About a year ago, I got an iPad to use at work. About a month after I got it, I predicted I wouldn’t use it too much since I found the iPad great at consuming content but not creating content. And I create a lot of content, for instance this blog (yes, this is content to some folks).
Now that the holiday season is upon us and many people out there will be finding iPads in their stockings, I figured I’d tell you how in fact I used mine.
Well, I tried, I really tried, to use it to create content as simple as this blog. But I just cannot type very well with the iPad. When I was in the 7th grade, my mother made me take typing class because she had a vision for the future - no, not computers - but me typing various high school and college reports on typewriters (remember, this is the era when we went to college with LARGE record players and LARGE speakers, and, of course, a sleek IBM Selectric briefcase – different times people!). And at that time I tested out at 52 words a minute. I remember since it matched the weeks in the year. So maybe I am hopeless in that I’m too wedded to tactile keyboards. Who knows, but I have a hard time typing on the iPad. So I do not use it for creating content, as I suspected might happen.
And because of that, I don’t actually use it when I go on a business trip. Or shall I say not as much as I thought I would. Because when I’m on a trip, I’m usually creating content of some sort. And I don’t want to lug two computer-like things around. So guess what stays behind? Yes, typically the iPad unless I know for sure I won’t be needing to create content or I know for sure that I’ll be walking around needing to show presentations, like when I’m meeting people at shows, in which case I will bring both.
So what do I use it for? It’s definitely about the apps. I have some good apps for showing presentations, even where you can “share” presentations so if someone else has an iPad you can just share it via WiFi with them. And there are other useful things like shortcuts to websites that I frequent for work, such as the Dialogic website. On-ramping to these is clearly superior with the iPad as opposed to a laptop. It's much quicker.
And when I’m at the office, I actually use it as well. When I need to leave my office and go to a conference room, I don’t have to undock the computer and go through all that stuff – I simply take the iPad with me. Clearly the iPad is better at consuming content like email than my blackberry is. So I’ve been using it more and more for that. I never thought I’d use it at work like that, but you take the best tool for the job, right?
Outside of the office I use it way more than I ever thought I would. If I go on a day trip in the car, I take it because of the good navigator app. I just keep it in the car. But guess what – I do more work when it’s with me since it’s easier to consume work content. So I do more email, and read more information, than I ever did. I’m sure this was the diabolical plan of my management team when I got one. But I don’t care. The power of the iPad!