Your iPad as a Business Tool: Why It’s Essential for Small Businesses
The BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) trend is not going away – and for good reason. Many mobile devices are quite useful for business, including the iPad. While many of us utilize these tools for leisure, we often forget how we can use these devices to make work life easier. Here are nine ways to use your iPad for business work.
1. Email on the Go: Reading email on a phone can be a pain. Because the iPad is larger, it’s easier to read and quickly respond to emails in breaks during a meeting or waiting board a plane. No more trying to wade through 100 emails when getting back to the office.
2. Notes: Applications like Evernote or Apple’s native Note app lets a person take notes without ever putting a pen to paper. Evernote even includes a way to manage and search through notes to find tidbits for presentations or reports.
3. Presentations on the Fly: Every professional has probably experienced the nightmare of getting to a client site and finding their laptop is dead or they’ve forgotten the presentation back at the office. Saving a presentation to the cloud allows professionals to be able to pull up the presentation on their iPad whenever and wherever. It’s even useful for on-the-fly meetings and presentations at conferences and trade shows.
4. Keeping Track of Appointments: The iPad lets users install any calendar app that they use on a daily basis, whether it’s MSN, Yahoo or Google. Once the calendars are installed, notifications can be set up to alert users when important appointments are taking place. This ensures that no important meetings are ever missed.
5. Research: The iPad has the ability to bookmark any website or web page that you need for future research or information. It allows users to bookmark items to the Home Screen, Windows, Yahoo, Google and even social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
6. Reviewing, Editing and Commenting on Files: Office for iPad is available for free, but a person will need a subscription to Office 365 to use it. Still, it’s worth the investment if someone needs to make quick changes to documents while they’re on the go. Documents can even be saved in Office Online, Google Drive or DropBox all from the device.
7. Meetings Wherever You Are: Whether a business uses GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts or Apple FaceTime, business professionals don’t need to bring the whole laptop to connect to a virtual meeting. These apps can be downloaded to the iPad, and meetings can easily be run from this much smaller and easier to carry device.
8. Navigating Business Trips: Apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps help professionals navigate around new cities. Other apps like TripIt (a free app available in the iTunes store) even allow a person to organize travel plans, including keeping track of flight details and daily itineraries. Itineraries can be synched with Outlook, Apple Calendar or Google Calendar.
9. Access to Cloud Storage Drives: Unlike a laptop, the Apple iPad doesn’t have a USB drive to access documents. Instead, use a cloud storage drive like Box or DropBox to access files. With cloud storage, files and folders are always available, and anyone with access can get to the files when they need them. These apps can be downloaded directly to the iPad.
Something to remember when purchasing an iPad for business: The iPad Mini doesn’t have a lot of internal storage space and will get full pretty fast. Only certain iPads have built-in WiFi that supports cellular data. A person must sign up for the data service with their cellular carrier.