9 Ways the iPad Will Change Time Management

Wow.  The iPad is almost here.  Some of us are very excited.  Is this the tablet computer that we have been awaiting for years?

There are mixed opinions on the iPad right now.  As whenever Apple releases a new product, there is the usual critics vs. fans hoopla.  Personally, I think Apple has again hit the sweet spot between features and functionality.  I also believe that the critics continue to underestimate the base provided by iTunes, the iPhone, and the App Store.

But, today I want to look at the iPad from one angle:  Time Management.

Trying to find the perfect electronic dayplanner

Time management gurus have tried for decades to perfect the electronic planner.  I remember PIM software back in the day.  (It was rough…)  That gave way to PDAs.  And eventually to smartphones.  Along the way some, some have religiously stayed with the pen and paper route.  Some, fed up with lackluster tech productivity, even reinvented it with time systems based on 3×5 cards.  (Hipster PDA, anyone?)

There are reasons that paper based planning tools continue to thrive. For an electronic time management tool to be useful it has to be as good as paper based tools in most areas and provide functionality above and beyond in others.

9 ways the iPad will change time management

Time management systems have always suffered from form factor.  Whether a PDA or smartphone, most of today’s electronic options sport small screens that make it hard to be productive.  With its form factor, connectivity, and software base, the iPad stands to be a premier time management device.

Let’s look at the ways that the iPad will change the field of electronic productivity tools:

  1. Screen Size – OK.  This one is obvious, but not to be underestimated.  Those who are flippantly saying, “It’s just a big iPod Touch” are missing the point.  To paraphrase Apple VP Scott Forstall, “With a screen this big, you don’t get apps that are a little bit better, but apps that are an order of magnitude more powerful.”  The apps for this device will be a large part of what defines it.
  2. Multitouch to the next level - Multitouch on the iPhone forever changed user interfaces.  This coupled with the larger screen are going to bring about even more powerful interfaces for productivity.  We will be able to interact with our information in ways not possible today.  (If you doubt this, go watch the Apple demo of their new iWork software on the iPad.)
  3. Connectivity – Smartphones have pushed the envelope of Internet connectivity, but most consumers still do not have a portable computing device that can access the Internet from anywhere.  I think it is going to impact workplaces in ways never imagined.
  4. The Visible Todo list – Todo lists on today’s smartphones are limited by the small screen.  If you have more that handful of tasks, you have to resort to scrolling or multiple screens.  Visibility of your todo list leads to action and increased productivity.
  5. A Workable Calendar – If you use your calendar on a smartphone, you know it is hard to get a good overview when you are looking at a calendar only a few inches big.  The iPad will present a full view of your calendar.  Being able to view a large week or month view will dramatically improve our ability to plan.
  6. Carry Your Document Library – For the first time, you will be able to carrying all your documents with you in a device that fits in your bag.  Evernote for mobile devices was a amazing step in this direction, but viewability has always been a limitation.  (Evernote is supporting iPad!)
  7. Notetaking – Many will dismiss the iPad due to the lack of a physical keyboard.  But then again, the same thing was said about the iPhone and I watch people tap out text messages on their touchscreens at twice the speed of plastic keyboards.  It will be interesting to see how iPad impacts notetaking.
  8. The Internet in your hand – Just as the iPhone forever changed Internet access, iPad will take it to a whole new level.  There is only so much you can do on a phone screen.  This will set a new standard for internet access.  Connectivity is one thing, but the capability to truly utilize web applications is another.
  9. Portability – The iPad is going to make netbooks look clunky.  The ability to carry this much computing productivity in such a portable device is going to forever change the market.  Some are skeptical of the functionality.  On the other hand, I know entrepreneurs who will be able to run their entire web-based business off of an iPad!

We will have to wait and see…

I am excited by the potential productivity uses of the iPad.  We will have to see what happens when it arrives.

When I was discussing this topic with a friend he made the snide commented, “Isn’t the iPad going to be a be huge time waster?”  Perhaps.  But, like any powerful technology it has potential for great productivity and great waste of time.  Look at the Internet.  It is both the most powerful business tool in the world, yet also the biggest time waster in many companies.

What are your thoughts on the iPad?  Please comment below.

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  • http://www.formfireglassworks.com/ FormFire Glassworks

    I wholeheartedly agree. I am looking forward to TaskPaper, Calendar, MobileRSS and MacGourmet on my upcoming iPad. It will be great to see those items in a larger format!

  • http://www.formfireglassworks.com FormFire Glassworks

    I wholeheartedly agree. I am looking forward to TaskPaper, Calendar, MobileRSS and MacGourmet on my upcoming iPad. It will be great to see those items in a larger format!

