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5 apps to manage paper

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Tablets have profoundly changed the way we read and keep our literary libraries. A simple device weighing in at just a few pounds can provide access anywhere you are to what might be hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of bound volumes.

A tablet’s ability to effectively manage thousands and thousands of pages is not limited to books. More and more people are getting by with their tablet in place of their laptop, which means there are apps available for opening, editing and saving documents; apps for taking notes and signing on the digital-dotted line. There are even apps to turn paper documents into e-paper documents.

Having these apps on your tablet can save you the heft of carrying a laptop and cut the tether to the pile of paper back at your office. What the tablet has done for the avid reader, it can do for the ardent business person. 

Continue on with the slideshow to see some apps to help reduce the paper in your life.

For other apps to simplify your business life, see:

Quickoffice iconQuickoffice SC

Quickoffice Pro

Available for Android and iOS

Price: $14.99

Today, there are really only two document formats you need to be able to work with: Microsoft Word’s .doc and Adobe’s .pdf. Simplifying the search for apps that can edit these formats is Quickoffice Pro, which can handle both file formats. It has the functionality of a word processor for the docs, and the ability to annotate PDFs—including adding signatures. As a bonus, Quickoffice can also work with Excel and PowerPoint documents.

NotabilityNotability SC


Available for iOS

Price: $0.99

Tablets are, to some degree, modeled after notepads, so it’s only natural to have a versatile note-taking app on hand. With Notability, you can input information by typing it, writing/drawing it (with a stylus or your finger) or recording it with the tablet’s microphone. Notes can be auto-synced to the cloud or saved and emailed. Notability will also annotate PDFs if you’re not interested in the word processing features of Quickoffice.

Another slick feature of the app is that you can record and type notes at the same time, with every entry time-stamped to the audio recording. Later, you can touch any note you entered while the recording was taking place and the audio track will jump to the corresponding place.

GoFormziconGoFormz SC


Available for Android and iOS

Price: Free

Not only does GoFormz let you create and edit custom forms on your device, but it will also help you create an electronic version of paper forms you already have. Forms can be filled out offline and can be emailed, saved or printed once completed. An account must be created to use the form templates and some features do require a subscription.

DocScan iconDocScan SC

Doc Scan HD Pro

Available for iOS

Price: $3.99

There’s an app to turn paper forms digital, but what about all the other pieces of paper—documents, receipts, napkins with your next brilliant idea on them? Doc Scan HD Pro won’t transcribe the information, but it will take a picture of the page and store it for you. The app will even correct for distortion if the paper is curled or captured from an odd angle.

CamCard HD iconCamCard HD SC

CamCard HD

Available for Android and iOS

Price: $7.99 (for a limited time)

Business cards are too bulky to carry with you, but too time consuming to transcribe. Well, snap a photo of a business card and CamCard HD will do the transcribing for you. Unfortunately, the iPad 2’s camera is not high enough quality for the transcribing feature, but another camera can be used and transferred to the iPad.