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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Screenshot-2010-04-19-14h-10m-06s.png”>There’s little debate that Apple’s iPad is not a valid replacement for a laptop computer. It doesn’t have the multitasking features, nor the power of even the bottom line MacBook. But by the same token if you don’t have a laptop or notebook, your iPad could certainly suffice for getting writing done. A set of free available apps, from notebooks to fully fledged text editors in the App Store, as well a few computer syncing setups, are all you need for writing on the device.
While each of us has our own particular needs, I’m sure one or more of these apps will serve your needs. So get ready to set up a folder on your tablet and download a useful collection of resources.
At the top of the list, the popular Evernote app (iTunes Store Link) and web syncing service is an essential tool for writing on the iPad. You can throw in all kinds of text based files, as well as photos and audio notes, into Evernote which will automatically sync all your notes to your iPad, as well as your Mac or PC.
Evernote includes a basic text writing tool that of course also syncs back to your computer or other devices.
For brainstorming and clustering your ideas, download Infinote Pinboard (iTunes Store Link). This easy-to-use app allows you to create unlimited sets of note cards in which you can change and re-size the font styles, as well as re-size the cards themselves. Notes can exported in PDF, PNG, and JPG format via email.
The best free option for a fully fledged writing application on your iPad is SimpleNote (iTunes Store Link). All your writing in SimpleNote automatically syncs to your online SimpleNote account. The app will show you the word count of a document as well as allow you to recycle versions of text in previous drafts.
SimpleNote is also supported by TextExpander (iTunes Store Link), which is not a free app, but is powerfully useful for writing because you can create a library of abbreviation shortcuts for snippets of text that you use frequently, such as your standard letter replies, phrases, long words, etc. When those abbreviations are typed, they get replaced with their assigned snippet. TextExpander does not have to be open in order to work with SimpleNote.
If you’re a frequent journal writer, the application, Private Journal (iTunes Store Link) works very well for the iPad. You can not only write in it, but also add photos and connect with your iPad iTunes library right from within the application.
While this app doesn’t have automatic syncing features, you can assign a passcode so no one else will have access to your most personal writings.
WordPress (iTunes Store Link) has also developed an application for its users. My own experience with the application is that it works best with simpler WordPress themes. It syncs and download all your recent WP hosted or self-hosted blog posts and allows you to edit and re-sync them back to your account.
It even allows you to add photos as you would with the web version of the text editor.
DraftPad (iTunes Store Link) is a super simple writing text editor. While it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, it does allow you to route your text to a variety of other apps or web services, including Mail, SMS, your Google account, Twitter, and Facebook.
Clockwork Notebook (iTunes Store Link) is a recently released app that allows you to type and write handwritten notes or doodles.
The application has a notebook style changeable canvas, and it includes an Undo/Redo button, plus a feature for adding stickers. Notes can be exported in PDF format via email.
Finally in terms of typing on the iPad, check out my article about tips for faster typing on the device. The software keyboard included with the iPad is not the best option for extending pieces of writing, but you can learn to use it for writing notes, emails, and forum replies. Apple and a few other third party manufacturers have developed external keyboards for the iPad that will make typing even faster.
Let us know about other tools you use for writing on your iPad. What features is the iPad missing that keeps you from using it for writing projects?