I personally think that the iPad is one of the best tools students can buy. For one, it lasts all day and two: it has a plethora of apps that are available that make being a student so much easier. Even though the semester is ending I wanted to cover how you could use an iPad to organize the readings you get from your professors and annotate them so you’re ready for class and for that big paper that is coming up.

First off, I’ve found that the 16GB iPad has worked really well for me. You don’t have to get all fancy with 4G, extra space or expensive leather covers. Right now, Apple is even selling the iPad 2 from their refurbished store, here, for $349. Not to say that it isn’t expensive, but the iPad is a real tool that I’ve found makes it easy to stay on top of each class.

To get the PDF’s onto you iPad you’re probably going to want to use the Blackboard app for your iPad. (Since it seems like every university uses Blackboard) While I’m not a fan of their windowed environment, user interface, or instability of the app, it’s the only tool available that lets you access documents your professors put on Blackboard.

Using the Open In function of the Blackboard app, you can send files from there to just about any PDF or document editing app on your iPad. I personally use PDF Expert. It costs a few bucks, but does an incredible job of letting you annotate and markup PDF’s.

Once you’re done editing your files in PDF expert, you need to free them from your iPad- and what better tool to use than Dropbox. Free for 2GB, Dropbox is where I store every PDF, research paper or document related to school. The Dropbox app for iPad does a good job of letting you upload a file, no matter the file type to Dropbox.

While some might think it’s overkill and that printing out your readings and documents from class is easier, I would say that just having to bring the iPad and knowing that everything I need is stored there, well, it’s a bit magical. I don’t have to worry about losing papers, I just have one device to keep track of. I would highly encourage anyone to try out the iPad document system as a replacement for paper.