How to be more productive with your iPad

Mail, Calendar, Contacts

Many large companies use Microsoft’s Exchange Server to provide email, contacts and calendar systems for their employees, and you can also tap into this information on your iPad using the built-in Mail, Calendar and Contacts apps.

You’ll probably need to speak to your company’s IT manager to get the Exchange Server settings, but from there it’s fairly straightforward.

Just press ‘Add Account’ from the Mail, Contact Calendar section in your Settings and follow the prompts.

The iPad also supports similar mail systems such as Google’s Gmail, and there’s Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL and POP-based mail support too.

Staying connected

Having a constant connection to the internet is a must if you’re going to rely on using your iPad for work. This means you can still get a bit done while you’re waiting at the airport, on a bus, or even at the beach – or wherever you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection.

A good option is to buy a 12-month pre-paid SIM. Telstra offers a 12-month, 1GB per month pre-paid plan for $180, which should be plenty of data for most purposes, and you don’t need to remember to recharge every month.

If you don't have use an active mobile SIM in your iPad or have one of the WiFi only options, consider turning your phone into a mobile hotspot when you need to go online.

Telstra 3GB iPad Starter Kit: $30
Upgrade to 12 months / 12 GB Telstra pre-paid plan: $180

Productivity apps

Apple has its own suite of productivity apps – Pages, Numbers and Keynote – and these will allow you to open Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.

If you want to branch out a bit, there are plenty of other handy tools available through the Apple App Store that can give you a productivity boost. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • MagicalPad – great for brainstorming ideas into flowcharts. $4.99
  • OmmWriter for iPad – helps you relax and try to collect thoughts while you’re writing. $4.99
  • Notability – Good for meetings because it can record notes directly with what’s being said. $0.99
  • Consolidate your news feeds into one place with Flipboard, Pulse, Google Currents, Early Edition. Free
Notability records audio while you're typing, allowing you to later on listen to what you heard when you typed the notes.