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iPad for Business – What I Did to Fall in Love with it

ipad for business

I’ve been in Denmark during Easter and I just got back home. The vacation was fantastic, and my kids will be talking about it for months, that’s for sure. They’ve been to places like Legoland and Givskud zoo, places they’ve been watching on YouTube for a long time.

I want to tell you about two things I did during the vacation; one was writing a story about marketing with the focus on storytelling. This story is all fiction, and more or less like a short novel. I’m not finished yet, but I’m almost done with the outline and I have written most of the content. I’ll let you know more about it in a few days.

The other thing, is that I have been using my iPad a lot, and I discovered what I needed to do in order to fall in love with it.

iPad for business – What I did

I have been using my iPad for business for at least six months now, and to be honest with you, I haven’t been using it a lot. It seems that my kids have been using it more than me. But, I have been reading a lot about how other people are using it, and since I really enjoy using it, I wanted to find out how I can be using it in a more effective way and get used to using it for business.

What I did to finally start to use my iPad for business, was that I forced myself to use it every single day instead of using a laptop. Don’t get me wrong. I really love to use an iPad, but when it comes to business, I have been using my MacBook Pro a lot more. It comes naturally to me, since I’ve been using a laptop for many years.

I forced myself to use the iPad for business, and not use it to play games and reading news etc… that was what changed everything for me. I did it every day for seven days, and now I’m hooked. I know that I’ll be using it for business every single day from now on.

The reason I am so satisfied using my iPad for business, is because I’ve found some amazing apps.

Top 10 iPad Applications for Business

The iPad is tiny compared to my 17″ MacBook Pro, the screen is fantastic and the battery life is extraordinary. And it’s so easy and fun to use. I walk a lot, and instead of carrying my rather heavy laptop, I want to be able to use the iPad a lot more. That’s my motivation for using the iPad for business.

There are 10 iPad applications I use for business. Some of the applications are free and some of them are integrated, while a few of them are paid applications.

1. Adding notes and structuring them for business

I don’t use just one method to write notes. I use a MoleSkine notebook to write notes, and I use paper and napkins or whatever I can find. It all depends on where I am and what I’m doing. I also use Things on my iPhone. But, most of the time, I end up adding all my notes to Evernote. This way all my notes are in one place, and I can search them, and it’s a lot easier to use. Evernote is awesome on the iPad when you are using it for business. The notes looks great, and the screen is large and it’s very easy to structure them in a way that makes them easy to use.

2. Planning

I have been thinking about buying a jumbo wall calendar to do most of my planning. But at the moment, I’m using the calendar on my iPad. It works great, and it syncs with the calendar on my Mac and on my iPad. The large screen makes it so easy to get an overview and to add new meetings and plan tasks. I also combine it with the use of Things (it’s on my Mac and iPhone as well).

3. Email

I have to confess that I like my email on the iPad a lot better than on my computer. I use Sparrow as my e-mail client on my Mac, and it’s beautiful, but it’s something completely different about using the iPad for email. It’s like I can touch the email, grab it, and do things that it’s not possible to do on a computer. I know that this might sound weird, but it’s a different feeling. I use the built-in email client, and it’s just awesome.

4. Outlining

I love writing, and I have written a novel, and I’m currently writing a short fiction story about marketing and a serial killer. To outline the stories, I am using an app called MagicalPad. It’s the best outlining tool I have been using, it’s like a combination of mind maps and notes.

5. Writing

I haven’t been using my iPad to write complete blog posts or articles yet. But my guess is that I’ll be doing that fairly soon. I have written a lot on the iPad, but I always seems to be doing some of the writing on the iPad, but I’ll always finish the posts or the articles on my computer. On the other hand, I love writing on it, and I use iA Writer for all my writing.

6. Tasks and the to-do list

The iPad has a default notification center, and I have used it a few times. It works great, but I need to get a better overview of what I’m doing with all the different projects, so that’s why I’m currently using Things. I’m very satisfied with it, but I have been looking at a few others that I might try. To me, a system to handle my projects and to-do’s are very important. And, I’m always looking to improve the way I work.

7. Reading

The iPad is probably the best reading device I have ever used, well, maybe except for my Kindle. But I only use that to read books. I use the iPad to read blog posts, by using Reeder, and I add a lot of articles and blog posts to Instapaper to get an even better reading experience while I’m not online. And I have even downloaded the kindle app, so I can read my kindle books while I don’t have my kindle with me (I have previously written a post about how to find free kindle books).

8. Commenting on blog posts

I have discovered that by using Reeder for the ultimate way to read blog posts, I can also comment on blog posts via the iPad. It works great, and I do that a lot when I’m not at my computer. This makes it so much easier to read and comment while I’m on the bus, waiting for something, or whatever I’m doing (when I’m not working).

