Today I appreciated being able to work on an iPad more than usual because my laptop seems to have either a malware problem or a software compatibility issue. In either case, I can’t take it to work to get it fixed until tomorrow afternoon, and I’m glad I could still check email and do some online writing today. (Is anything more frustrating that the continual restarting of a computer that refuses to work?)

To show my appreciation, here are three free iPad apps that I recommend for writers. There are many more I want to discuss before the end of the month, but these are three I’ve used the longest and can recommend without reservation.

Dropbox

I already used Dropbox as a way to navigate between files at work and at home without having to use a flash drive, so it was easy to start using it on the iPad as well, which allows me to pick up almost any work in progress, wherever I happen to be. For those of you new to the idea, Dropbox and other programs like it are like electronic holding places where you can store files to retrieve either online or through synced apps on several devices.

Flipboard

Flipboard is a magazine-style collection of your choice of favorite social media sites (such as Facebook and Twitter), curated posts and articles (such as Brain Pickings), and traditional media and news outlets (The New Yorker, BBC News, Salon…). It’s as close as I’ve come online to the relaxing experience of settling down in a comfy chair with a really good, interesting magazine and a cup of cocoa.

Read It Later

Like Dropbox, Read It Later (Pocket) allows me to coordinate what I do on my laptop with time spent on the iPad. By installing Read It Later on both devices and syncing them, I can mark blogs posts, articles, or any other website as something I want to read later if I’m working on my laptop, and then I can call it up on the iPad whenever I have some reading time.

What are your favorite free iPad apps?