If you own an iPad, you probably already know there are tens of thousands of apps that will transform your device into anything from a sketch pad to a mobile movie theater. It's truly a remarkable product, and while it's often used for entertainment, it can also help you stay organized at home, assisting with day-to-day chores, lists and activities.
When shopping for the most useful iPad apps, consumers desire a tool that is high-quality, user-friendly and fast. We all want apps that will make our lives easier, but who has time to sort through thousands of titles, blurbs and gimmicks to find the best ones? Look no further than our list of the best apps to aid you at home. Whether you want to tidy up your living space or condense your cluttered bookshelf, here are 10 iPad apps for home organization that are sure to simplify your life.
Hosting a dinner party but have no time to run to the store? Make restaurant-quality recipes with the ingredients you have on hand with the app featured on the next page!
Whether you're hosting a party and need a cosmic cocktail recipe or a dinner menu for six, Epicurious has you covered. With over 30,000 delicious recipes collected from popular cookbooks, gourmet magazines and world-famous chefs, Epicurious can help you find the perfect recipe by conducting a simple keyword search. If you're crunched for time, Epicurious provides recipes that include ingredients you already have on hand, and if you're ever curious as to whether a certain food is in season or not, this app can provide you with the answer. It also allows users to share their favorite dishes quickly and easily with friends and family via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Plus, the iPad is the perfect size to use as a digital cookbook. The high-quality screen looks so much like a cookbook that you might forget you're using an iPad!
If you have children and run a household, chances are you're constantly trying to think of clever ways to convince your kids to help you empty the dishwasher, clean their rooms and take out the trash. Giant posters and smiley-face stickers may be out of style, but iRewardChart is the award-winning iPad application that's cool with kids. iRewardChart motivates children to assist with responsibilities around the house by giving them custom rewards for a job well done, like "one hour of television" or "$5.00 allowance money." As chores are checked off, parents can track kids' progress and see which child deserves a pat on the back -- or a chocolate chip cookie -- for good behavior.
It happens to the best of us: You carefully write a grocery list before heading to the store but still forget to pick up toilet paper. With the Grocery IQ iPad app, shopping at the supermarket is fast, simple and you'll never forget the TP again. Jot down items as you need them, and use Grocery IQ's database containing millions of products to build lists quickly. You can add notes about quantity, container size and prices, and this app also categorizes your grocery lists by store aisle, so you'll never wander aimlessly around the supermarket looking for an elusive item again.
Grocery IQ can even save you money! The app features an integrated coupon book that updates regularly, allowing you to print coupons at home or add them to a store loyalty card.
Remember the Milk is an iPad app that helps you stay organized with day-to-day activities. Take your to-do list with you and organize appointments, deadlines and chores on the go. Prioritize important tasks with an easy-to-use, color-coded system, and you can label tags with custom titles to help you quickly find notes related to items on your to-do list. Remember the Milk can also remind you of pending deadlines by e-mail, text or instant messenger. Just be careful that the app knows what time zone you're in, or a reminder might not make it to you in time to get the job done!
If you're constantly forgetting to mail the rent check or regularly fail to remember when the power bill is due, you need the BillMinder app. Collect all of your bills, organize them by due date and never receive another late fee again. BillMinder instantly alerts you when deadlines are approaching, and it can set bills to be paid automatically with a passcode-protected AutoPay feature. You can even track spending habits using BillMinder's comprehensive charts and graphs and apply the information to a detailed, monthly budget to help save money.
Easily read, store and organize thousands of popular magazine titles with Zinio, a digital magazine e-store and reader. Zinio allows users to download and read purchased subscriptions or single issues. The app features interactive graphics, animated illustrations and video that print publications and e-reading devices can't offer. Zinio archives past issues by author, date or title, eliminating the messy, bulky paper trail that print publications leave behind. Not only is the experience better than reading a physical magazine, going paperless will de-clutter your space and help save the environment. This app also synchronizes your digital library to multiple devices, such as the iPhone, ensuring that you'll never be without a magazine to read, regardless where you are.
