4 Really Useful Business Uses and Apps for the iPad

I was very delighted to receive an Ipad as a gift this Christmas.  It was totally unexpected – and so being a traditional BlackBerry gal – (not an iphoner) so my journey with apps began.ipad image Whenever I mention to anyone that ‘I’ve got an ipad’ – a common response is ‘wow – but what do you use it for?’.

It would seem that from an aesthetics viewpoint, people want an iPad – but there definitely seems to be some level of confusion as to what they are used for.

I have to say, this was my own view prior to owning one too.

I’ve tweeted to my followers ‘Please share great iPad apps – but as yet – the only responses have been from other iPad owners saying ‘Ooh yes – please let me know of any useful ones too’.

I am using my iPad in a number of ways – both for business and personal.  So I thought it would be useful to share some of the apps – and ways that I’m using the iPad for business.  And perhaps – this blog post will encourage others to share their apps and uses too.

1)  Reading web articles – offline

If you are anything like me – you subscribe to useful blogs and feeds and so receive a large number of article links each day.  I have an ever growing folder in my outlook titled ‘Articles to Read’ – where I store these articles with the intention of reviewing each week.  However, the more than come, the more that get added to this folder – where wise, inspiring and informative words sit and wait to be aired.

Of course, when I’m on a train or tube, this is the perfect time to be reviewing such articles – however, there’s no wireless connection and so viewing links is a bit scuppered.

That’s where App no 1 comes in – GoodReader.  Very simply – you copy the url of the article into Goodreader and it creates and stores the html page as text or pdf page (dependent how the page has been set up) – and so viewable to read offline wherever, and whenever.

There’s another App that I’m testing too – Isaveweb – which again, does the same job as Goodreader but ‘says’ you can store up to 3 links deep for each article.  Haven’t tested it yet – but will do and report back.

Goodreader is great – however, I get a lot of articles from Hubspot and for some reason their articles don’t translate into Goodreader – so I’ve emailed them to query – so again, will report back in a later post.

So Goodreader, by large, is proving to be very useful indeed.  Really helping me to keep on top of my reading.

2) Pages – Word for Ipads

So I’ve read the article and I’ve been inspired by a section – and I now want to create a new blog post.  Very simply – I can copy a section of the article I’m reading in Goodreader and copy – and then open my Pages app.  Pages is effectively a ‘wordpressor’ for Ipads – it’s got some great templates and the ‘How to use Pages’ guide is very neat indeed. The app is very simple to use – and you can create either a plain doc or use one of the predetermined templates.

It’s really helping me to keep on top of my blogging – and I have a number of blog posts now on the go that I can simply get to whilst I’m on the train or tube.

3)  Dragon dictation – simply speak and it dictates

Of course, another means for blogging and indeed tweeting is via a very neat little app – Dragon dictation.  The more you use it the more accurate it gets – and again, it’s very simple to use.  For those that find typing on touchscreen keypads a little annoying (have to say I’m becoming fonder of this the more I do it) – then talking into your iPad and getting this app to do most of the typing fingerwork is an ideal solution.  You can then edit any discrepencies – and voila – it’s all there.  You can email the finished doc, save it etc – and there’s even an option to tweet it.   Very clever – and as I said, the more the app gets used to your voice, the more accurate it becomes.

4) Penultimate – sketch, doodle, ideas on the go

When I’m in a meeting taking notes – I tend not to write but to draw pictures and my own versions of mind maps – boxes and squares linking different elements etc.  I understand what’s going on – and given that I’m often talking about website planning and usability – and hierarchy of messaging etc – then typing out notes doesn’t really work.  I need that pen and paper to draw and sketch and lay things out.  This is where the Penultimate app comes into play. It effectively enables you to use your iPad as a pen and paper so that you can do whatever you want to do.  You can save your sketches in folders – and email PDF versions to others – so that they too can share your layouts and doodles.  I’ve only recently started experimenting with this app – and so far so good. I can see that it’s going to make a big difference and save me having to scan in my notebook pages to share and communicate ideas and layouts with colleagues.  Instead, I’ve simply been emailing them a PDF of my sketches.

It’s only been a few weeks – and already the iPad is definitely making a difference. My children are hooked on Boggle and Pac Man, and I’ve also set them competitions with the Explore Maths App! (Don’t call me a pushy mother or anything!).  My husband spends far too many hours flying jets via X-Plane – and I’ve got my Simply Relax meditations fixed to bring some ‘quiet’ into my life.

I’m looking forward to learning about more Apps that assist with business productivity and generally make that part of my life simpler – so if you’re aware of any, do let me know.

So...what’s your favourite iPad App?  And why?  Do share…

Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - covering social media marketing and website planning and website design.

For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog

MarketingMichelle Carvill