The best way to read and mark PDF ebooks on iOS

When you want to read a book on your iPad at your home in the morning and then pick up the action while you’re standing in line at the DMV on your iPhone you can use an ebook app like Kindle or Kobo (which supports the independent bookstores – yay!)…

But what about when the book is a PDF? You could put the PDF in your Dropbox, but then you don’t have access to some of my favorite ebook features: bookmarks and highlights. If you want these key features plus simple iCloud syncing you should use Readdle’s FREE and robust iOS app: Documents.

How does it work? Here’s a case study.

Recently, I listened to two podcasts: John Corcoran’s Smart Business Revolution and Caleb Wojack’s Cubicle Renegade that introduced me to the work of James Clear. Mr. Clear has multi-talents but has a special interest in teaching folks about the power of creating positive daily habits. Towards this end, he offers a free PDF ebook: Transform Your Habits when you sign up for his list. So you’ve done this dance before (hopefully for Be The Bos of Paper Clutter above): you enter your name and email, we send you an email asking you to confirm and then following the confirmation you receive an email with a link to download the book. If you click on the link in your email app on your iPhone or iPad, it’ll open in Safari. Now you have a cool option: tap the middle of the screen and you’ll see this:

IMG_0172 You can tap on the Documents icon and the book will open, from there you can highlight and bookmark to your heart’s content. There’s even underlining and strike through features.

IMG_0174   There are other easy ways to import PDFs into Documents too: you can import it from Dropbox or Google Drive and there’s also a built in browser so you copy a URL in there or search and download the PDF directly in the app.


Again, Documents is FREE, but one of the most innovative features is that Readdle has built it to work with its other apps including: PDF expert which allows you to add notes and more to your PDFs and Scanner Pro: their awesome iOS scanning app. My friend Brooks Duncan does a great job of explaining these advanced features and all of the interconnected Readdle apps in this post. Do you read PDF ebooks? What’s your favorite and how do you read them? Tell me in the comments below.

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