9. Social Media

I have been testing a lot of various social media managers, and I have ended up using HootSuite. I just love this manager, and the app for the iPad is brilliant. It helps me with all the various tasks I have regarding social media. I mostly use it for Twitter and Facebook. I have upgraded to the pro version, and I’m paying $5 a month.

10. Access to all my files

When I’m at meetings, I have discovered that no matter how prepared I am, I need to have access to my documents and various files. Just in case. I use dropbox and I have been using iCloud for Pages, Keynote and Numbers. So far, I haven’t had any problems at all, I have access to everything I need, no matter where I am and what I’ve been doing.

Do you use an iPad for business?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you using an iPad for business? If you are, what type of apps are you using and how are you using it? Let’s discuss it.



49 responses to “iPad for Business – What I Did to Fall in Love with it”

  1. Alexarrie says:

    You know iPad is actually a big help to me too and I agree with you that it can also help our business and everything we do easier and faster…

  2. Ruth Zive says:

    Great post Jens. I never use my iPad – my kids and my husband have full control. But I am obsessed with my MacBook and my iPhone. I’ve never really gotten the hang of Evernote – you need to give me a lesson maybe? I’m going to buy iAWriter – that’s perfect for me. LOVE LOVE LOVE Dropbox! And I prefer TweetDeck to HootSuite – why did you choose HootSuite? I’m curious why.

    • Hi Ruth,

      That’s like me. I used it a little in the beginning, then my kids took over and now I forced myself to use it every single day for seven days, and now I’m finally found that it’s a brilliant business tool 🙂

      iA Writer is awesome. I use it on my MacBook, iPhone and iPad, it syncs perfectly to icould so I can keep writing on the same document where ever I am and whatever device I am using.

      The reason I am using HootSuite over TweetDeck is not a choice really. I tested TweetDeck a long time ago and it was a great tool, a few months later I tested HootSuite and I like the interface and graphics better and I have been using it ever since 🙂

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Ruth, I prefer Hootsuite to Tweetdeck because you can link your personal and professional Facebook accounts to Hootsuite and post from your account (on your computer or iPad). Tweetdeck is just for Twitter. When I was on vacation last week, I scheduled my posts to publish on WordPress, then scheduled tweets and Facebook posts on Hootsuite. It’s a great tool to manage posts to both sites.

      • I actually didn’t know that TweetDeck was only for Twitter. Thanks a lot Carolyn 🙂

        I use HootSuite for both Twitter and Facebook, and I schedule posts and look at the stats (I have the pro version).

  3. Jazmine says:

    Use the iPad to facilitate a vocabulary race. Divide your students into teams and give each team an iPad. Instruct team captains to open the “Notes” application and list, alongside their teams, all the adjectives, verbs or nouns they can think of that relate to a certain topic within a certain period of time.

    • Hi Jazmine,

      That sounds like an awesome way to use the iPad. I have heard of teachers in Norway who have started to use the iPad in their teaching, but I haven’t heard of a vocabulary race.

      Thanks a lot for sharing.

  4. Catwoman says:

    Great article, I totally agree, iPad is really an effective tool in the mobile business. Since I have purchased my iPad 2, my life has been easier. I’m looking forward to my new 3rd gen. iPad:)

  5. Jeesica says:

    Hi Jens, Excellent post with Good list but believe me Ipad is even more than that whether its business, your kids education, Traveling and hotel booking. Just a small example is skype application that you can have a meeting with your clients anywhere, anytime. This is also true that people are using IPAD more as a status symbol 🙂

    • Hi Jeesica,

      Absolutely. The iPad can be used for so many different things. And I do use it for a lot more than business. But it was the business part where I had the most trouble doing, and it was the reason why I bought it 🙂

  6. Arlene says:

    For my business, teaching raw living vegan food prep, I use Paprika. Now my iPad is an essential tool in my kitchen and business!

  7. Adrienne says:

    That sounds great Jens but I don’t have an iPad. Heck, I just purchased my very first laptop last month. I know, I’m so behind the times with fancy technology gadgets. But I also don’t purchase anything I really do not need.

    I’ll venture out some day and get an iPad because they really do look so cool, convenient and compact. So happy to hear that you are loving yours.

    Congratulations…

    • Hey Adrienne,

      I’m not going to say that you have to buy an iPad, because you can probably manage your business fine without it, and I know that you are. But to me, an iPad has become the perfect travel companion, and it’s so much easier to bring it with me than my 17″ laptop, and it’s so much easier to use in meetings and on the bus/train.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by today, it’s always a pleasure to see your smiling face 🙂

  8. Marie says:

    I use my iPad pretty frequently for work but to be completely honest, sometimes I still prefer a laptop!

