The iPad productivity guide

More people than ever are using their iPads to be productive. This short report shares some of the best hardware, software and tips to help get the most out of Apple's tablet.

The iPad productivity guide

Hardware

Apple Wireless keyboard (variable)

If you're not tempted by a case/keyboard solution, then an Apple Wireless keyboard is for you. Got a long message, email or document to write? Use a keyboard you're familiar with from working on your Mac.

External storage

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive lets you store some of your files off of your iPad which you can then access using Wi-Fi.

Nimblstand ($56.99)

The lightweight Nimblstand works with an Apple Wireless keyboard and your iPad. It holds your tablet in horizontal and landscape positions and includes the incredibly useful Wacom Bamboo stylus, which lets you write notes and draw sketches using the accompanying Bamboo app.

Software

This basic collection forms a strong starting point for iPad productivity.

Office for iPad

Pages, Keynote, Numbers

Apple's free Office equivalents let you edit most Office documents on your iPad. Great for light use, but if you work extensively with such documents, consider an Office 365 subscription.

Dropbox

Most people already use Dropbox, as it's a great way to share files. The biggest problem with the service seems to be the presence of Condoleeza Rice on the company board. (or use Google Drive).

Side by Side

This free and feature-packed solution lets you run up to four apps in the same window.

OmniFocus ($19.99), Mindly (free)

These mind-mapping apps will help you develop projects and tasks. OmniFocus is wildly popular, but I do like Mindly.

iZip Pro

This lets you work with zipped files and archives on your iPad.

Taking notes

I use the Wacom Bamboo stylus and Bamboo Paper app to write notes and draw images using a virtual notebook. For more flexibility, try Notability. Finally there's Evernote, which lets you work with notes, photos, voice memos and more.

iXpenseIt

iXpenseIt is a handy way to track your business-related spending.

GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx Meetings

So many enterprises use these it makes sense to install them.

iAnnotate PDF,($9.99) DocuSign Ink

These two apps help you work collaboratively with PDFs on your iPad, enabling editing and signature of such documents.

Presence (App is free but you need to spend $40)

Presence makes the contents of your Mac available to your iOS devices (and shareable with others). It pays for itself the first time it helps you clinch that deal.

Also read: 10 great apps and services for boosting your business

5 productivity tips

Organize

Sick of swiping through pages of apps to find the ones you need? Why not put all the productivity apps you use inside a folder, or group them together on a single page to make them easier to find.

Shortcuts

Create shortcuts for regularly used phrases. Navigate to Settings>General>Keyboard and create a series of shortcuts for these -- particularly useful for iPad users in the legal, medical or architectural professions.

Do Not Disturb

Use the Do Not Disturb setting in Control Center to get peace when you're in a meeting, but use the Allow Calls From setting in Settings>Do Not Disturb to ensure you don’t miss anything essential.

Scrolling

To scroll to the top of a page just tap the black title bar at the top of the display.

VIP

Assign VIP status to contacts you need to hear from: family, close friends, colleagues, partners -- you'll be alerted when you receive emails from these people and the messages will be easier to find.

I hope these suggestions help you become more productive with your iPad. You may also want to explore these reports:

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are 

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