How to work efficiently with documents on iPad? (Set-up of Dropbox, Office, and other Apps)

So, with my new iPad Pro in place I’m going to up my game at working efficiently on it. My old iPad Pro has been used for more specific use cases - like using certain Apps do mindmap meeting notes, reviewing PDFs, general notetaking etc. And I’ve had way too little storage on it.

Now I’m trying to figure out how to best set things up for handling of documents, including offline availability. And I’m getting a bit lost.

I use the OmniGroup Apps, where everything is neat. I sync via OmniGroup’s own service and things work out across all my devices no problem. Most other documents are stored in Dropbox and some in iCloud (the reason for the latter is mainly because this is stuff I regularly update via Pages or Numbers).

If I need to deal with a document in some Office App, I would go via the Dropbox App (where I’ve starred my primary folders), find the file and “Open in…” the suggested Office App. That way changes are updated back and things seemingly work out. (I’ve also connected to Dropbox from the Office Apps, so I could go via that route but since there doesn’t seem to be a way to have “Starred” locations etc it would typically take much longer to find the right file.)

If I need to deal with a PDF this will typically be via PDF Expert. I can’t go via Dropbox, since I won’t be able to “edit in place”. I need to go to PDF Expert and open the file via the Dropbox connection there.

Am I doing this wrong? :slight_smile: What should my setup be like to get the most out of this?

…as a bonus question: Does anyone know how offline Access plays across these Apps? If I make a Folder in Dropbox available offline in the Dropbox App, then I open a PDF within that Folder via PDF Experts Dropbox connection… will PDF Expert access the offline available file from the Dropbox App, or will it need to download it from the Cloud (meaning that if I want to ensure offline “edit in place” type functionality, I’m going to need to sync the same folder both in Dropbox AND PDF Expert since folders can have a mix of PDFs and non-PDFs)… :upside_down_face:

I’ll add an answer myself after some testing, in case someone else wonders about the same. :slight_smile:

The PDF Expert “Dropbox Connection” doesn’t seem to interact with any locally stored Dropbox folders/files. Obviously, if you have the file synced locally in your Dropbox App, you can access it from there even if you’re offline and then export it to PDF Expert as needed - but this will preclude you from using the “edit in place” feature.

Also, if you work with large files, the difference in load time is significant. I have some 100+ MB PDFs, and the difference between opening one that’s stored locally via the Dropbox App, but not synced to PDF Expert, from PDF Expert and opening one that is synced from Dropbox directly to a synced folder in PDF Expert is no joke.

…there is also no interaction between the two “syncs”, meaning that if I have marked the same folder for local sync with the Dropbox App and via the Dropbox Connection in PDF Expert the content of that folder is stored within both Apps - eating up twice as much storage on my iPad as they ideally would.

I guess I’ll end up “double syncing” quite a bit of documents then.