    • Jens P. Berget says:

      Hi Marie,

      I always prefer a laptop when it comes to writing. It’s so much easier to write on a physical keyboard (full size). But, when I haven’t brought my macbook with me, or if the space is small (like when I’m on a bus or on a train) I always prefer using an iPad. And there are so many brilliant apps for business, so I don’t have an excuse not to use it anymore 🙂

  9. Craig McBreen says:

    Hi Jens,

    I don’t have an iPad yet, but figure a MacBook Air, iMac and iPhone are enough 😉 Geez, what a fanboy, huh?

    I do love, love Evernote and use it all the time.

    Same with Dropbox.

    For writing I use WriteRoom, but that’s for the old school desktop and laptop. Can’t pull me away from those, … yet. Actually you now have me salivating for a tablet. Jens, man! 😉

    • Hey Craig,

      Your as much of a fanboy as me 🙂

      I’ll buy a new iMac in August, that’s when I’ll be moving in to an office (if everything goes as I’ve planned). I have been thinking about buying a MacBook Air, but I ended up with an iPad instead (and I already have a 17″ MacBook Pro, so I really didn’t need another laptop).

      I am also using WriteRoom from time to time, and iA Writer (and scrivener). I like to use various tools. The thing I really like about iA Writer is that I can underline words, add headlines etc.. to make things stand out a little when I write. I’m not sure if you can do that in WriteRoom (in the settings, since I’ve only been using it for plain text). And iA Writer has focus mode, that’s something I love using. Focus mode makes all the words blurry, except for the sentence you’re currently writing.

      Well, you need the iPad Craig 🙂

  10. Scott Williams says:

    Jens, good post. I’ve been an iPad use since it first came out and have transitioned from working primarily on my desktop to the iPad. Still take some notes by hand, but have found a few apps that may change that down the road.

    Based on reading your column, here are a few I think are worth a look:

    -If you like Reader, take a look at Feedly – it’s fantastic. Web and iOS versions.
    -A new, good multipurpose app (just released, promising, but needs some work) is Tapose – it’s modeled after the Courier concept.
    -You’re using Things which is solid, but you should take a look at Omnifocus (if you haven’t already)
    -Agree w/ you on Hootsuite and it’s only going to get better
    -I prefer Readability over Instapaper and Read it Later. It’s elegant and displays content more fluidly – easier to read. Downside is you can’t categorize your links. It’s an early stage app, so I”m sure they’ll add it in the future. iOS and desktop versions are available.
    -Mindjet and OmniGraffle are fantastic for mindmapping, diagramming and outlining
    -Definitely take a look at CloudOn, especially if you use Office apps. DropBox comes in handy here for storage/access.

    Two other apps I love are Storify and VIKTOR the Robot. Storify’s iPad app is fantastic. The VIKTOR app is really more for the iPhone but works on the iPad. If you shoot video for business (or personal), you’ll love it. It’s an absolutely amazing app.

    Take care.

    • Hi Scott,

      I have been looking at Omnifocus for a while, and I have thought about switching from Things.. but the price is high, especially if I want to use it on my Mac and my iPhone and iPad. That’s the only reason why I haven’t made the switch yet. I have read awesome reviews about it.

      Thanks a lot for your list of apps. I haven’t tested all of them, and I haven’t even heard of CloudOn 🙂

  11. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Very interesting article. I am fascinated by how you approached the iPad, almost like immersing yourself in a foreign language. I also notice a theme to your business apps. They’re all about organization. You’re very organized and methodical (I remember your post about the software program you use on your Mac that only lets you see the line you’re writing so you don’t get distracted by the rest of your text). I really admire how dedicated you are to organization and how well it works for you.

    When I think of the business apps I use, I think of EasySign, WorldCard Mobile, and Zite, as well as Dropbox and Evernote. I have Reeder and have used it, but didn’t realize that it was handy to comment on blogs. I will have to check that out.

    One thing I’ve found with the iPad is that working on blog posts is much easier within Safari than with any WordPress app I’ve used.

    Thanks for sharing these apps with us, Jens. I hope you take your new iPad out of the box soon and continue to enjoy it! 🙂

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I haven’t really thought about it, but you’re right, most of my apps are about organization 🙂

      I guess it might be because I’ve been starting my business, and I really want to feel that I’m in control, and my iPad has been a lot of help.

      I should have mentioned Zite. I’ve been reading a lot after you told me about it. Awesome app.

  12. Asma Khan says:

    Nice article Jens,

    I agree that the popularity of iPad are highly increase among internet marketer and online business owner but I think it’s doesn’t suite too student or normal people I have Ipad 3 but I didn’t use it in front of my laptop.

