I have had an iPad 2 for over a year. A few recent purchases, to include some hardware and business apps for iPad, have made it much more of a business tool for use in and out the office – Noteability: an iOS app for for taking notes; a Maglus Stylus; a bluetooth wireless keyboard; and CloudOn: a business app for iPad, which allows editing of all documents saved to Dropbox.
I travel regularly on the train to Dublin. I was bringing my laptop so that I could work. I am now going to bring my iPad, a refurbished unit bought on the Apple website, with my new accessories which make it a very effective office tool.
#1. Bluetooth keyboard
I got a present of a wireless keyboard (not branded) with a Living Social voucher. It connects easily to the iPad and has hours of battery life that does not draw from the iPad. The iPad sits into the unit, which is itself as slim as an iPad and very light, and it all balances perfectly. I have used it to send emails and it works very nicely. COST: €30 delivered.
CloudOn is a fantastic App that allows editing of all your documents stored in Dropbox. You also have full access to Google Docs – google forms ar great – and your Microsoft Skydrive documents. So you can open up your MS Word or Excel files and work on them using your iPad. The app also features a built in Adobe reader. FREE.
#.3 Maglus Stylus
The Irish designed Maglus stylus is available from Applydea. It is a super product. COST: Delivered for €32.35
Noteability is a very super App for taking notes. You can open pdfs or word documents in the app. You can then type in the white spaces; ‘scribble’ notes or use a highlighter for important sections.
With the stylus, I have used the App to get people to sign in electronically to a training session; have taken notes on the Agenda for a meeting; and added notes to specific sections of a grant application. I have also signed a tender proposal that was then sent electronically. COST €1.79
#.5 HDMI Connection
For the training I use a HDMI cable connector to connect to the projector to play the powerpoint presentation. The first option is CloudOn if you have WiFi. And I have also downloaded the Slideshark App which allows online sharing of the presentation as you are presenting. Both bring in the animations from powerpoint without a hitch.COST: Lite version of Slideshark is free. €30 for Apple Cable and €5 for 3 metre HDMI cable from Amazon.co.uk which is a brilliant site.
Pocket is a very useful App. When installed on your browser on PC, phone or tablet you can select websites, such as news or blog posts, that will be available for reading later – on your PC, phone or tablet even when you are offline. I read lots of content shared on social media so this is a super easy way to file special reference material for those few minutes between meetings. Please note that Pocket takes a bit of figuring out to set up (will not call it an install) but the instructions are good and you will learn the difference between a bookmark and a bookmarklet (not going to spoil it for you). COST: Free
The iPad will print to and scan from almost all new wireless printers, to include the Epson Stylus sx430 which is suitable for home office use, via an associated App. COST: €50 approximately on offer in Dunnes Stores.
I downloaded the WordPress App recently and while I would not venture to create a blogpost on the iPad even with the benefit of my Stylus and Keyboard, the App has a great range of functionality and I would certainly moderate comments.
Other Apps that I presume would work well on the iPad for those working in larger commercial organisations include cloud applications for finance and sales such as for example Sages and Salesforce (BTW I recommend One Page CRM as a super easy cost effective alternative).
#.9 Tweak your Biz
Tweak your Biz is a fantastic site for business featuring excellent blogposts from a diverse range of professionals on topics to include Finance, Marketing, Social Media, Sales, IT and Growth. I wrote my first Tweak your Biz blogpost in March titled ‘How to Tweak your Marketing to build your Small Business‘
#.10 Navigation on Samsung Galaxy SII
I have an Android phone and I would not move to iPhone. My phone is all set up now and the Contacts, Calendar and email all work excellently – I use Outlook Calendar as the hub to sync all my diary entries so I have an up to date on PC, phone and iPad.
I would describe the Navigation and Maps feature of my Samsung as vital. It is very user friendly. There is great comfort in heading off early to someplace like Navan Enterprise Centre for a training session with Meath County Enterprise Board and knowing you will get there on time – I would not be the best of directions so the reduced stress is amazing. I have a brilliant deal from eMobile which includes all my data, texts and phone calls in Ireland to include mobile for €34.50.
So along with email, tasks and calendars which all sync seamlessly to your desktop, knowledge workers should be very well connected when armed with their iPad on their travels.
#11. All work and no play
I am not going to mention all my other favourite time fillers games such as Temple Run but one educational app, for counting which our almost 3 year old girl loves, is Farm123 Free from Irish company Story Toys Entertainment Ltd.
I hope you found this blogpost useful. As always comments welcome.