  • http://www.blog.7breaths.co.uk/ Rob

    The one point I wonder about is note taking- tapping out a text is very different from taking notes in a 2 hour meeting for example.

    • Craig

      Rob – I agree. Notetaking has never really taken off on electronic devices. Eager to see what developers can come up with for iPad.

      But alas, many of us still use our Moleskine notebooks. :)

  • http://www.blog.7breaths.co.uk Rob

    The one point I wonder about is note taking- tapping out a text is very different from taking notes in a 2 hour meeting for example.

    • Craig

      Rob – I agree. Notetaking has never really taken off on electronic devices. Eager to see what developers can come up with for iPad.

      But alas, many of us still use our Moleskine notebooks. :)

  • http://randymurrayonline.com/ Randy Murray

    I still have my old leather Franklin planner in my office closet. Every time I stumble across it I miss it a bit, but the hassle of continually transferring the same information over and over reminds me of why I gave it up and went all electronic, first with an original Palm Pilot, and now with and iPhone.

    But the iPad makes me think that all of the really good things about that big black leather binder might be coming back. I’m really looking forward to it and I think we might see the resurgence of business people carrying leather binders once again, but with their iPads inside!

    • Craig

      Randy – You have no idea how many memories that brings back. I carried my Franklin Planner religiously. I would get teased for all the places I brought it.

      As Hyrum Smith taught me, it was with me always. :)

  • http://randymurrayonline.com Randy Murray

    I still have my old leather Franklin planner in my office closet. Every time I stumble across it I miss it a bit, but the hassle of continually transferring the same information over and over reminds me of why I gave it up and went all electronic, first with an original Palm Pilot, and now with and iPhone.

    But the iPad makes me think that all of the really good things about that big black leather binder might be coming back. I’m really looking forward to it and I think we might see the resurgence of business people carrying leather binders once again, but with their iPads inside!

    • Craig

      Randy – You have no idea how many memories that brings back. I carried my Franklin Planner religiously. I would get teased for all the places I brought it.

      As Hyrum Smith taught me, it was with me always. :)

  • toen

    as productivity tool 4/8 gb storage to store your documents could be challanging

    • Craig

      Check out Evernote. (www.evernote.com)

      Part of the beauty is that you do not have all your docs on your device but rather on the cloud. (You can download the ones you need instant access to).

      I am thinking of the iPad as a view window into your information wherever it is. :)

  • toen

    as productivity tool 4/8 gb storage to store your documents could be challanging

    • Craig

      Check out Evernote. (www.evernote.com)

      Part of the beauty is that you do not have all your docs on your device but rather on the cloud. (You can download the ones you need instant access to).

      I am thinking of the iPad as a view window into your information wherever it is. :)

  • http://www.miningman.com/ Jamie Ross

    Totally agree! As much as I’ve tried, I just can’t match my A3 weekly planner to be able to record my to do list alongside my week (and be able to see all of them at once to get an overview of what’s on). I know I could do it on Outlook, but I don’t take my computer everywhere I go and wouldn’t want to open it up to add one little job.

    iPad, with the right app, looks like it could be the middle ground! Can’t wait!

    • Greg

      Now all I need is a pocket big enough for it to fit into. I wish Apple would come out with a device just a bit smaller so that it would fit into my pocket, do my email and calender, double as my MP3 player, get me quick internet access and, heck, why not make it a phone as well.

      • Craig

        I agree, the size will be interesting. Not sure we will carry a tablet device everywhere we go.

        Maybe it will sync with our iPhone?

        I am a big believer in minimizing the number of tools we use. Would love to see one device.

  • http://www.miningman.com Jamie Ross

    Totally agree! As much as I’ve tried, I just can’t match my A3 weekly planner to be able to record my to do list alongside my week (and be able to see all of them at once to get an overview of what’s on). I know I could do it on Outlook, but I don’t take my computer everywhere I go and wouldn’t want to open it up to add one little job.

    iPad, with the right app, looks like it could be the middle ground! Can’t wait!

    • Greg

      Now all I need is a pocket big enough for it to fit into. I wish Apple would come out with a device just a bit smaller so that it would fit into my pocket, do my email and calender, double as my MP3 player, get me quick internet access and, heck, why not make it a phone as well.

      • Craig

        I agree, the size will be interesting. Not sure we will carry a tablet device everywhere we go.

        Maybe it will sync with our iPhone?

        I am a big believer in minimizing the number of tools we use. Would love to see one device.

