Could the iPad 2 Replace Your Dayplanner?

Unless you have been living on a deserted island, you are aware that Apple is releasing the newly updated iPad 2 on Friday.

The iPad has continued to shape and evolve the portable post-PC marketplace. Today, I wanted to look at some of the ways that the iPad 2 will be used for productivity.

Many time management fans love their technology and are always searching for the holy grail of time management tech.

Could the iPad 2 be your new dayplanner?

iPad 2 as a Dayplanner

Interestingly, one of my all time top posts was, “9 Ways the iPad Will Change Time Management.” I wrote it last year when the original iPad was announced by Apple.

Many of the technology game changers I previously pointed out still hold true for the iPad 2. Connectivity. Large Screen. The ability to carry large amounts information and documents.

However, the newly revised iPad 2 has matured and has new features which make it even more interesting as a dayplanner replacement.

iPad Advantages

There are those that love their time management gadgets and software, and there are those that love their traditional paper-based solutions.

The iPad has many advantages over the traditional paper planner ranging from calendar syncing, apps, and the ability to carry large amount of data.

The iPad 2 expands on this domain. Here are some of the advantages that the iPad 2 has going for it in terms of being a dayplanner replacement.

  • Cameras – The iPad 2 has two cameras. A front-facing one for video chat and a rear-facing one for HD video and taking pictures.  These will dramatically change the productivity uses of the iPad. You can snap pictures of whiteboards and meeting notes.  Or you can use the device for video chat with remote colleagues. I am even curious to see what some companies will do with the video capabilities. Ironically, many corporations pay tens of thousands of dollars to develop training videos that look less professional that what you could put together with an iPad/iPhone and iMovie.
  • Even Thinner – When it comes to time management tools, portability is a big factor. After all, you want your dayplanner with you at all times. The iPad 2 is almost a third thinner than the original. This slimmed form factor will make it that much more convenient and handy to carry.
  • Very Unobtrusive – The iPad form factor has another benefit in that it is very unobtrusive. I find that I can bring it to meetings and almost no one notices it on the desk. Compare that to the negative connotation of having your laptop open in a meeting. It does not block your face from your peers, and there is no clickety-clack of a keyboard. I am not advocating working during meetings, but it can be useful to look up information quickly.
  • Huge Amount of Apps – When the iPad was released last year, it was way ahead of its time. Over the past year, the apps have started to catch up with the device. From Evernote to full screen todo apps like 2Do, there are now apps which are taking advantage of the power and interface of the device.
  • Smart Covers – It is interesting (ironic even) that one of the most anticipated new features of the iPad 2 is the new magnetic Smart Cover that Apple designed. It is basically a screen cover that self-attaches itself to the device via magnets. It is simple to instantly peel-off the iPad 2. This will greatly reduce the bulk of the device, and provide more instant access. This was a drawback of the original iPad. Even the slimmest of cases added size and taking it out of the case was a chore.

iPad Drawbacks

As elegant a device as the iPad is, there are still some aspects that cause reservations about using it as your dayplanner.

  • Consumption vs. Creativity – There is still a lot of discussion about whether the iPad is better as a consumption (reading) device or as a work (creativity) device. As a dayplanner, I think this is a limited drawback because you are usually viewing your appointments, calendars, and todos.  Typically, there is not a large volume of input that you need to do in your dayplanner.
  • Taking Notes – Paper still holds the advantage over tech solutions when it comes to taking notes. As much as I use applications like Evernote and Zenbe lists, I still use pen and my Moleskine for note taking. I think this is an advantage that paper solutions while hold for a long time.
  • Portability – While magically thin, the iPad 2 is still not something you will want to carry with your everywhere. Then again, the same may be true of your dayplanner. Syncing with other devices, such as your iPhone, can mitigate this issue.
  • Price – While leading the industry at the $499 entry point, it is still an expensive dayplanner. And not something that you would want to have break and need to replace.

Could the iPad 2 Be Your Dayplanner?

The iPad 2 may not be the cheapest dayplanner option, but it can be a very elegant and powerful solution.

For those that prefer technology, the iPad 2 will provide some very powerful time management tools in a very slim package.

Personally, I am looking forward to the new slimmer form factor and intend to utilize some of the great new features such as the built-in cameras.

What do you think? Could the iPad 2 replace your dayplanner?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Minion

    My dayplanner hasn’t been paper in over ten years! It’s been a Palm V, Palm m505, BlackBerry 957, BlackBerry 8800, BlackBerry 8700, BlackBerry 8300 (Curve), iPhone 3G and should end up on Android, possibly a Samsung Nexus S, before long. I couldn’t be happier and agree wholeheartedly with your article!

