One year with iPad Pro M1. Now what?

I’m celebrating my M1’s anniversary. And nope, I didn’t buy it for work. I might have bought my laptop, Acer Nitro 5, to have a better experience working from home, which turned out to be a great investment. However, in M1’s case, I was more ambitious.

With this tool, I committed myself to accomplishing the following:

  • improve my photo and video editing skills
  • continue learning 日本語
  • pick up my old sketching hobby
  • read and blog more often

To help me accomplish those, here are the must-have applications I downloaded on my iPad:

Disclaimer: These apps are free or otherwise stated. I’m also not paid to talk about them.

Photo/Video Editing Apps

It would be a dream to be sponsored by Adobe. Being an amateur photo and video editor, I want my apps to be basic and intuitive. I don’t think it is necessary for me to purchase applications that I won’t be using in the long run so free applications like the following work just fine for me:

GoPro Quik. I discovered this two years ago when a good friend lent his GoPro for our motorcycle diaries. I then used the device for the function it wasn’t intended for: recording my Read with Me videos lol. GoPro Quik app enables me to monitor and efficiently edit videos captured by GoPro. It has several lighting effects, music, and even video templates. The latter can turn simple videos look professionally edited. I might be fooling myself here but once again, I’m an amateur in video editing.

Adobe Premiere Rush. I came across this application when I was studying how to use Adobe Fresco which I will get into in a while. Adobe Premiere Rush is a no-nonsense video editing tool that exports 1080p video without watermark–for a free app that is saying something. I have edited 48 videos and posted almost all of them in my various social media accounts. If that doesn’t earn me an amateur content creator badge, I don’t know what will.

Picsart. I’ve been a Picsart user ever since I started submitting articles to WheninManila. It has a great number of free filters and effects. Paying for the app can unlock more features which I don’t find necessary for now.

Adobe Lightroom. I love using this as it enables me to take great pictures of the moon. It helps me adjust exposure and white light balance automatically or manually.

Reading Apps

Before getting an iPad Pro, I used to read on my iPad mini then my iPhone 8 plus. Using an 11-inch device needed some getting use to. I can count the number of times it almost broke my nose when I was reading in bed. Here are the apps I use and they’re pretty basic:

Netgalley. I know I made a promise to create a post about joining a Reading Blog Tour. Ever since joining The Write Reads, I have been given several advance reading copies of novels through Netgalley. To be frank, it’s interface needs some improvement so if there’s an epub version available in the site, I just download and open it with my Apple Books,

Kindle. It is nice to have a Kindle app handy for those ARCs that need a verified Kindle review.

Apple Books. I don’t want to get rid of it. Though may not be the most advanced nor flashy reading tool out there, the simplicity it provides including highlighting or notetaking is enough for me.

Blogging and Journaling Apps

Although my Nitro 5 is what I primarily use for blogging, having an iPad for drafting or logging ideas helps.

WordPress. Of course.

Notes. Being an Apple user for so long, I’ve numerous drafts on my phone, and thanks to the Cloud, I can access them.

OneNote. I can’t deny that Youtube videos almost made me purchase Notability and Goodnotes. The sunk cost fallacy that usually comes with paid applications may ‘encourage’ me to be more consistent in journaling but given my current workflow and how much time I devote to each of my activities per day, I doubt either Notability or Goodnotes would make any difference. OneNote is free and configurable. What I like about it is I can sync my updates. That way I can access my notes using my laptop, my phone, or my iPad whenever I need to … or want to.

Productivity and Organization Apps

Trello. I like how simple it is and how I can log all the tasks and projects I can think of and move them according to their status. Should I want to kick it up a notch with labels, due dates, and checklists, I can.

Forest (paid). This app helps me focus. If you are familiar with the Pomodoro method, you will also like this.

Apps for my other interests

Other apps worth mentioning:

Adobe Fresco. I want to pick up sketching and creating art again for those days when I need an outlet for my overactive imagination. Truth be told, I am more than rusty but I can still learn.

Kanji Q. I have gotten back to studying Japanese again and this app has been one of my favorite learning apps for a long time now. It’s a great tool for learning Kanji strokes.

Chess. The university I went to didn’t have a strong chess team and frankly, I also lost my interest in it- I had that confidence that I was that good. It’s only in December last year when I lost two battles in succession that I started to pick it up again. It’s never my intention to be a pro so I just have casual games.


No doubt, my goals can be achieved without an expensive device. It’s not like something is immediately going to change. An expensive device doesn’t help one become instantaneously productive although Apple took a pretty good shot at it.

A tool is only as good as the hands that wield it.

Like anything else that is a “work in progress” in my life, I have yet to see how much more I can do with this tool.

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