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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?