    • TMNinja

      @Minion Love it! I too have gone through many generations of tech dayplanners. (dayplanner being a generic word)

      Amazing to see how far it has come… since the Palm Pilot…, um, I mean the Sharp Wizard!

      • Minion

        @TMNinjaWow! You go way back. The paper crowd may be a little under-represented online, but like DayTimer_Jeff said there are still tons of ways paper comes out on top, not the least of which are better retention and comprehension.

        http://lifehacker.com/#!5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by-writing-than-typing

        I’m a computer tech gone back to school for Math and Computer Science and split right down the middle for taking notes by hand in one class vs. typing in another. Still, going back to the dayplanner it’s 100% digital!

      • Sherffield

         Try the Opus Domini App.  It is a game changer for those still sitting on the fence between paper and electronic planners.

  • Minion

    My dayplanner hasn’t been paper in over ten years! It’s been a Palm V, Palm m505, BlackBerry 957, BlackBerry 8800, BlackBerry 8700, BlackBerry 8300 (Curve), iPhone 3G and should end up on Android, possibly a Samsung Nexus S, before long. I couldn’t be happier and agree wholeheartedly with your article!

  • TMNinja

    @Minion Love it! I too have gone through many generations of tech dayplanners. (dayplanner being a generic word)

    Amazing to see how far it has come… since the Palm Pilot…, um, I mean the Sharp Wizard!

  • DayTimer_Jeff

    Great post Craig, though candidly I think you’re somewhat understating the value of planning on paper. There is a distinct personal attachment to plans made with pen on paper. The act of writing out your goals, tasks and appointments creates a deeper commitment then what can be done digitally. I’m very interested to hear how others respond here. Very good topic.

    • TMNinja

      @DayTimer_Jeff Thanks, Jeff!

      I was hoping some of the paper fans would jump in here. :)

      But seriously, I don’t underestimate the power of the paper planner and I used one for many, many years. These days I still use a paper notebook for note taking.

      I like your thought around the deeper commitment with paper. There is a bond when you write something down.

      The other angle I tell people is, “Choose Tools You’ll Use.” If you are a techie, then an electronic solution may be for you.

      If you are tech averse, then that latest gadget is just going to end up in a drawer somewhere. :)

      • DayTimer_Jeff

        @TMNinja I am a gadget guy and appreciate the advantages of mobile communication (iPad right now) but like you I still need paper for note taking and planning. I think it’s a personal decision for most people.

  • DayTimer_Jeff

    Great post Craig, though candidly I think you’re somewhat understating the value of planning on paper. There is a distinct personal attachment to plans made with pen on paper. The act of writing out your goals, tasks and appointments creates a deeper commitment then what can be done digitally. I’m very interested to hear how others respond here. Very good topic.

  • TMNinja

    @DayTimer_Jeff Thanks, Jeff!

    I was hoping some of the paper fans would jump in here. :)

    But seriously, I don’t underestimate the power of the paper planner and I used one for many, many years. These days I still use a paper notebook for note taking.

    I like your thought around the deeper commitment with paper. There is a bond when you write something down.

    The other angle I tell people is, “Choose Tools You’ll Use.” If you are a techie, then an electronic solution may be for you.

    If you are tech averse, then that latest gadget is just going to end up in a drawer somewhere. :)

  • DayTimer_Jeff

    @TMNinja I am a gadget guy and appreciate the advantages of mobile communication (iPad right now) but like you I still need paper for note taking and planning. I think it’s a personal decision for most people.

  • Minion

    @TMNinja Wow! You go way back. The paper crowd may be a little under-represented online, but like DayTimer_Jeff said there a still tons of ways paper comes out on top, not the least of which are better retention and comprehension.

    http://lifehacker.com/#!5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by-writing-than-typing

    I’m a computer tech gone back to school for Math and Computer Science and split right down the middle for taking notes by hand in one class vs. typing in another. Still, going back to the dayplanner it’s 100% digital!

  • Minion

    @TMNinjaWow! You go way back. The paper crowd may be a little underrepresented online, but like DayTimer_Jeff said there a still tons of ways paper comes out on top, not the least of which are better retention and comprehension.

    http://lifehacker.com/#!5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by-writing-than-typing

    I’m a computer tech gone back to school for Math and Computer Science and split right down the middle for taking notes by hand in one class vs. typing in another. Still, going back to the dayplanner it’s 100% digital!