When a pencil and a sheet of paper aren't handy, Penultimate is an iPad app that lets you sketch, draw and write with a simple stroke of your index finger. Quickly jot a reminder in Penultimate to pick up the kids from soccer practice, and you'll see words take shape into a readable font unique to the application. Draw a map to give a friend directions to a specific destination, or write yourself a note to call your mother after dinner. If you're thinking about redecorating a room in your home, brainstorm while sketching a rough layout of the new arrangement before lifting any furniture. Choose between graph, lined and plain paper backgrounds, and if you make a mistake, you don't have to start over from scratch! Use the eraser function to delete as much -- or as little -- as you need, exactly as you would if you were using a pencil instead of your finger.
Stay on top of household chores with the HomeRoutines iPad app. Create a custom routine checklist for the tasks that keep your home spotless, like taking out the trash, mopping the floors and changing the bed sheets. HomeRoutines will take on the responsibility of notifying you when chores need to be completed. Checklists automatically reset, and the app even features a to-do list to help you keep track of simple household duties, like dusting the ceiling fan or changing the cat's litter. Your home won't be the only sparkling result of this handy app -- HomeRoutine even rewards you with a shiny gold star for every task crossed off your list!
A massive pile of books, magazines and rolled-up newspapers can overwhelm a living space. Stop staring at those cramped bookshelves and download the Kindle app for your iPad! This app gives users the ability to store reading materials on an easy-to-use, full-color interface, allowing you to carry your entire digital library with you everywhere. You'll have access to more than 950,000 titles, and you can even download the first chapter of most books for free before you buy. Your digital library can be organized by title or author, and you'll be able to create bookmarks and notes, as well as highlight words and passages.
Not sure what obstreperous means? No problem! Look up unknown words with Kindle's built-in dictionary, and use the Google and Wikipedia links for even more information. Best of all, Amazon Whispersync syncs your bookmarks, notes and the last page you read across all devices, so you never have to worry about losing your place again, regardless what digital device you're using!
Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to check everything off your to-do list. If you've ever yearned for a personal assistant to swoop in and take over some of your daily responsibilities, consider your wish granted by the TaskRabbit app! Post any errand or chore you need help with to the public TaskRabbit queue, whether it's picking up the dry cleaning, raking leaves or moving furniture to a local charity store. If you're so busy you don't even have time to type, TaskRabbit lets you voice-record a description and upload pictures at your convenience. Add your name and the price you're willing to pay to get the job done, and one of TaskRabbit's thousands of pre-qualified and background-checked workers will get to work on your project. TaskRabbit is currently available in select cities nationwide, so make sure the service is offered in your area before you plan on using the app.
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More Great Links
- Bradley, Tony. "Apple iPad, Day 12: Taking Care of Business on the iPad." PCWorld. July 13, 2011. (Jul. 20, 2011)
- Brian, Matt. "Remember The Milk releases its intuitive and powerful tasks app on iPad." The Next Web. May 5, 2011. (Jul. 22, 2011)
- Costa, Dan. "10 iPad Apps Everyone Should Have." PCMag.com. Nov. 7, 2010. (Jul. 20, 2011) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372157,00.asp?obref=obinsite
- Greenbaum, Dave. "iPad App Roundup: Food Diaries and Calorie Counters." GigaOM.com. Aug. 27, 2010. (Jul. 22, 2011) http://gigaom.com/apple/ipad-app-roundup-food-diaries-and-calorie-counters/
- Kaneshige, Tom. "15 Best iPad Apps for Newbies." CIO. (Jul. 19, 2011)
- National Public Radio (NPR). "Herzog Enters 'The Cave of Forgotten Dreams.'"
- Strohmeyer, Robert. "Remember the Milk Rocks the iPad." PCWorld. May 18, 2011.