Did you get a fancy new iPad for Christmas or have one that you want to harness for a little more power? Here are five skills that everyone should learn to maximize their iPad:
Cloud sync your Calendar – The Calendar Application is key to maximizing your productivity on iPad. Learn how to sync that calendar to the cloud using your Exchange Server, Google Calendar, or iCloud. If you don’t like the layout of Apple’s Calendar, try one of the various third party apps such as Fantastical ($1.99). Cloud syncing will keep your Calendar up to date on all of your devices (computer, phone, and tablet) without having to think about it.
- Download an eBook Reader – Yes, I am a bibliophile and love physical books. However, eBooks have their benefits: you can take dozens (even hundreds) of books everywhere you go, minimize paper weight & transport costs (for the ecologically minded), enjoy large type books without buying large type books, take advantage of free books (many of the classics are entirely free or very inexpensive), and enjoy chapter samples of books before you purchase them. There are numerous options, the most popular are iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook reader. No need for new hardware and all of these applications are free! If you have a smart phone, you can even read across platforms (it will sync across devices via the cloud).
Download a Cloud Storage application – The Cloud allows you to access documents anywhere at any time. The cloud is here and is an amazing productivity tool. Now you aren’t stuck on the subway without access to an important file that’s on your work machine. Instead you can have the most recent, up to date versions of documents and files right on your iPad (again without manually syncing). Check out DropBox and Google Drive (both free).
- Learn to Annotate PDF’s on your iPad – PDFs have become ubiquitous documents. iPad will allow you to annotate PDFs (highlight, make notes, and even edit them). Learning how to annotate PDFs will allow you to increase productivity. Some of my favorite (and most robust applications) include iAnnotate, PDF Expert 5, and PDF Pen Pro.
- Include something fun – Don’t be all work and no play! Check out a game (Angry Birds, Knights of the Old Republic, and many more), download a video streaming application (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, to name a few).
iPads are a powerful tool to enhance your studies and productivity at work. Devote some time to increasing your abilities on this tool and it will pay off!