Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rethinking Your WorkFlow with the iPad

I have been using the iPad for the past 6 weeks or so and learning the ins and outs of this innovative and portable tool. I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that I am beginning to think differently about how I access, create and store my information. While not exactly a "digital native" I still prefer to read paper based books and magazines but I see myself beginning to shift as I load more and more of my PDF's into iBook and read them at my leisure. I keep my iPad in my bureau next to the bed and have access to it whenever I need it. I have recently begun to read the PDF's that I have loaded and love the fact that many of them have embedded URL's which link to the internet for more information. Being able to zoom in on the text has been really fantastic and makes it a lot easier for me to read the text. The iPad screen is nice and bright and makes reading a really enjoyable experience. Just this past week I received a notice to renew my subscription to PC Magazine and I was offered a two year digital subscription for about 63 cents an issue. Having an iPad made this an easy decision to make and as I subscribe to other magazines I can see the trend to move all my subscriptions to the digital format. Prior to having the iPad I would not have thought twice about purchasing a digital subscription to a magazine. I have found over the years that reading on a Mac or PC is cumbersome and I would often print out longer documents. However, with the iPad this is a real game changer for me, as I look to move more of my magazine subscriptions to a digital format.

The software companies that understand the essence of the iPad know that users want the total experience of being able to access their documents and synchronize information in the cloud.
Over the past couple of weeks I come to learn the value of being able to store information and synchronize my data. I have been using iThoughtHD a mind mapping app on my iPad to do more of my work and really enjoy the ability to be able to export my mind maps to Box.net in many common mind mapping formats that I can access from my desktop mind mapping applications. The integration is seamless and really delivers the user extra value. The same can be said for ToDo for iPad, a task management app that seamlessly integrates with Toodledo on the web withthe touch of an synchronize icon. Moving forward I can see developers are beginning to think about the integration from the desktop computer to the web that can then be accessed with an iPad.

Just this past week MindMeister released MindMeister for the iPad which synchronizes with their cloud based mind mapping application. It is exciting to how companies are beginning to build iPad applications that either act as a go between or as a way to synchronize the information that lives in different applications. As an example FileMaker, this week released FileMaker Go, a iPad and iPhone app that allows users on the go to query and modify their databases that were created on the desktop with FileMaker Pro. I can remember back to the days when FileMaker released a version of FileMaker for the Palm platform that gave you similar functionality. It is certainly exciting to see all of these developments and makes you rethink your work-flow and how you will harness the information you need- wherever and whenever. I would be interested in learning how tools like the iPad are making you rethink your work-flow. Please post your comments below- it would be great to get your thoughts on this topic.

 
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