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Productivity with Tablets: Paradox or Reality?

Productivity with Tablets: Paradox or Reality?

No one can deny it. In 2010 we saw that the idea of a tablet computer take hold with the iPad. Consumers love the idea of using a tablet to watch video, browse the web, read e-books, and of course just use Facebook. But, even with all of those consumption actions there is a hint of making yourself more productive with an always-on, always available device.

The iPad is a phenom really, and it has been chosen by consumers as the tablet to get right now. Mostly because they don’t really have a compelling choice of anything else. Because of this adoption of the iPad, this article will concentrate on the idea of being productive with the iPad rather than another tablet, but really it could be applied to any tablet-based form-factored device.

The question: is the iPad just a consumption device or can we actually use this thing to make ourselves more productive?

The Window into Your World

One of the best things about the tablet form factor is that it provides the user with a bunch of screen real estate that their smartphones can’t and the portability that their laptops lack. This allows for viewing information and media to become something enjoyable and easy as opposed to something annoying on a small form-factored device.

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      The extra screen space gives the user an expansive view into their data. With the extra screen size, developers can take advantage of newer ways to interact with the apps they create. For instance in the stock Mail app for the iPad, users have the ability so view their inbox or selected folder on the left while they read their email on the right. This essentially doubles your perspective giving you an easier interface to use.

      The idea of a larger screen only works if the productivity apps you use take advantage of it. Some of the best iPad productivity apps that exploit screen real estate are the stock Mail, Calendar, Contact apps, as well as apps like Toodledo, Omnifocus, Goodreader, Dropbox, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and Evernote.

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      The Input Dilemma

      I remember watching the live blog on Engadget when the iPad was initially released and seeing Mr. Jobs’ hands tip-tapping away on the landscape on-screen keyboard. I also remember thinking to myself, “there is no way I could ever be productive that way!” Well, I have to say I was partially right.

      Input on the iPad, to put it bluntly, is a drag. For short replies and quick edits to documents it works fine, but if you need to pound out an essay for school, proposal for work, or even just a nice email to your mother, the onscreen keyboard just doesn’t do it.

      There are two arguments to this:

      1. The iPad isn’t made more input. It’s a consumption device.

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      I can’t stand this remark. If the iPad was a “consumption” device as so many tech pundits suggest, then why would Apple release a keyboard stand to go with their device? Which brings us to the second argument…

      2. You can always get the iPad keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard.

      This argument makes more sense, but in practice destroys the portability of the iPad. That is if you have to carry the keyboard around with you. I opted for this solution but found after months of experimenting, the bluetooth keyboard just sits at home.

      So, the input dilemma is very real on the iPad and any other tablet sized device. What I have found that is after getting acclimated to the iPad, that input isn’t as irritating as it used to be. I wouldn’t go out and right the next great American novel on the thing, but for simple task, calendar, email, and notes entry, the iPad works OK.

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      At Long Last

        There is no way you can be productive with a device if it’s battery dies half way through the day. Luckily, with a device like the iPad you don’t have to worry about this at all. It feels weird to say that a device gets unbelievable battery life, but it’s true; the iPad, if used intermittently can get you anywhere from one full day to almost a week on battery.

        This is something to definitely take into consideration when purchasing an iPad or any tablet device for that matter. Just how long does that battery last? I believe that the iPad has set the gold bar for battery life on a device this size that performs this well. I couldn’t now imagine using another tablet that gets less battery life than it, as I use my iPad for reviewing projects and email constantly throughout the day.

        Conclusion

        So, how does the iPad stack up as a productivity tool?

        With its awesome battery life, screen real estate giving you a large window into your data while being portable, and being better than OK at inputting data, the iPad shows us that it isn’t only for consuming content, it can be used to organize and make available your data to you at any time.

        Although the iPad is great for reviewing and organizing your data, it still lacks in the area of actually creating things. As more and more tablet devices start shipping this year, it will be interesting to see what manufacturers come up with to correct this problem with content creation on the tablet form factor. But, for standard review of documents, quick edits, list organization, email, and information review, the tablet form factor is extremely promising and may just end up making your more productive over time.

        More by this author

        CM Smith

        A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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        Published on June 19, 2019

        Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back

        Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back
        Pause for a moment and think about how you would describe success.

