My Top 7 apps: Karl Loudon from Mubaloo

For today’s Top 7 apps post we have Karl Loudon from Mubaloo

Mubaloo is an award-winning enterprise mobile consultancy and app developer. Mubaloo helps businesses explore the opportunities for mobility, establish strategic frameworks and roadmaps; delivering an end-to-end design, development and integration service. Mubaloo Innovation Lab, a division of Mubaloo, partners with clients to enable enhanced end-user engagement and business process transformation, through the deployment of market leading location-based technology and IoT solutions.

Karl Loudon is the Digital Director of Mubaloo. In September 2015, following the release of iOS 9, Karl decided to try an experiment. Could he use his iPad Air 2 with iOS 9 as his primary computer? The answer, it turned out, was yes. The main caveat Karl had was the screen size, which is what the iPad Pro delivers. As a result of this experiment, Karl came to rely on some apps for his workflow.

Here are his app recommendations:

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KarlLoudon_profileshotPDF expert (iOS): One of the main things that I tend to do on the move is review PDFs of design documents, proposals and other documents. Whilst Apple has added the ability to Mark-Up PDF files in its email app, I also need a dedicated app that is a little more powerful and enables me to jump in and out of it.

PDF Expert is the best that I’ve come across. It has the ability to drop in images, notes and doodles over the top of PDFs, so is ideal for pushing ideas back and forth. It also has file management and sharing, which fits within my workflow and helps when working on multiple projects.

The app is optimised for the iPad Pro, so hopefully it will also work with Apple Pencil, once that turns up.

Slack (iOS / Android / Windows): Like many companies, especially in the tech space, Mubaloo now uses Slack for internal communication. It has richer features for internal communication than services like Skype and generally helps to reduce the number of internal emails that we need to send.

On the iPad, quick features like the last photo sent is brilliant. The fact that it’s also optimised for the iPad Pro makes it a hugely useful app in split screen.

Paper 53 (iOS): Paper is probably one of the best iPad apps ever made. Now that it’s also on iPhone and has a number of new features aimed at productivity, it’s better than ever. As someone who oversees designers and works on presentations all the time, Paper is a simple but powerful tool.

It’s very easy to use and very easy to make things look polished when you are pressed for time. I frequently use it to drop doodles into documents, presentations and to use internally. I’ve been using the Paper Pencil since it came out to get the most out of Paper.

Notes (Built in iOS app): I’ve used other note apps, such as Evernote, but there comes a time when you have to cut off the number of app subscriptions you have. When Apple released the new Notes with iOS 9, it enabled me to fully make the jump. It’s my notebook for everything. The fact that I can make lists, add doodles, add photos, easily insert content from other apps, with more formatting options has completely changed the way it fits into my workflow.

The one thing that would make it more powerful is the ability to have search as a more central part of the app; which could be done using keyboard extensions.

Clear (iOS): For organisation, Clear is the best app that I have come across. Task management can get really complex, which is a challenge when you are trying to keep on top of lots of projects. Clear keeps everything simple and is the best way to prioritise tasks.

It has a very simple design, but seriously needs to be updated for the iPad Pro. It looks slightly comical on there.

Omnigraffle (iOS): Anyone who has to create org charts, user journeys or map out ideas as part of their job needs to download Omnigraffle. It’s simply the easiest way to create this type of work. Even if I had a computer in front of me, I’d still use this on the iPad. It’s faster and easier in every way possible, thanks largely to the ability to automatically convert freehand drawings into shapes.

Pages (iOS): For companies who are using OS X and iOS, Pages is an obvious app. Not only does it allow you to open and save files in Word format, but it was also pretty much the only way to do this prior to Microsoft bringing Office to iOS last year.

Pages is a simple to use, yet capable, word processor. The ability to draw in Paper and drop it straight into a proposal on the same device is very useful. Since it was updated for iOS 9 and iPad Pro, it has become much better. It will be interesting to see how Apple improves it with the Pencil, as there are some features in Word which utilise it for inserting graphics and auto converting.

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Thanks to Karl for his app recommendations today. I love this experiment idea of going digital, I am probably 80% there myself, just need that final push!

You can find out more about Mubaloo on their website, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

If you’d like to contribute your Top 7 Apps or if you are the PR representing someone you’d like to see featured, everything you need to know about participating is right here.

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