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I travel about 80% of the time for business and rely on mobile applications for productivity while on the road. I have tested and researched many mobility applications for the iPhone and iPad and came up with the following list for those looking to minimize the need to carry around a laptop:

What’s New:

Docusign- Ink Use for signing or editing documents in most common formats, including PDF and MS Office. Alternative to computer/laptop PDF editor (such as Acrobat) and eliminates need to print, physically sign, and scan/fax.  Previous recommendation for signatures was “Easysign,” a Pay App.  Docusign-Inc does everything EasySign does, and more, plus, it’s a free App.

Xpenser- Great for expense management.  No need to save receipts.  Quickly record your expenses, snap a picture of your receipts, add notes, and later generate electronic or hard-copy customized reports.

Evaluating:

Jump- Easy remote screen access to PC or MAC.  This is a Pay App but best I have been able to find so far.  Looking for easier, cheaper alternatives.

Password Management-  In search of a better way.  “1Password” is popular but I’m not there yet.  Will give it a look however.

Bookmark Synchronization-  “XMarks” used to be the solution for bookmark synchronization across devices and different browser types.  When company changed ownership, functionality degraded so I’m using Firefox Synch and manual updates for other browsers.  Looking for a better way.

Previous Unchanged Recommendations:

iMExchange2- App for keeping tasks and notes in synch with Outlook Exchange across adevices.

Evernote- Use for keeping meeting notes and documents organized, easily accessible, and in synch across devices.

DropBox- Best cloud storage application I can find, and I’ve used a bunch, including MobileMe.

Print n Share- Application for printing documents directly from your mobile device. You do not need to be on the same WiFi network to do so as it works over 3G.

JotNotPro- Use for scanning via a mobile camera, converting to PDF, and emailing. Eliminates need for scanner and fax.

QuickOffice– Office applications for the iPAD. Compatible with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For iPhone, DocsToGo is best I have found.

Penultimate– Eliminates need for pad and paper. Enables digital storage and filing of handwritten notes on iPad, and conversion to digital format, including PDF. Alternate App: NoteTaker HD

 

Note: These applications were tested and used on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and a Dell Latitude E600 Running Windows 7 Pro. I purchased them all on the Apple App Store. I expect many would be available on Android, RIM, or Microsoft App Stores.

For email management on an Exchange Server, I have yet to find an iPhone or iPad application that performs better than the RIM Blackberry, and I haven’t been a Blackberry user since 2009. Specifically, I am referring to managing email folders and files from a mobile device. I have also found the Blackberry more reliable in managing and saving drafts compiled on an airplane or in offline mode.

Although the iPhone is great and does many things better than a Blackberry, the RIM Blackberry was (and likely still is) the best device I have used for Exchange Server Integration. Case in point, I just lost hours of emails stored in my IOS outbox while on a plane…Unrecoverable! Never happened in 8 years as a Blackberry Power User.

It will be interesting to see if future releases of IOS improve this capability and how the RIM “Blackberry 10” platform evolves.

If you’re looking to synchronize your bookmarks across different browsers and devices (including smartphones), so am I! There used to be a program that did this brilliantly, “FoxMarks,” which had an ownership change, and merged with “XMarks.”

FoxMarks used to work. XMarks has limitations, especially across different browser types.

Unfortunately, XMarks does not work across all different platforms well, and creates many duplicates and errors. I integrate across Safari, Firebox, ad Internet Explorer on several devices including a Macbook Pro, Dell Latitude, iPhone, and an iPad. Somewhere in the integration of these platforms and devices, things go haywire. I’ve tried for months to isolate the issue, but today, have decided to abandon XMarks and look for other solutions as it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Initial solutions I plan to evaluate include:

-Native Firefox and Safari Utilities
-Google Utilities (although it seems may force Chrome use)
-Other third-party solutions (TBD, limited to date)

Check back later for findings and recommendations…

Update on Synch Apps available February 2012:

After researching for a few hours and trying different options, I’ve come to the conclusion, that there are not now applications that can adequately synchronize bookmarks across different browser types. XMarks used to work before a change in ownership. For now, I am using both Firefox Synch and iCloud, and manually reconciling across platforms. I’ve found the manual effort is worth the trade-off of continuously reconciling cross-browser synchronization errors.

I travel about 80% of the time for business and rely on mobile applications for productivity while on the road. I have tested and researched many mobility applications for the iPhone and iPad and came up with the following list for those looking to minimize the need to carry around a laptop:

iMExchange2- App for keeping tasks and notes in synch with Outlook Exchange across adevices.

Evernote- Use for keeping meeting notes and documents organized, easily accessible, and in synch across devices.

DropBox- Best cloud storage application I can find, and I’ve used a bunch, including MobileMe.

Print n Share- Application for printing documents directly from your mobile device. You do not need to be on the same WiFi network to do so as it works over 3G.

JotNotPro- Use for scanning via a mobile camera, converting to PDF, and emailing. Eliminates need for scanner and fax.

Jump- Easy remote screen access to PC or MAC.

QuickOffice– Office applications for the iPAD. Compatible with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For iPhone, DocsToGo is best I have found.

EasySign (not primary recommendation, see below) Use for signing or editing documents in most common formats, including PDF and MS Office. Alternative to computer/laptop PDF editor (such as Acrobat) and eliminates need to print, physically sign, and scan/fax.

Docusign- Ink does everything EasySign does, and more.  Also, It’s a free App.

Penultimate– Eliminates need for pad and paper. Enables digital storage and filing of handwritten notes on iPad, and conversion to digital format, including PDF. Alternate App: NoteTaker HD

Xpenser- Great for expense management.  No need to save receipts.  Quickly record your expenses, snap a picture of your receipts, add notes, and later generate electronic or hard-copy customized reports.

Note: These applications were tested and used on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and a Dell Latitude E600 Running Windows 7 Pro. I purchased them all on the Apple App Store. I expect many would be available on Android, RIM, or Microsoft App Stores.

Frank DeJoy’s Travel