        If your description is dominated by money or status, then your image of success is faulty.

        For example, there are countless people who have these assets but don’t feel successful. Some of these people have enormous amounts of disposable income, but work so many hours during the day that they have no life beyond their work.

        Would you regard these people as successful?

        At first glance, I likely wouldn’t.

        And, then there are the endless celebrities who go from fame to failure (think bankruptcy, addictions and worse).

        Are they successful?

        Probably not.

        In truth, success is about happiness and fulfillment in life.

        But, there is more than one definition of success. Just look at the above example of the person who worked too hard to spend their money. If they’re happy with their life, then we shouldn’t criticize their version of success.

        So how about you? Do you have a clear definition of what success looks like for you?

        If you don’t, you’ll be constantly chasing someone else’s idea of success, and could find yourself totally unfulfilled and miserable.

        The good news is that over the next few minutes, I’m going to give you the tools you need to build a crystal clear picture of YOUR SUCCESS.

        Positive Thinking

        With the right attitude, anything can seem possible.

        For instance, if you’re fed up with your job, but do nothing to change it, then you’ll likely be stuck there for years to come. But, if you see the job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better, then not only will you enjoy your work more, but you’ll have something positive to aim towards (e.g., a promotion or new job).

        The example above demonstrates a little-known factor of success… suffering!

        Yes, suffering may be a negative thing that most people go out of their way to avoid; but successful people use suffering as a springboard to big achievements. Mindset really does separate the losers from the winners.

        Another thing you can do, is to gradually build up your positivity and confidence by tracking your progress towards your goals. And, each time you accomplish something – however small – be sure to celebrate it!

        This is a great way to propel you towards success.

        The Purpose of a Purpose

        What is your purpose in life?

        These are questions I suggest you spend some time thinking about. To help you find the answers, consider the following:

        If you just seek a career, all you will find is a career.

        But, if you seek a purpose, you’ll find something much more than a career – you’ll find your calling. And when you’ve found this, and you begin following it, you’ll be firmly in the middle of the happiness, satisfaction and success zone.

        This is backed by science, with research showing that people who have a purpose and meaning in life have an increase in:[1]
        • Overall well-being
        • Mental and physical health
        • Resiliency
        • Self-esteem

        But, don’t mistake seeking happiness and success as your purpose. These things are a natural result of following your purpose – but shouldn’t be your focal point.

        Austrian Neurologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said it well:

        “It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness.”

        What about YOUR purpose?

        If you’re struggling to identify it, look for the things in your life that you’re good at, enthuse you, and provide a benefit to the world.

        Becoming a Better You

        Are your beliefs holding you back?

        If yes, here are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to break out of your mind trap:

        1. Boost Your Confidence: you can do this by overcoming challenges that come your way. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, face this challenge head-on by agreeing to do regular presentations for your company, or by joining a public speaking organization like Toastmasters International. Speak in public often enough, and your fear of it will plunge like a river going over a waterfall.
        2. Develop Healthy Habits: I’m talking about positive habits that will serve you day in, day out. Habits such as lifelong learning, eating well, and waking up early. When these things are automatic for you, you’ll reap incredible benefits from them. Take eating well, for example. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. And you’ll have way more energy to make things happen in your life.
        3. Invoke the Magic of Goal Setting: Without goals, you’ll drift through life like a plastic bottle in the sea. But with goals, you’ll be like a 100m sprinter running towards the finishing line. Goals really are powerful tools. They’ll direct your focus and energy, and will allow you to track your progress in life. I recommend the SMART goal-setting method (find out about this here).

        And, always remember… don’t compare yourself to others; only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

        Each step you take forward is making you a better version of you.

        Success Is Self-Love

        I encourage you to take the tips I’ve shared in this article and put them into action in your life. Ideally, starting right now!

        Firstly, transform your mindset by facing up to challenges and overcoming them. Then spend time to discover your purpose. And, once you’ve found it – start following it.

        Becoming a better version of you will take some time, but will be worth the wait. Not only will you reach into untapped potential in your life, but you’ll also develop respect and love for yourself along the way.

        So don’t let your beliefs hold you back anymore. BREAK FREE from them and start enjoying a happy, healthy and successful life.

        Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

        Reference

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