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E-Tools

Increasing Business Productivity with Your iPad

A look at several key ways your iPad can increase your productivity away from the office.

In today’s world, many professionals, including in the tax and accounting profession, use an iPad as part of their daily business practice. While the iPad can be an invaluable business tool, it is important to remember that it is not a replacement for your laptop or desktop computer, says Andrew Rouse, Senior Manager at Blackman Kallick’s Insurance Practice, an audit, tax and consulting services firm.

Rouse recently wrote an article on the subject for his firm’s blog, in which he gave an overview of many of the advantages that tablets offer.

Understanding the iPad’s strengths and using the right apps will help maximize its potential. Generally, the iPad runs fast and has a long battery life, making it a great alternative to your laptop or desktop when portability is key.

“I travel a lot, meeting with clients and the iPad’s slim design and light weight allow me to take it everywhere without weighing me down,” wrote Rouse.

The ability to take the iPad everywhere is a major benefit to many professionals. It allows them to perform the following business functions and tasks outside of the office without losing productivity. Here are some of the specific capabilities Rouse noted:

  • Many applications, such as Evernote, allow users to take notes on their iPad and sync them to the Cloud, making the notes accessible on almost any device that can access the internet. Another company, Zagg, makes Bluetooth keyboards that double as cases, making it even easier to take notes on an iPad.
  • Numerous apps, such as GoodReader and iAnnotate, exist in the App Store that allow you to view documents, write commentary on a PDF document, and send them to others. There are also third-party cloud apps, such as Dropbox or SugarSync, that work with the PDF readers.
  • Remote desktop apps like Gotomypc, Splashtop, Logmein and Screens, make it possible for professionals to access their computers remotely using an active internet connection. Another app called Citrix Receiver is available for companies that have a Citrix server. This app also allows users to use their iPhone as a wireless track pad.
  • The iPad can be used for a number of tasks including email, browsing the web, staying organized and staying connected with your social networks. Dual-display apps, such as Air Display for Macs and MaxiVista for PCs, allow users to extend or clone their desktop onto their iPad.
  • Professionals can choose to download documents before a flight for continued productivity when wifi isn’t available. The iPad also meets users’ music, movie and TV needs with apps like iTunes, Azul, Netflix, Hulu+, Comcast’s Xfinity, ESPN and ABC. News apps like Flipboard and Zite helps users stay up-to-date on current events, by pushing news stories to the iPad based on the user’s preferences. In addition, numerous magazines and newspapers either have their own app or are available for download.

There are countless apps and features to enhance the iPad experience. Using your iPad in conjunction with, as opposed to in place of, your work computer will help you increase your iPad’s productivity and efficiency.

“Instead of work/life balance, you will be practicing work/life integration,” says Rouse.

More iPad tips and additional articles and publications are available on Blackman Kallick’s website.