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My favorite meeting apps

Corbin Ball and Debi Scholar, left to right

Remember when applications were what you filled out to get a job? Now applications, or apps, are tools that help us do our jobs.

The spread of smartphones, and now tablet computers, as fueled the development of hundreds of thousands of apps. More than 500,000 have been developed for the iPhone, with an estimated 90,000 apps already developed specifically for the iPad.

Most aren’t aimed specifically at meeting planners, but many have applications for the industry. And, as meeting technology expert Corbin Ball points out, meeting technology companies are developing iPad apps.

We asked Ball and Debi Scholar, president of Scholar Consulting Group, to share some of their favorite apps with our readers.

Ball sees a great opportunity for meeting planners to shed the big heavy ring binders they carry around at conferences and use apps and a tablet to store their meeting-related information.
Here are a few of the apps Ball recommends (for more, see Ball’s articles on his website,

Ball’s recommendations

With DocumentsToGo, tablet users can view, edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel PowerPoint files, view Adobe PDF files; view, edit and sync files stored in Google, Docs,, Dropbox and cloud-based storage systems; view and edit e-mail attachments and use automated two-way file synchronization. The app does require an Internet connection to access documents.

iWork Pages
A streamlined word processor that allows users to open, edit, save and email Microsoft Word files or convert them to RFT, PDF or .EPUB files. It allows work to be shared on the Web using cloud storage. Instead of printing a Word document, Pages allows tablet users to access and edit documents on the go.

iWork Numbers
Numbers does the same thing for the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as Pages does for Word, allowing users to edit, save and email Microsoft Excel files or convert them to RFT, PDF or .EPUB files. Spreadsheets can be great tools for managing events. Numbers gives planners immediate access to spreadsheets at an event.

A simple online, mobile project management tool that allows users to track leads, maintain client information, manage projects, track tasks and time and establish and maintain employee timesheets.

PaperPort Notes
A free note taking tool for the iPad that allows users to take typed and/or freehand notes; to use Dragon voice recognition to dictate ideas or notes; to use annotative tools to mark up documents; to add audio page-by-page comments within written notes; to combine full documents, individual pages, content from the Web and notes into a single document; to use tools to search, edit and bookmark notes; and access and share content using cloud storage.