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updated 11/3/2012 1:16:56 PM ET 2012-11-03T17:16:56

When you're in a hurry, you need the fastest way to get a thought to your smartphone. While there are some apps for editing Microsoft Office documents, such as QuickOffice Pro, many can be costly and cumbersome to use.

Whether it's a long email, strategy document or ideas for a new product plan, these four iPhone apps can provide the most efficient use of your time:

1. Drafts. With the Drafts app you can start writing as quickly as possible. For $1.99, the app starts a new document each time you launch it, and you can begin typing immediately.

A word and character count is displayed at the lower left, along with buttons for starting a new draft, browsing your list of documents, searching them, or sharing your current doc with a robust list of services including email, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Twitter and more.

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2. Byword. If you're a Dropbox or iCloud user, Byword can be a handy tool for keeping a collection of documents available across all the devices you use. For $2.99, it features a minimalist editing interface and allows you to export PDF or HTML files as well as send emails or print documents.

Thanks to automatic cloud syncing, changes are immediately accessible any time you edit a document from your phone, tablet or computer. You can create nested files within folders if you prefer your documents organized and easier to browse.

3. iA Writer. Like Byword, iA Writer is another choice for seamless workflow across your phone, tablet and computer. The app is designed for a pure writing experience with no distractions, featuring a full screen mode and custom typeface optimized for the iPhone's Retina screen.

The iA Writer syncs with iCloud and Dropbox and offers drag and drop folder creation for organizing files. You can email or print documents, or open them in other apps including Evernote, Byword, and Drafts. And it only costs 99 cents.

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4. Simplenote. Both an app and a web service, Simplenote offers a cloud-based storage system for text documents that syncs fast. The main interface is simple, with a button to create a new note and a search box on top of your list of docs.

Of these four apps, Simplenote offers significant compatibility with the widest range of devices. There are Simplenote clients available for Windows, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and others -- in addition to iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Simplenote is available for free in the App Store. A Simplenote Premium subscription costs $19.99 per year and removes ads, adds Dropbox support, more backup versions and other features.

Which apps do you use for document creation and note-taking? Let us know in the comments below.

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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