The iPad 2: Ten Best Productivity Uses

I was lucky enough to get an iPad 2 on release day.

After having used it for a week and a half, I can say that there are many noticeable improvements over the original iPad. While many of the changes are evolutionary, the new iPad 2 does impress.

It is much quicker. The new processor chip makes using apps and switching between tasks much snappier.

While the new slimmer form factor may appear like a subtle change, I think it dramatically improves the the quality of the user experience holding the device.

But the value of the iPad is in the doing.

What it allows you to get done, wherever you are.

Here are my Top Ten Productivity Uses With the iPad 2:

  1. Todo Lists – I currently use the app “2Do.” I have tried many of the task list applications on iOS and so far this is my favorite. It makes the best use of the iPad’s larger screen real estate, presenting a dayplanner like interface. It also syncs well with my iPhone via Toodledo or MobileMe.
  2. Calendar – I am a big believer in having 1 calendar. (Read: The Power of 1) My iPad allows me to access and sync my calendar with work, home, etc. The large screen again helps, allowing me to see the big picture. You can view weekly and monthly views that just aren’t possible on a smartphone.
  3. Evernote – I have instant access to all my notes in the cloud via Evernote. If you aren’t familiar with Evernote, it allows you to store notes, clippings, pics, etc. Their iPad app is top notch and allows you to browse and search your notes with ease.
  4. Email – It is different dealing with your email on the iPad. There is something enjoyable about “touching” your email. For me, I find it brings new meaning to the “you touch it, you own it” rule of email. I find myself getting more done in my email when on my iPad.
  5. Books – Have you ever gotten stuck somewhere and had nothing productive to do? At the doctor’s office? The auto shop? Wherever. I like always having multiple books with me to fill those voids. I use both Apple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle apps. I am near the point where I won’t buy physical books anymore just to avoid the clutter.
  6. RSS – To minimize endless web-surfing, I use Google’s Reader as my RSS solution. The iPad again presents a wonderful touch experience to catch up on the articles that I want to read. I use the app called Reeder to access my RSS feeds on my iPad. It saves time and keeps me from randomly surfing.
  7. Photo Capture – There has been much discussion about the cameras on the iPad 2. The short version is that the iPad is not intended to be your camera, nor it is going to take award winning shots. But, the new cameras do serve the simple purpose of capturing notes and other things. The iPad is perfect for snapping pics of that whiteboard after the meeting for emailing or filing in Evernote.
  8. Mindmapping – I love to use mindmaps when I am brainstorming a project or new idea. I use iThoughts HD for this purpose on my iPad. It allows me to quickly get an idea mapped out and I can save it to the cloud for access later.
  9. File Access – Speaking of cloud storage, Dropbox and Apple’s iDisk are great productivity tools for managing your files across your platforms including the iPad. Dropbox has a great app for the iPad and is also directly integrated into many other apps for file access and storage.
  10. Project Management – With project management you want to be able to review and see the status of things at a quick glance. The iPad excels at this. It is almost like having a virtual clipboard of all your project files. I use Basecamp for project management both at work and personally. The Basecamp web interface has been specifically designed to present on the iPad.

A Unique Niche

You can do some of the above tasks on your laptop or even your phone, but the iPad provides a more effective workflow in many cases.

I still don’t see the iPad as a laptop replacement. It is a different experience.

However, for those that don’t want to carry a laptop around for simple tasks, yet are looking for a better experience than on their phone, the iPad fills a very unique niche.

What do you use your iPad for? What are your favorite productivity tasks on your iPad?

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?

7 Time Management Mistakes You Are Making With Your Smartphone

Many people use a smartphone as part of their time management strategy.

From the first PDA’s to the newest phones, technology has forever changed our time management capabilities.

It has allowed us to use simpler, more effective tools.  We have the power to access information and organize in ways never before possible.

However, sometimes it can be too much.  Sometimes it seems that our smartphones are taking over our lives.  They can complicate things as much as the alleviate them.

Are you being the most effective you can with your smartphone?  Are you using it or is it using you?

Here are some of the common smartphone time management mistakes…

10 Ways the iPhone Saves Time

Smartphones these days are really computers in our pocket.  Some would say that they are quickly replacing what we traditionally called personal computers.

When it comes to productivity, our smartphones can save us a lot of time.  They can prevent wasted time and effort.  We can now get things done from almost anywhere.

How I Use My iPad to Get Work Done

Do you have have an iPad?

Do you use it for work?  Do you use it for fun?  Or both?

There has been interesting debate lately as to whether the iPad is more for consumption or for creation.  In other words, is it more for accessing media? (Surfing the web, watching movies, reading books)  Or can it truly be used to create content? (Do work, create documents, etc.)

I do believe that at the current time, it is better at consumption.  Much of this is by design and also due to a lack of productivity apps. However, the apps are catching up rapidly.  And it seems almost daily there is a new use for the iPad.

Today, I thought I would share some of the apps that I use to “get work done” on my iPad.

Best of Time Management Ninja

I have received several requests from readers for a list of TMN’s top posts.  So, I have added a “Best Of” page that contains what I consider my best posts.  (Not necessarily based on traffic).

You can check out the new “Best Of” page here.

Maybe you will discover an article that you missed.  Or perhaps, you will want to re-read one of your favorites.

Have a great weekend and enjoy!

Save Time and Stop Surfing With RSS

If you are like me, you sometimes find yourself spending too much time surfing the Internet.  Maybe you like car blogs or fashion websites, or as in my case, too much technology news.

RSS is a great way to minimize the time you spend surfing and to laser focus what you read.

However, you would be amazed how many people don’t use RSS or aren’t even aware of its usefulness.

What is RSS?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” I won’t try to give you the background of RSS, you can read about it on Wikipedia right here.

RSS provides a news feed or broadcast of the items posted on a website or blog. You can subscribe to these feeds so that website news and articles are delivered right to you.

Most sites have a simple link or button to allow you to subscribe to their RSS feed.  You can subscribe to TMN’s RSS feed here.

5 Things I Like About the iPhone 4

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What does the iPhone 4 have to do with productivity?  For me, quite a bit.

The iPhone 4 serves as my: Internet access, phone, camera, notepad, email, text messaging, GPS, video game, eBook reader, iPod, and more.

It is my one device.  I can do almost everything I need to do from it.

Recently, I upgraded from my 3GS to the new 4.  After using the phone for a week, I thought I would share my impressions.