Turning an iPod into a Remote Work Tool


I’m downloading apps like crazy onto my iPod Touch, trying to find the perfect combination of tools to make it more than just a great entertainment device. I was especially inspired by Judi Sohn’s post about her iPhone, one month later.

I’m still on the fence about purchasing it only because it isn’t like an iPhone with its near-ubiquitous connection to the Internet and online work tools. When I’m not around wifi, it is not as useful to me from a work standpoint. So in addition to looking for work-related applications, I’ve been scoping out any application that can also support offline work.

Here’s my growing list of iPod Touch/iPhone apps that are giving me added productivity when I’m not around my MacBook.

from veriosoft's web site

from veriosoft

1. Datacase ($6.99) by Veiosoft, LLC

Datacase allows you to use your iPod as a wireless hard drive. Drag and drop files onto your iPod to access later. You can view audio, video, photos and document files including Word, PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheets. And you can view files in both Landscape or Normal mode. I’ve started using this to review proposals and presentations that I’m working on while I’m at a wired cafe or at the airport and don’t want to pull out my MacBook.

2. MiGhtyDocs (free)

I can view all of my text Google Docs on my iPod even when I don’t have an online connection (as long as I remember to download the latest ones). Right now spreadsheets and presentation files are not supported but that is coming soon. Again, this is view-only – and it seems to only work in Normal mode vs. Landscape. So much of my work requires that I read over documents. It’s great to be able to do this during some down time – like standing in line at the post office.



3. Instapaper (free)

Oh how I love Instapaper. It is so simple, so focused on one thing, but really works for me. I use the Instapaper browser button to read articles and blog posts later, then I can sift through the articles – even on my iPod – to catch up with anything I haven’t had time to read. It really helps me as I conduct research for client projects. Again, anytime I can access something that is online even when not connected to wifi is a boon.

4. To Do ($9.99) by Appigio

I downloaded about seven To Do apps from iTunes but couldn’t get the hang of any of them. Then a friend recommended Appigio’s To Do which sounded familiar because Judi had listed it as one of her favorite apps.  I’m not a Remember The Milk fan even though the cow is still sitting on my MacBook desktop, taunting me. Instead, my friend told me she loves Toodledo which also syncs nicely with Appigio’s app. So far, so good although I’m probably only scratching the surface of its capabilities.

5. Evernote (free)

I’ve been using Evernote on the Web for a while. Never did get into using the desktop version. But I’m transitioning easily to the iPod version. In a way, there may be some redundancy with Instapaper, but I find that I save more text-heavy articles on Instapaper and the more graphical ones on Evernote.

6. Spend Lite (free)

I’m trying to set business budgets and manage them better. Spend Lite supports up to 5 weekly budgets versus the full version of Spend ($0.99) which allows for an unlimited number of daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly budgets. Not bad for less than a buck. Right now, just trying to figure out how Spend Lite works, but if it does work for me, I should have a much better handle on budgeting than ever before.

from TypePad blog

from TypePad blog

7. Tumble (free), WordPress (free), TypePad (free)

In an effort to be more bloggy remotely, I’m exploring Tumble for Tumblr and the WordPress and TypePad apps. Well, almost. Tumble works for me but so far, I haven’t been inspired to use it as I more often rely on it as my lifestream, not my main blogging site. TypePad app is giving me an unexpected error so even though I need desperately to do more blogging on my 3 TypePad blogs, so far I cannot access them via the app. And for WordPress, I am still not sure how to set up my account to work on my pro-blogging gigs (all of which, coincidentally, are on WordPress). So maybe I’m not exploring but more like contemplating the usefulness if I can get these apps going.

8. CheckPlease (free)

This may not seem work-related at first, but how many times have you gone out for a meal with a colleague or client and the awkwardness of splitting the bill comes up? Of course, the best case scenario is that someone (hopefully the one with more money) picks up the whole bill. But if not, now I can just whip out my iPod Touch and not only estimate tip based on any percentage I choose but also split the check amongst the parties. Fast, simple and really Gee Whiz for the whole table to Oooh and Aaah over. Makes me look so thoroughly modern and high tech.

What other iPhone/iPod Touch apps are you using to be productive? I’m open to trying almost anything that can help me be more productive and more informed, with or without a wifi connection.



Some great amenities for iPhone usage. Agreeing with Craig as well Mocha VNC is a great app to have and definitely recommend everyone to at least check it out.


i telework fulltime and I use my iphone constantly when i am out of the office. I don’t see the point of using a touch unless i already had one lying around and could not afford an iphone. i would simply rather have 1 device than to in my pocket.

at any rate, i have seen apps for

remote desktop client

time billing for people that bill by minute.

telnet / ssh clients


Have not got my itouch yet – waiting for next weeks updates, but I already have a list of apps I will be buying right away:

FileMagnet OR Datacase – More research needed here… which offers the best UI? And which supports more file formats? FileMagnet supports iWork files. This is a plus for me.

Remote – Not really for business, but got to have it. Planning on getting an airport express to run alongside this so I can have a multiroom music system.

Mocha VNC / Jaadu VNC – A VNC app is a must in my opinion, and one I’m suprised is not on your list – any reasons why you’re not using such an app? Remotely accessing my Mac is one of the top reasons I will be getting an itouch.

OmniFocus – Desktop edition is very expensive, but the iphone app looks cool (expensive though). Great project management app, according to reviews.

Things – I’m considering this over OnmiFocus – cheaper, and the desktop version looks great.

Byline – RSS Reader. Might not bother with this now, as your Instapaper suggestion will probably suit me more.

Hope some of these are useful to you.

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