    • I use my MacBook Pro more than I use my iPad. But, I use them for different things. And I don’t carry my MacBook Pro with me as much as I used to.

      I use my laptop for most of the things I write, that’s for sure. But it all depends on where I am and what I’m doing. But I believe that it would fit me as a student, especially when it comes to reading and taking notes.

  13. Karen Loomis says:

    When I got mine for Christmas in 2010 I had no idea I could find so many business uses. I take it to meetings, presentations, etc & take notes using Evernote. I recently wrote my blogs on the iPad, even considering I’m a fantastic typer. I’ve read so many books on iBooks I’m beginning to think I joined the Summer Reading Program. I do all my Internet research, etc in my favorite arm chair vs at my computer. participate in all Tweet chats & only ever tweet from my iPad! It’s a love fest, but what can I say.

    • That’s awesome. Do you type long blog posts on your iPad without using an external keyboard? I haven’t done that yet. I mostly outline my posts, and write some, and finish them on my laptop.

      • Karen Loomis says:

        I tend to write the quick free flow ideas from my head w/out a keyboard on my iPad, but edit & expand in Word on my desktop. But I love the accessibility & flexibility of using my iPad anywhere anyhow when an idea hits vs having to go to my computer. I even wrote about 500 words on my iPhone in bed at 2am one night when the idea kept swirling in my head. I was just going to write down the general idea, but kept going. Can you say Carpal Tunnel???

        • Wow, 500 words on your iPhone, that’s awesome. I haven’t written anything close to that 🙂

          I write a lot on my iPhone and iPad, but usually nothing more than 100 – 200 words. I sync it to my laptop and finish the writing there.

  14. Thanks for the useful post, Jens!

    Lately, I have been thinking about buying a new laptop or iPad or the Kindle Fire (The reason is that my old laptop is getting more worse that it used to be). I have been thinking Kindle Fire as my primary option because it is much cheaper than others (but your post did give me some hints about buying iPad).

    Anyways, thanks for the post. I am glad that iPad was made your work better 🙂

    • I have been thinking about the same, but ended up with the new iPad. I’ll buy a new Mac in August, because that’s when I’ll be renting an office, and my MacBook Pro is getting really old 🙂

  15. Dr. Bob Clarke says:

    This is such a timely post for me, Jens. I’ve been debating back and forth on whether to buy an iPad for business, and you’ve just given me 10 great reasons to consider it.

    I appreciate this post, thanks for writing it!

    • I love mine, and I’m always finding new ways to use it. I’ve been reading most of the books on my kindle, now that I’ve downloaded the Kindle app for my iPad, I have discovered that I can keep reading the same books on the iPad, and it will sync with the Kindle, so I’ll always be on the same page no matter which device I’m using. That’s brilliant.

  16. Thanks a lot for the feedback 🙂

  17. James M says:

    I’ve been using my iPad for writing and work more and more these days. Some of my favourite apps: Grazing (browsing), Byword (writing in Markdown), Evernote (organization), and Flipboard (reading Twitter/RSS).

    I found typing to be a bit frustrating for me so I started looking at keyboards and cases for the iPad. Here’s the review of my current favourite: http://bit.ly/IWTzqM

    Glad to see someone else is doing more work on the iPad. It’s a great device.

  18. Andrew says:

    very interesting post, i am slowly considering to get myself an ipad but i am still not sure, my friend has an ipad and he praises it, so maybe it is a good idea and it would help me with work.thanks for sharing this post with us.

    • Hey Andrew,

      I love my iPad, in fact I have just written my first blog post on the iPad. It took me a while to finish it, but it was worth it. Right now, my iPad is probably my best business tool 🙂

      But, it’s a fairly expensive tool…

  19. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Jens,

    I don’t have an iPad yet and I’m not sure if I will buy one though.

    I’m actually trying to get less stuff to run my business and I definitely can’t imagine myself carrying a big camera, smart phone, laptop, iPad, video stand, etc, etc.

    I may get one, I’m just not sure but I know they can be a HUGE help for running an online business.

    Just make sure you don’t install Angry Birds or you’ll never do anything productive again LOL

    Sergio

  20. What is SEO says:

    I use it on my MacBook, iPhone and iPad, it syncs perfectly to icould so I can keep writing on the same document where ever I am and whatever device I am using.

  21. dribbling the ball says:

    This is a great news for us, esp. to the people who wants to have a iPad. Thanks for sharing this very interesting article and very informative.

  22. Lorenzo says:

    I also use Dropbox to keep files synchronized across various devices. I’ve also added 1Password which stores its data in Dropbox. This lets me quickly login to various websites and services from different devices.

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