  • Minion

    @TMNinjaWow! You go way back. The paper crowd may be a little under-represented online, but like DayTimer_Jeff said there are still tons of ways paper comes out on top, not the least of which are better retention and comprehension.

    http://lifehacker.com/#!5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by-writing-than-typing

    I’m a computer tech gone back to school for Math and Computer Science and split right down the middle for taking notes by hand in one class vs. typing in another. Still, going back to the dayplanner it’s 100% digital!

  • scottcheatham

    Craig,

    First off, great article as usual! I switched back to paper a few years back after having a data crash on one planner and then I had my Palm phone stolen. I’m more of a minimalist at heart so I keep most of my planning data on the computer and plan each day with a small notebook ala ZTD (Zen to Done) style. I like being able to track things quickly with paper and not worrying about durability.

  • scottcheatham

    Craig,

    First off, great article as usual! I switched back to paper a few years back after having a data crash on one planner and then I had my Palm phone stolen. I’m more of a minimalist at heart so I keep most of my planning data on the computer and plan each day with a small notebook ala ZTD (Zen to Done) style. I like being able to track things quickly with paper and not worrying about durability.

  • Laneymv

    I’ve been using the iPad since the first day that the original iPad 3G was released. It’s been a journey to find apps that fit in with my organizational style (or sometimes the lack thereof). Two years ago I bgan the quest to keep my life organized using many of the electronic devices around my home and office (Palm, Ipaq, notebook, etc.). Last year I ran across the book “Take Back Your Life:Using Microsoft Outlook to get Organized. The philosophies in the book are so simple, but can be so easily violated in this age of Post-It notes and email. I began using my offic laptop more to keep me organized , but the bulk and weight (and noisy keys – Lenovo) made it a challenge. Along comes the iPad! Now I can connect to my Outlook and OneNote applications using apps and connectors that make it so easy. I’m using Toodledo and MobileNoter to connect me to my office 24 x 7. It’s been a journey that continues and I’m looking forward to the day that Franklin Covey releases an iPad app. But unfortunately they don’t seem to be aware that people wait weeks for th delivery of their iPads.

    • TMNinja

      @Laneymv Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

      Love my iPad. Use it all the time.

      Although, I will admit, I am a bit Outlook adverse. ;)

  • Laneymv

    I’ve been using the iPad since the first day that the original iPad 3G was released. It’s been a journey to find apps that fit in with my organizational style (or sometimes the lack thereof). Two years ago I bgan the quest to keep my life organized using many of the electronic devices around my home and office (Palm, Ipaq, notebook, etc.). Last year I ran across the book “Take Back Your Life:Using Microsoft Outlook to get Organized. The philosophies in the book are so simple, but can be so easily violated in this age of Post-It notes and email. I began using my offic laptop more to keep me organized , but the bulk and weight (and noisy keys – Lenovo) made it a challenge. Along comes the iPad! Now I can connect to my Outlook and OneNote applications using apps and connectors that make it so easy. I’m using Toodledo and MobileNoter to connect me to my office 24 x 7. It’s been a journey that continues and I’m looking forward to the day that Franklin Covey releases an iPad app. But unfortunately they don’t seem to be aware that people wait weeks for th delivery of their iPads.

  • TMNinja

    @Laneymv Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    Love my iPad. Use it all the time.

    Although, I will admit, I am a bit Outlook adverse. ;)

  • techieducator

    I’m going to jump in as a strong paper fan. I go running with friends and then need to plan day and time for next week’s run–I’m not going to have my iPad in my hot car ready to pull out to check what days are free (ditto sitting at a bar); I’m finishing a class and my college students are in line to make appointments. I want to be able to easily flip back and forth and find open dates and pencil them in, quickly, and don’t want to have to move from my smart classroom electronic equipment to my iPad (power up, wait, open the calendar, etc.). If I’m sitting in an audience and listening to a lecture and want to jot down the next date the speaker will be in town, I don’t want to have to pull out my iPad, but like having dates centrally penned in so scraps of paper aren’t lost. There are so many instances in a varied lifestyle where having a paper calendar seems the better option. And I’m not able to type in as quickly and easily all the necessary info onto a cell phone either. I’m not a technophobe either–I’ve got my Mac laptop, an iPad2, my cell–just haven’t found the leap into technology workable yet for a busy and varied schedule. Just don’t get me started on the trouble I have finding a realistic academic year planner for educators ;)

