The essential iPad

Over the last few days I’ve realised that I’m using my iPad more each day to the extent that it’s now an essential tool. I thought it might be useful to share with you how I’m using it and
the key Apps I’ve installed.

  1. OmniFocus. This is a great tool for managing your to do lists. I have quite a large team and I use OmniFocus to record the tasks I allocate to people, target completion dates etc. You can include notes and email the task details directly to people from the application.
  2. The built in Mail and Calendar Apps are fine and work with legacy Exchange servers. To be honest unless you’ve got a really up to date Exchange server not all the functions work quite as well as they should but when used with modern mail servers such as Googles it’s excellent.
  3. Dropbox. I run this on my Mac, iPad and an old Microsoft Windows PC in the office and it’s a great way to store files in the cloud and sync them onto each machine.
  4. Kindle ebook reader. This is my preferred ebook reader at the moment for one main reason… You can buy books from Amazon and then read them using the Kindle reader on iPad, Mac and PC. I like the way that they sync the page you are on and book marks across all the readers. If Apple ever do an iBooks reader on the Mac I might start to use that instead.
  5. EverNote. I now scan all important documents into Ever Note which provides OCR and searching over the scanned documents. Great for getting access to you documents on the go.
  6. IA Writer. This is a nice simple little text editor. I use it for quickly and simply taking minutes in meetings. It also integrates with Dropbox so that notes you type can be stored in your Dropbox account automatically.
  7. Twitter. I use the official Twitter App which was previously known as Tweetie. I wish this iPad version was available on the Mac. It’s a shame that they don’t sync where you have read up to between the desktop app and the iPad app but I live in hope.
  8. Pages. This is the Apple Word Processor. I’ve only been using this for a few days and in many ways it’s quite refreshing. The main problem is that it’s not MS Word and that’s what we’ve all been forced to use since Word Perfect failed to get a foothold on Windows. I would say that for 99% of people Pages is probably a better choice than Word for producing short, simple documents. I look forward to getting used to this over the coming weeks. I’m planning to buy it for the Mac when the new Mac App store opens.
  9. WordPress. Yes I’m writing this blog post on using the WordPress app. It’s got room for improvement but isn’t bad. I love typing on the iPads virtual keyboard. I tend to find that as iPad apps run as full Screen applications rather than in windows there is less distraction and I focus on my writing and get more done.
  10. TuneIn Radio. My iPad is now my main radio. It’s great when travelling. I often used to find myself in a hotel room with a poor choice of radio stations or stuck waiting for a train and unable to hear programmes I’d planned to listen to. I’m really pleased with this application.

When the iPad was launched some people called it just a big iPhone. I think it’s a whole new class of device. For many people who used to have a laptop, the iPad would be a great upgrade. For others a laptop may still be essential, for example photographers using light room will still want a Mac but they’ll also want an iPad to carry their work on to show clients.

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