The Best iPad Tips & Tricks You Need To Know

A man using the best iPad Tips and Tricks on his iPad device

The iPad is an incredibly versatile device that bridges the gap between an iPhone and a Mac. To get the most out of it, play to its strengths. For focused work with minimal distractions, the iPad is unbeatable. So, here are some productivity iPad tips and tricks to help you go pro!

1 The Home Screen

Your productive journey with the iPad starts with the Home Screen.

Setting it up properly can make a world of difference. The iPad’s dock is a blend of the iPhone’s and Mac’s best features. You can create app folders and drag them onto the dock to keep your Home Screen tidy and organized.

Think of the core of your iPad’s Home Screen differently from your iPhone. Widgets play a huge role here. In the upper right, you can add a widget to switch between your most-used focus modes. Different home screens for work, personal time, evenings, and sleep can be set up and switched with a touch. Place the apps you use the most in strategic positions.

Use Siri Suggestions

In the top left of the screen, use Siri Suggestions instead of individual app icons. This feature tailors app recommendations based on your usage patterns and the time of day.

To add Siri Suggestions, press and hold the Home Screen until it enters jiggle mode. Then, press the plus button in the top left corner, scroll down, and select ‘Siri Suggestions’. Repeat this process as needed. Each Siri Suggestions box will link to apps that your iPad thinks might be useful to you at that moment.

Add Web Apps

Some websites might be more useful as apps. If an app isn’t available, you can create a web app.

For example, if you need to access a website and it’s not available through Google, open it in Safari, tap the Share button, and choose “Add to Home Screen.” Press Add – this creates an app icon that opens the site in its dedicated Safari window, just like a regular app. You can move this icon around, even adding it to your dock for easy access!

2 Settings

There are not many iPad-specific settings you need to tweak, but a few changes can make a big difference. Let’s quickly run through the settings you should consider adjusting:


Notifications can be helpful on your iPhone and Apple Watch, but on the iPad, they can be a distraction. To maintain focus, go through your notifications settings and turn off notifications for most apps. The fewer distractions you have, the more productive you will be.

Home Screen and App Library

Head to the “Home Screen and App Library”, and in the “Newly Downloaded Apps” section, choose “App Library Only.” Any apps you download will go into the App Library, rather than appearing as a tile on your Home Screen. Keep your Home Screen tidy and free from clutter. You can always add apps to the Home Screen later if needed.

Also, enable “Show App Library in Dock” for quick access to all your apps without crowding the Home Screen.

Multitasking Preferences

Adjust your multitasking preferences in “Multitasking and Gestures.”

Try using Split View & Slide Over for multitasking. Stage Manager can be useful as well. Ensure all gestures are enabled for a smoother experience.

Apple Pencil and Screen Protector

One reason the iPad excels as a productivity tool is its integration with the Apple Pencil, especially when paired with the Paperlike 2.1 screen protector. The Paperlike 2.1 keeps your iPad display’s quality intact, ensuring sharpness, clarity, and vibrant colors remain unchanged. Nanodots technology in Paperlike 2.1 makes writing with the Apple Pencil feel like writing on paper.

iPad tips for productivity: Apple Pencil
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3 Multitasking

Multitasking is essential for productivity on any device, and the iPad makes it surprisingly easy. A common misconception is that you need to save data from one app to use it in another, but the iPad offers efficient gestures to move data between apps easily.

Drag and Drop

One of the most useful multitasking features on the iPad is drag and drop.

Here’s how it works:

Imagine you have an image in Safari that you want to add to a note in the Notes app. Instead of saving the image to Photos and then inserting it into your note, tap and hold the image for a moment. Once the image lifts from the screen, use another finger to swipe up from the bottom to access the Notes app. Open the desired note and release the image when you see the green plus icon, indicating that you can drop it directly into the note.

The drag-and-drop feature isn’t limited to images; it works with text too. For instance, you can select a passage of text in Safari, tap and hold to lift it, and then drag it into your note. This method is quicker and maintains the text formatting, making it much more efficient than the traditional copy-and-paste method.

Pinch and Push

Another useful gesture on the iPad is the pinch & push.

To copy a passage of text, select it and use three fingers to pinch the screen, as if you are picking something up. A “copied” caption will appear, indicating the text is now in your clipboard.

To paste it, go to your desired location and use three fingers to push out on the screen as if you are dropping something. This gesture serves as a shortcut for the paste function, making it intuitive to transfer content between apps.

App Switcher

To see all your open apps, swipe up and hold for a second from the Home Screen to access the app switcher. You can then scroll through and tap any open app to switch to it.

