layout is so enticing.
It’s got tons of “layers” that let you plan out or set goals for every aspect of your life. All while using your favorite colors and images. Notion is really one of those planning tools you can add on to forever. There are no limits and it’s the perfect iPad app to create vision boards on the daily.
8. Adobe Acrobat
Considering PDF files are the only way to download documents to your device, Adobe Acrobat should definitely be in your iPad toolbox. As a college student, I find myself signing things every semester. As a working woman, at least a few times per year. And at this point in my life, just about everything I sign is digital.
Adobe Acrobat is the best app on the market for filling and signing documents and then sending them back to their senders. The app has built-in encryption that prevents any tampering with documents after signatures have been placed. And even if there are other applications that do that, Adobe Acrobat by far has the most credible reputation. It’s trusted by virtually all professionals.
And a lot of professionals are expected to have the application installed.
If someone sends you something to be signed, you need to be prepared. With Acrobat, you will be.
A slightly odd mention, but hear me out. Canva is for more than just content creators. But if you are at all in the content creation space, Canva is a must-get for graphic design purposes. You don’t have to have an eye for design, be creative, or even be tech-savvvy to use Canva. There’s hardly a learning curve and Canva templates, color palettes, and fonts do all the work for you.
However, this app is still valuable for people who aren’t into content creation. If you’re a professional or college student, there will be times when you’re forced to make presentations. (ugh, I know)
But nothing gives you a bigger design advantage than Canva. Not Powerpoint. Definitely not Google Slides.
Canva has plenty of pre-made templates and totally unique elements to add to your slides. You’ll grab your audience’s attention before you even dive into whatever your presentation is about. Who needs a hook when your presentation design is so eye-catching?
Even if it’s just to design the title slides, transition slides, or images, you’ll be glad to have Canva on your iPad.
Plus, nothing screams ‘commitment’ to teammates more than you swooping in with some attractive slides. It’s a rarity, after all.
At this current moment in time, Procreate just may be my favorite iPad app. Possibly tied with Goodnotes.
Coupled with an Apple Pencil, and Procreate gives you the digital drawing space you’ve never had. Never even knew you wanted.
You can design anything in this app and view a time-lapse replay of the creation process. (Which I think is quite cool.)
Whether you’re into lettering, calligraphy, character illustration, card making, digital painting, etc., you’ll love Procreate.
Especially once you scour the thousands of Procreate brushes available on the internet. Etsy in particular. You’ll never have to draw hair, eyes, eyebrows, bubbles, moons, cups, stars, etc. ever again thanks to the brushes designed by fellow Procreators.
You’ll also never have to worry about your ink pen running out of ink.
Check out my Procreate board on Pinterest for an idea of what to expect. And regular doses of creative content 😉
Conclusion: Must-have iPad apps for college students, professionals, etc.
Definitely check out the apps mentioned above and let me know what you think!
To get life-changing advice for boss babes and students right in your inbox, join my email list! We’ll all build our best lives together. I can’t wait to see you over there. But more importantly, I can’t wait to see the glowing, confident, and woke person you’re bound to become.
Before you head out, check out: