I never thought I would say this, but Apple, you got it right with the iPad.  I was a non-believer at first, never going gaga over the iPhone, iMac, or Macbook.  I was like everyone else, calling it a “bigger” iTouch or iPhone.  It just wasn’t my thing, being a loyal PC owner.  Maybe it was just my Generation X nature of rebellion or my complete ignorance to the big picture.  However, this has all changed with my recent acquisition of an iPad.

What Has Shifted:
As a self proclaimed uber-Geek, I thought I had all the technology I needed was my Droid X and Asus laptop.  Add a desktop computer at work and home and I realize how blessed I am to have the type of access I have.  However, over the last few weeks of using the iPad, I’ve realized that it offers a great compliment to these devices.  Something that is portable, lightweight, and powerful enough to replace one of my all time favorite work items: my padfolio.

You all have seen these in meetings, whether you use one or not.  I can’t tell you the amount of paper I have gone through over the years using this, not to mention the handouts I collect and never look at again or simply file away.  Now, I can be more efficient AND green by using the iPad. I take it to meetings and use the PenUltimate App with my Targus Stylus and take notes as if I was using paper.  At the end of the meeting, I can export it to PDF and email it to the meeting participants all with a few taps.  If someone hands out a document, I ask them to email a copy of it and boom, it’s on my iPad via email which I can then transfer to my DropBox so I have access to it whenever I may need it.

And, with WiFi networks around me at home, Bridgewater State, or through my Droid X, I’m as connected as I need to be.

iPad’s Awesomeness
1.  HD in Your HanD – It is like I’m holding my own High Definition piece of happiness. All the pictures, text, and video jump out at you in a way that just draws you in.  I have always thought that the iPhone 4’s screen clarity was fantastic, but multiply that times 5 and you have this amazing picture in your hands.

2.  Casual Productivity – The iPad has become the perfect tool for casual productivity. When I am working on things like email or connecting on social media, having a laptop open or sitting at my desk have been my main options.  With the iPad, I can now casually work and get those things accomplished without having to power up either device (and, it’s a lot more fun doing it!)  If I have to write a longer report or blogpost, I can still use the laptop, but if I get a bluetooth keyboard, those days may be numbered.

Favorite iPad Apps (So Far!)
– Penultimate or Note Taker HD: Great for capturing handwriting for notes, drawings, etc. Exports to PDF.
QuickOffice: Great for converting Microsoft Office file formats and editing them!
Evernote: Great for capturing quick ideas between the laptop/desktop and syncing with the iPad!
DropBox: 2 GB for free cloud storage for sync files between. Like having a virtual USB key!
iAnnotate PDF: Simple and elegant way to view and edit PDFs. Very, very useful!
Kindle: Reading books on the iPad is fantastic, and with the integration of the dictionary at the tap of the word, combined with Google and Wikipedia quick searches, I’ve found myself wanting to read more! (Bonus: Since I have the Kindle App for my Droid X, when I read a book on the iPad and bookmark a page, I can open the app on my Droid and pick up where I just left off. So cool!)
FileMaker Go: A powerful mobility database app.  I used it to create student duty logs, managing inventory, creating a student employee time clock, and record usage statistics in my role at the Campus Center.  Feel free to take a copy of the OnDuty database that I use daily at work (username/password: sachat/sachat)

Social Networking
Osfoora HD:
My favorite Twitter app for the iPad hands down. I think it’s even better than the newly added Twitter for iPad app.
Social: My favorite Facebook app for the iPad for sure. Until Facebook releases an official iPad app, this one is the best.
Flipboard: Without question, my favorite app on the iPad. It turns your Social Networks, Twitter Lists, etc. into a magazine format and makes reading your friends updates and tweets in a new, engaging way. I have opened more links because they are previewed in such a creative way.  If you get the iPad just to use this app, I would understand.

Other Apps I Love So Far: Netflix, Words With Friends HD (Scrabble type game), ABC Player, Epicurious (recipes/cooking), Zinio (magazines), Harbor Master (sailing game),  Veggie Samurai (pure awesomeness), Osmos HD (a relaxing mind bending game… think yoga for your brain) & of course Angry Birds HD (insanely addicting)!

Bonus Apps (if you have young kinds): 123 Color HD (Virtual Coloring Books), ABC Writing (practicing letters and numbers), and Fish HD (just fun).

Finally, you can sync your music and video content from iTunes and have that media at your fingertips as well (watching video content on this device is very cool!).

Overall, the iPad has shifted the way I stay productive and is something that I highly recommend you put on your wish list!

For those who have an iPad, what are your app recommendations? How do you use your iPad for Productivity? What paradigms have been shifted for you?  For those who don’t have an iPad, do you want one? Why or Why Not?


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