Swipe across the screen with four fingers to move between open apps. If you’re using a keyboard with your iPad, the Command-Tab shortcut from Mac works here too, allowing you to cycle through open apps. Command-Shift-Tab will move you backward through your open apps.

4 File Management

Make the most of the Files app on your iPad to streamline your productivity. Here are some essential tips to maximize its use:

Utilize iCloud Drive

First, ensure you are using iCloud Drive effectively. Store as many of your files as possible on your Mac’s iCloud Drive. If you use multiple Macs, all of their desktops will sync through iCloud. Anything you save to the desktop on one Mac is immediately available on your iPad. This setup eliminates the need to AirDrop files and ensures all your files are readily accessible across devices.

Incorporate Other Cloud Services

If you prefer other cloud services, the Files app supports them too. You can integrate Dropbox, Google Drive, and others.

To add these services, download the respective app from the App Store, log in, and then go to the Files app. Tap the ellipsis menu in the browser bar, select “Edit Sidebar,” and toggle on the services you’ve added. You can rearrange their order by dragging them up or down.

This way, you can access files from various cloud services as easily as those on iCloud Drive.

Advanced Options in the Files App

The Files app offers additional functionalities not available elsewhere on your iPad. Here are a few key features:

  • Compress Files: Select files, tap “More,” and choose “Compress” to create a zip file. This is perfect for quickly sharing multiple documents via email.
  • Convert and Manage Image: Convert selected images to JPEG, PNG, or other formats in bulk. You can even remove backgrounds from multiple images at once.
  • PDF Management: Create PDFs, rotate them, or copy them. When working with PDFs, the “More” button provides options like “Markup” and “Optimize File Size,” which compresses images within the PDF to reduce its size. Another handy feature is merging multiple PDFs into one. Select multiple PDFs in the Files app, then tap on the ‘More’ button, and create one PDF.
iPad tips and trick for productivity
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Extra iPad Tips

5 Swipe from Corner

Customize your iPad’s functionality by utilizing the “Swipe Finger from Corner” feature, found in Settings under Multitasking & Gestures. Here, you can choose between screenshots, Quick Notes, or leaving the action disabled. This handy feature allows you to assign specific actions to swipes from the bottom left and bottom right corners of the screen.

Taking Screenshots

A quick swipe from the bottom left corner captures the screen, eliminating the need to fiddle with multiple buttons. Once captured, the iPad provides access to various markup tools for annotation.

A useful tip: when drawing shapes like circles or squares, hold for a second after drawing to create a perfect shape automatically.

Quick Notes

Swipe up from the bottom right corner, tap the new notes button, and write down whatever you need to remember. Think of Quick Notes as digital sticky notes; they’re perfect for capturing quick thoughts or reminders.

To keep track of your Quick Notes, create a widget on your home screen to display them. This way, your important reminders are always visible, serving as constant prompts for tasks that need attention. When you’ve completed a note, simply tap to open it, delete it, and move on.

6 Spotlight Search

Spotlight Search is a powerful tool that many iPad users overlook, but it’s about to get even better with the upcoming release of iPadOS 18.

To access Spotlight Search on your iPad, simply swipe down from the middle of the screen to bring up the search box. From here, you can search for almost anything using the keyboard or by tapping the microphone button and using dictation.

Practical Uses

Spotlight Search is handy for a variety of tasks:

  • Currency Conversion: Use dictation to quickly convert currencies. For example, say “$1,000” to convert it to £. Spotlight Search intelligently recognizes your location and performs the conversion, but you can specify a different conversion if needed.
  • Calculations: While the iPad lacks a dedicated calculator app, Spotlight Search can handle basic calculations. Simply type out the equation, and Spotlight Search will give you the answer.
  • File Search: If you’re looking for a specific file on your iPad, type its name into Spotlight Search, and it will return relevant results.
  • Cloud Services Integration: If you’ve added other cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive to iCloud Files, Spotlight Search will search those services as well. This means you can find files across different platforms using a single search tool, even if your filing system is a bit messy.
  • Other Functions: Spotlight Search can also search for times in different time zones, convert measurements, or translate text. It’s a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of tasks, making it an essential part of your iPad experience.

In Conclusion: iPad Tips

Your iPad holds immense potential for productivity, and by implementing the tips shared in this article, you can harness its power to the fullest.

From optimizing your Home Screen to mastering multitasking gestures and leveraging Spotlight Search, there are numerous ways to streamline your workflow and accomplish tasks efficiently.

By focusing on what matters most and minimizing distractions, you can make your iPad your ultimate productivity companion. Try out these tips, tailor them to your needs, and watch your productivity soar!