  • techieducator

    I’m going to jump in as a strong paper fan. I go running with friends and then need to plan day and time for next week’s run–I’m not going to have my iPad in my hot car ready to pull out to check what days are free (ditto sitting at a bar); I’m finishing a class and my college students are in line to make appointments. I want to be able to easily flip back and forth and find open dates and pencil them in, quickly, and don’t want to have to move from my smart classroom electronic equipment to my iPad (power up, wait, open the calendar, etc.). If I’m sitting in an audience and listening to a lecture and want to jot down the next date the speaker will be in town, I don’t want to have to pull out my iPad, but like having dates centrally penned in so scraps of paper aren’t lost. There are so many instances in a varied lifestyle where having a paper calendar seems the better option. And I’m not able to type in as quickly and easily all the necessary info onto a cell phone either. I’m not a technophobe either–I’ve got my Mac laptop, an iPad2, my cell–just haven’t found the leap into technology workable yet for a busy and varied schedule. Just don’t get me started on the trouble I have finding a realistic academic year planner for educators ;)

  • silvershamrockfarms

    I know this is an old posting but as an IT person at a manufacturing business I have been trying desperately to use my iPad2 as an actual dayplanner, with much frustration.

    I currently use the Franklin Covey Monarch Monticello one-page per day refill. (I used to use the 2-page per day but as I said I am trying desperately to move to the new iPad.).

    Here’s the problem. Most of the time management apps for iPad are extremely high-level and don’t allow ease of use PLUS granularity. Very broad formal strokes. This is most annoying, in addition to the fact that most of the apps offer very crappy syncing capabilities with anything from a PC level. I have 2do on the iPad which if fairly ‘ok’. Syncing with outlook is a serious pain in the ass, and syncing with google caldavs is non-existent. So here is how my current task mastering measures up.

    1. Everything starts with my ‘Field Notes’. I carry them everywhere and I don’t anticipate the iPad or any other electronic device ever replacing them as far as mobility, functionality and ease of use. (customization is important too.) This is the lowest level of formality.

    2. In concert I use the Franklin Day-planner mentioned above. There is a prioritized daily task list, and while this is mostly used for PLANNED tasks, there are a LOT of tasks I do daily that are not planned. As an IT person we simply cannot plan our help-desk operations and when a servers decides to choke, you cannot simply tell users that ‘It’s not in my schedule so it will have to wait till tomorrow.’. This allows me some flexibility and at the end of the week I look over the previous week and ‘schedule’ to some degree what I need to do the following week.

    3. The iPad (2do) is now being used to put into place ‘projects’ and the associated tasks under them. Which is super-nice. What is even nicer is that I can look at projects and tasks that need to be accomplished without flipping through pages and hunting most information. But let’s be honest, it’s a very rough project management device at best.

    If the Ninja can help in any way tell me what’s wrong with my process I would love to hear it. I know I could utilize the iPad more…it’s just a matter of understanding how to make it happen.

    • TMNinja

      @silvershamrockfarms Thanks for the comment!

      I agree with your sentiments. I am not sure that any tech solution has totally eliminated the needs for paper notes… yet.

      You are also correct, that MANY of the solutions (2Do included) for the iPad can actually complicate things.

      That is one reason I used Wunderlist for my todo tracking. It is simple, yet powerfully effective.

      See here:

      http://timemanagementninja.com/2011/08/how-i-use-wunderlist-to-be-productive/

      I will do a follow-up article soon on some of the tools I use on my iPad, as it is my main planning device.

      • silvershamrockfarms

        @TMNinja Totally digging your blog incidentally. I’ve been a lurker for awhile and am just now coming out of the wood work to say stuff. ;) Great work here and I am really grateful there are people like you out here in the ethos (read cloud) offering your advice.

      • TMNinja

        @silvershamrockfarms Thanks. Really appreciate the kind words and the discussion here. Good stuff.

        In my opinion, the iPad is still coming into it’s own. When it was first released it was a great device, but the software was not there yet.

        Now, the apps are catching up and you can do almost anything from your iPad. It is still an operational device more than a content creation device, but fits a unique niche.

        In corporate environments, I see it quickly replacing laptops in many settings.

    • Minion

      @silvershamrockfarms iOS devices are great, but probably not robust enough for a tech. What about finding a more traditional PC solution and taking it to the iPad’s form factor, like a 3g-equipped Lenovo tablet w/ stylus, i.e. x220t, or a Dell Inspiron Duo? If tablet OS is preferred, then Android offers a far more flexible experience.