  • http://www.whiteecho.com/ Jeff White

    Great article.

    Company’s need to start realising that they need to start thinking about building their own ipad/iphone apps now.

    The future awaits and with the growth of social media in particular, word of mouth will become “World of Mouth” where news will find us.

    Websites can push data to apps which in turn can generate discussions through blogs.

    Provide information to your clients instantly through building an app for the iPad and iPhone.

    I can’t wait to start building iPad apps for my clients.

  • http://www.whiteecho.com Jeff White

    Great article.

    Company’s need to start realising that they need to start thinking about building their own ipad/iphone apps now.

    The future awaits and with the growth of social media in particular, word of mouth will become “World of Mouth” where news will find us.

    Websites can push data to apps which in turn can generate discussions through blogs.

    Provide information to your clients instantly through building an app for the iPad and iPhone.

    I can’t wait to start building iPad apps for my clients.

  • David Berry

    I really think the iPad will be a brilliant device. I agree with comments regarding size and functionality. The iPad will encourage full utilization of applications, whereas the iPhone will encourage use of applications where quick and ‘portable’ information is made available without having to carry anything substantial.

  • David Berry

    I really think the iPad will be a brilliant device. I agree with comments regarding size and functionality. The iPad will encourage full utilization of applications, whereas the iPhone will encourage use of applications where quick and ‘portable’ information is made available without having to carry anything substantial.

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  • http://www.alliedtime.com/ Roger

    I was looking at the iPad to use with LogMeIn. It seems like you could use it as a mobile office with access to your desktop.

    • Craig

      I agree. It will be interesting to see the possibilities with the iPad.

      Think it could be a powerful way to “view” into our data on the cloud and on other systems.

  • http://www.alliedtime.com/ Roger

    I was looking at the iPad to use with LogMeIn. It seems like you could use it as a mobile office with access to your desktop.

    • Craig

      I agree. It will be interesting to see the possibilities with the iPad.

      Think it could be a powerful way to “view” into our data on the cloud and on other systems.

  • http://LaurenHalagarda.com/ Lauren Halagarda

    Hi Craig! I totally agree :) There has been so much criticism from the early adopter/high tech group on the iPad’s usefulness. I think the iPad is going to appeal to a totally new demographic as well. Heck, even my mom said she wants one! ;)

    I love my iTouch and can only imagine the possibilities with the iPad- everything I currently have plus more real estate :)

    Great post, thanks!

  • http://LaurenHalagarda.com Lauren Halagarda

    Hi Craig! I totally agree :) There has been so much criticism from the early adopter/high tech group on the iPad’s usefulness. I think the iPad is going to appeal to a totally new demographic as well. Heck, even my mom said she wants one! ;)

    I love my iTouch and can only imagine the possibilities with the iPad- everything I currently have plus more real estate :)

    Great post, thanks!

  • Pingback: 15 Time Management Gadgets You Never Knew Existed — Almost Organized

  • Ted

    Type your comment here.Randy I am hoping for the same thing…except I am still carrying that Franklin Planner around. I have not been able to give it up, but the iPad is making me think that I might be able to. So far all of the apps I have browsed do not seem robust enough…can you recommend something close to the Franklin Planner?

  • Sam95

    Hey Craig, 
    This article was written two years ago and you were right. It’s good to see how iPad has become an professional tool. Several business applications are designed to save a lot of time at work. It’s been one year, i have my iPad, and everyday new time management applications are released. I love testing new apps and i’d like to recommend  a new one in time management/productivity field. This app is Beesy. The app is for meetings; from a smart note taking, Beesy generates automatically ToDo list. This concept is amazing and well done. I  recommend to try it, it’s really efficient.Thanks for this post!! you are so right ;)
    Sam

  • www.influencemedia.com.au

    What are your thoughts on the new Microsoft tablet ‘Surface’?

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Not sure yet. Worried by the lack of detail.

      No pricing. No battery life numbers. No cellular. No release date.

      The press wasn’t even allowed to “test” the actual keyboard. Strange, considering that was one of the main features.
      Time will tell if Microsoft can make it work. Love to see some other worthy devices.

  • Shenoi

    Thanks for sharing your insights on how you see the ipad marketplace, it is definitely an exciting place that is constantly evolving and I hear that some Ipads are pretty awesome with in-built time tracking features.

    There are a lot of time tracking apps built specifically for the iPad which bring excellent functionality and ease to use. Recently, I have come across one such application namely Replicon time recording software. The basic idea of the app is to help to track time and hours spent on our projects and other tasks.