Technology Nuts for Blind Squirrels: Useful Apps for iPads

As technology becomes more infused into every profession, some of us who have been in the recreation field for “a while” find ourselves having to explore the wonders of technology on our own. The problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know. This post is part of a series about technology tools I have stumbled upon that have proven to be the most useful in my job.

Using Google Forms and Google Spreadsheets on our facility iPad has certainly transformed our operation. But we also use other apps to enhance the functionality of the iPad. Here are a few of my favorites:


1. Dropbox

It is important to have certain information available to employees at all times, such as employee manuals, emergency action plans, and other documents. There are also times when staff may want to share documents with administrators, such as accident and incident reports. Dropbox is a technology tool that gives you cloud-based storage space that can be accessed on any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Dropbox gives you 2 GB of storage for free, with the ability to earn an additional 17.75 GB of space for no charge. You can also upgrade to even more storage for a yearly fee, but so far we haven’t come close to using all of our free storage space.

To use dropbox for your facility operation, set up a generic account on your desktop computer, then download the Dropbox app onto your iPad and sync it with the generic account that you created. You can then start sharing information immediately.

2. Capture signatures with Form Tools PDF.


Going paperless for checklists was easy with Google Docs. However, we still wanted to be able to capture signatures on incident and accident report forms. We solved this problem with the Form Tools PDF app. We uploaded a pdf version of our accident and incident forms onto the iPad, and then using the app, we created a fillable form that can be completed using the ipad keyboard. When we want to capture a signature, we select the “pen” icon, which allows us to write a real signature using a stylus (or even your finger!).

We can switch back and forth between the iPad keyboard and the signature “pen,” depending on the area within the form that we want to complete.

Once we complete a form, we can upload it to our Dropbox app so that it can be transferred to the appropriate administrative folder. Once it is transferred, the completed form can be deleted from the iPad.

We purchased this app for $5.99, but the price may now be lower.

3. Use Padlet for announcements

Padlet is a free technology tool with a bulletin board interface style that allows you to post announcements from your desktop computer that can accessed on the iPad. The Padlet settings allow you to keep the bulletin board as “read only” for your staff, or you can allow staff to post announcements as well.


We currently use Padlet as a “read only” bulletin board for the iPad, and have downloaded a free “Sticky Notes” app for our staff to use for communication among each other. (Popular “Sticky Notes” posts seem to be jokes. An example? What did the fish say when it swam into a concrete wall? Dam!)

What apps have you found useful for your work-related tablets?


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