I have had an iPad for many years. It can be a neat business tool for use in and out the office – I particularly like Noteability: an iOS app for for taking notes and signing documents; a Maglus Stylus; a bluetooth wireless keyboard; the office apps with Dropbox; and Zoom .
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. 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.
#.2 Dropbox + Office Apps
I have Dropbox on both my 2 laptops and on my iPad. All documents stay synced on all devices. You also have full access to Google Docs – google forms are great – and your Microsoft Onedrive documents. So you can open up your MS Word or Excel files and work on them using your iPad using the Office apps (with a 365 subscription). There is also a free Adobe pdf reader.
#.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
Zoom is my favourite video conferencing app. I have used MS Teams and Google Meet on the iPad also.
Mentimeter is a fantastic solution to create slide decks with interactive polls, quizzes and word clouds for in-person training delivery – use the iPad in conjunction with the laptop so that you can move around the room.
The iPad will print to and scan from almost all new wireless printers via their associated Apps.
I downloaded the WordPress App recently and while I would not venture to create a blog post on the iPad even with the benefit of my Stylus and Keyboard, the App has a great range of functionality and I would moderate comments.
I also downloaded the Google Analytics app.
#.9 Social Media Updating + Video
The iPad is ideal for creating social media content for updating platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn (not tried TikTok yet).
The Stripe app is promoted as running your business from your pocket. PayPal for Business has similar functionality while Square and SumUp are also worth a look for the ePOS solutions that they offer.
Hotspot via Mobile Phone
I am a Samsung Galaxy user. The iPad connects seamlessly to the hotspot created by my mobile phone for an internet connection.
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 calendar on my laptop(s), iPad and of course my phone.
I would describe the Navigation /Google 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 good deal from Tesco mobile which includes all my data, texts and phone calls in Ireland to include mobile for €20 including VAT.
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 and 3G enabled mobile phone on their travels.
BorrowBox is a free library app for reading books and listening to audiobooks. The kindle reader and iBooks are also iPad favourites.
#12. All work and no play
I am not going to mention all my other favourite time fillers games such as Temple Run and the streaming platforms which allow movie downloads but one educational app, for counting which our kids loved in their day was Farm123 Free from Irish company Story Toys Entertainment Ltd (a counting app for kids aged o to 5).
I hope you found this blog post useful. As always comments and social shares are welcome.
I have just signed up for a SumUp account @ sumup.ie. They provide a Card Reader for free so when when you download the App, a business can accept Visa and Mastercard payments. No monthly fees, 2.75% transaction fee.