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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.

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        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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        Last Updated on January 24, 2020

        10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

        10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

        Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

        Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

        Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

        • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
        • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
        • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

        Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

        Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

        Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

        That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

        1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

        I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

        Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

        Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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        2. Be Grateful for What You Have

        Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

        Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

        “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

        3. Smile

        Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

        Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

        Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

        Can you smile again?

        4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

        Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

        If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

        This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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        Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

        5. Exercise Daily

        One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

        Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

        ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

        He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

        6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

        Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

        Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

        So how do you manage your time effectively?

        Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

        “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

        And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

        • Monday – Management
        • Tuesdays – Product
        • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
        • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
        • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
        • Saturdays – Taking off
        • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

        No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

        7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

        Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

        Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

        Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

        “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

        Be intentional about your daily goals!

        8. Seek Inspiration

        It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

        A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

        Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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        Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

        “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

        9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

        I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

        However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

        10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

        Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

        “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

        It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

        Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

        The Bottom Line

        Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

        More About Habits

        Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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        Reference

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