Home Icon
ipad-productivity

How to be more productive with your iPad

By Valens Quinn | 4:50 pm 10/10/2012

Tablets, such as the iPad, are often described as ‘consumption’ devices. This is because it’s easy to ‘consume’ content on them: think reading web pages, watching videos or tracking social networking feeds.

But what about when you need to get some work done, like replying to a pile of emails, editing a spread sheet or making a presentation?

Let’s be honest, it can be tricky to be productive on an iPad, and anyone who has tried to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch on one knows exactly what I mean. The good news is that there are plenty of tools and apps that can help turn your iPad into a handy workhorse, which might just help get you out of the office a little more often.

Get a keyboard

The onscreen keyboard is probably the biggest barrier to doing some serious work on the iPad. It’s good for writing the odd email or typing in a web address, but to truly transform your iPad into productivity tool, you’ll need a keyboard.

There are quite a few Bluetooth keyboard cases that connect wirelessly to your iPad and double-up as a case protector. Our favourite is the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad (below); it’s a very slim QWERTY keyboard that attaches via magnets and doubles as stand and screen cover when not in use.

If you want something even lighter, try out the iKeyboard for iPad. This is super thin, and uses nifty little bubble-like membranes for keys. These are within a stiff plastic frame which uses a special non-adhesive material on its underside to attach directly onto the iPad’s screen. Its simply peels on and off, without leaving any sticky residue.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad: $99.95
iKeyboard for iPad: $39.95

Filing

One of the drawbacks of the iPad’s operating system is that there is no dedicated file manager. This makes it difficult to transfer and store files that you may want to work on, such as a Word document. Thankfully, there are some great cloud-based tools that can help.

Dropbox, for example, gives you a place to copy and store your files on the internet, which can then be accessed by lots of different devices, such as an iPad, iPhone, Android-based device, PC or Mac computer.

So if you’re writing a document on your PC, for example, and need to run to your next meeting, you can store it on your Dropbox folder ‘in the cloud’ and then access it on the road via the Dropbox app on your iPad.

Download Dropbox for iPad from the Apple App Store.

Presenting

Presenting on an iPad is certainly possible. If you’ve created your presentation in PowerPoint on your computer, you can email or Dropbox it to your iPad, which should then allow you to open it. Bear in mind that some animations may not work, so it’s best to test this beforehand.  Also, if you have Apple’s Keynote app, you can even edit your PowerPoint slides while you’re on the go.

When you’re visiting a client, you can either use the iPad’s display to present your slides or connect your iPad to a projector with a video adaptor.  Since not all projectors use the same video connection, it’s safest to carry a couple of different types of connectors – and you can buy all of them at the Apple store. This includes a 30-pin to VGA connector, 30-pin to DVI and 30-pin to HDMI.

Apple Digital AV adaptor: $45
Apple VGA adaptor: $35

Pages: 1 2

Latest reviews

  • Oppo’s $529 mid-range metal smartphone reviewed

    With phones hitting well and truly past the thousand dollar mark, the mid-range is now the attractive area to price a device, and with a tag of $529 outright…
  • Review: Sony NW-A25 Walkman

    Not everyone wants to use a phone for media playback, and so the Apple iPod still gets buyers, but what if you’re after high-res audio?
  • Review: Apple MacBook Air 11 inch (2015)

    One of the few Macs we haven’t reviewed in a while, it’s time to check out Apple’s baby of the bunch before what we expect will be a 2016…
  • AppMonday: Playground

    Making music can be an awesomely fun exercise, but it's not something we all have the mindset for. If you're into playful electronica, however, Playground makes it possible to…
  • Review: HTC Desire 520

    Whenever we hear the word “cheap” associated with a phone, we hit the deck, preparing ourselves for the onslaught of something awful. Can HTC’s Desire 520 shake us from…
  • Review: Toshiba Satellite Click 10

    When you can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet, the hybrid might be the answer, and if you’re on a budget, Toshiba’s Click 10 offers up something that…
  • Review: HP Spectre x2

    Not quite a Surface, but still something close, HP's Spectre x2 is one interesting machine, and worth checking out if you're keen to see a tablet with all the…
  • Review: Sol Republic Shadow wireless earphones

    There’s nothing quite like being liberated from the cables that wired earphones rely on, but often the prices of wireless earphones don’t match up to the performance. Fortunately, Sol’s…
  • Review: Acer Predator 17

    Not every PC should be treated the same, and Acer's Predator 17 looks to prove it, skipping past the slim and minimalistic design most laptops features these days, opting…
  • AppMonday: Star Trek - Timelines

    Shock horror: the latest “Star Trek” game isn’t so much a game, but rather an excuse to let Star Trek fans let go of money for a freemium title…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More