      • silvershamrockfarms

        @Minion

      • silvershamrockfarms

        @Minion Well, the idea was to get away from the larger form factors. More specifically we are in a manufacturing environment and we are moving forward with implementing and rolling out i-devices as part of our business structure. We currently have one iPad on the manufacturing side of our company. The shop foreman uses it to interface with our ERP system through remote desktop and VPN to move inventory through the production process. It’s yucky and greasy in the shop and so far the iPad has faired very well over the past three months.

        In addition to this, we are trying to justify the iPad throughout the rest of the company, more specifically with regard to managing projects. I know the 2do app isn’t ‘quite there’ but it’s improving. I spent the entire day with it yesterday and I think it is actually going to work for us now in hindsight. I havn’t spent a lot of time with the Wunderlist yet, but I do have it downloaded and I’m going to try and work with it as well.

        What we will most likely end up doing is rolling this thing out to the general populace for our company and I will need to do the training so people don’t get frustrated looking for answers. I think the #1 thing that 2do needs to seriously work on is it’s syncing options. To make this efficacious for the business world it really HAS to work flawlessly with PC’s and all of the MS Office products.

        my 2 cents worth. ;)

      • silvershamrockfarms

        @Minion Incidentally more direct toward your suggestions (and they are great ones)1. I have traditional PC solutions but was hoping for smaller and less intrusive.2. I hate carrying around a laptop. If I have to program or do serious creative/IT Managment work I want to sit down with a desktop with a dual-monitor set-up. 3. I’m not a fan of Lenovo yet. I want to wait a few more years before I change our companies entire standardization SOP’s to include Lenovo, and if we as a manufacturing culture are moving to a ‘i-Device’ environment (whether it be iPad or Android infrastructure) I want to skip that whole technology anyway. Managing laptops in a corporate environment sucks.4. I would have LOVED to go with Android and I kinda begged our CIO to move that direction but corporate wanted i-Devices, so I’m stuck. But that being said I don’t hate the iPad.

        Incidentally all IT people are opinionated (me) and lack a certain level of social grace, so please don’t mistake my reply here for ‘rudeness’ or trolling. ;)

      • TMNinja

        @Minion Thanks for the input. Love to see what you are doing with your tech.

        So far, I have not seen a PC-based solution that can match the iOS platform for portability and speed.

        There are definitely more options… :)

  • http://www.bettermanagers.com/ Shiloh

    This is such great post. I work for a long-standing management tool company, Manager’s Red Book. It is not digital at this time due primarily to the depth and flexibility our tool provides. Plus there is such scientific reasoning as to why writing things down is powerful when it comes to managing your day. It drives cognitive and contextual thinking, accelerates learning, reinforces memory, exercises our brains…. See this http://blog.bettermanagers.com/2012/02/29/activate-accelerate-and-advance-learning-curves/

  • dchevenement

    On my side I have an Ipad since day 1, have been using a lot Evernote for its syncing capabilities but it lacks meetings oriented feature such as actions, to-do and follow-up.
    I’m always looking for a replacement App as I think we could gain a lot of time if it was done correctly.
    I’ve tested nearly every notes / todo app on the Appstore in 2 years, I have to admit I’m still amazed how difficult they are to use in a work environment.
    I just discovered http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-ipad-to-do, an iPad To-Do app , that seems to have understand note taking from a business perspective. I tried it for a few days and for the moment I’m quite thrilled, even a bit too powerful at the beginning.
    I particularly love the fast and nice Icons to add different kind of notes / actions and the instant meeting minutes you can send. It eases a lot the note taking process and it makes it nearly as fast as pen and paper.
    Another great thing I’ve been appreciating: it reuses my notes / tasks from the meeting in the To-Do manager, yes you read correctly ! Huge time saver.
    Only drawback so far: a few glitches here and there, but nothing compromising the use of the App and the lack of iPhone sync at the moment but the devs at http://www.beesapps.com said they’re on it for a future release.

  • http://igtd.wordpress.com Androo71

     @silvershamrockfarms have a look at some of my posts around using an iPad for time management and getting things done – including taking notes and using to do apps. http://igtd.wordpress.com. With the right apps and processes, the iPad certainly can be a serious replacement for your Day Planner.
     
     @TMNinja this is a great blog – plenty of very good articles and advice for people ! Well done.

    • TMNinja

       @Androo71  @silvershamrockfarms Thx! 
       
      And with the *new* iPad about to be released… I sense some more iPad related articles coming… :)

  • Eric

    I use Noteshelf for my notes — it has replaced my Circa and Moleskine notebooks almost completely. With a stylus, it is an incomparable note taking tool.