The iPad as a Productivity Tool

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Get Stuff Done

The iPad might be the most powerful productivity tool on the market today. I can say that sentence without any trace of irony or sarcasm for the following reasons:

  • It has limited realtime multitasking.
  • It is responsive and quick.
  • There are a huge variety of apps that get things done.
  • Limited realtime multitasking? Isn’t that a bad thing?

    This is what I used to think when I saw someone sitting down in Starbucks swiping their screens and tapping at the keyboard. How can you respect a device that can’t have music playing, a video showing, a ten-tabbed web browser, and a few documents open all at the same time? The question here is not about ability, but productivity. Does the ability to be doing so many different things at once really help you be more productive? On the contrary, study after study shows that so-called ‘multitasking’ results in less productivity, inferior work, and limited potential.

    I heard that the iPad is slow. And stupid.

    Well, I don’t know who you heard that from, but they’re wrong. I have found the iPad to be incredibly responsive. Those times when it wasn’t responding to my swipes or commands either I hadn’t actually touched the screen sufficiently or the app I was working in was trying to divide by 0 or something and was about to crash. I have put my iPad through its paces, but I have never had to restart my iPad because of a functionality issue.

    Yeah, but my industry uses special software that isn’t available on the iPad.

    Anyone who tells you the iPad handles every filetype is probably not to be trusted. It doesn’t. However, handling certain kinds of files is different from being able to accomplish a task. For example, if you are an engineer working on a certain part of a bridge and your boss simply needs a printout of your design, it doesn’t matter what program you used.

    That being said, the iPad can handle a lot of file extensions that are standard in many industries, for example: pdf, doc, jpg, png, rtf, and more. However, you are technically correct that the iPad may not support your specific software or have an app equivalent. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the same work done faster, more efficiently, and more conveniently with the iPad than you can with a laptop, desktop, or good old paper-and-pencil.

    I’m not saying there isn’t a learning curve, I’m just saying that it’s worth it. Because there’s one more feature of the iPad that makes it an incredible productivity tool – it is fun to use! It might seem silly to say so, but the truth about humanity is that we love having fun. And if we can have fun while we’re completing tasks for work, it makes us want to complete more tasks for work.

    And if you can have fun and feel awesome while getting your work done, why would you work any other way?

    This site is my attempt to help others navigate the world of iPad productivity with tips, shortcuts, expertise, and advice. Whether you’re thinking of making the jump, a longtime owner, or ready to throw your iPad against the wall, my hope is that you will find something here that will help you use it more effectively to get your work done, no matter what you do for a living.

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