Tag Archives: Mobile

iPad Journal: Flexible form factor leads to increased productivity

Appreciating (and greatly enjoying) the tablet form factor of the iPad and an external keyboard this morning.

Fact 1: I live in a rural area and expected a package via the USPS. If I wanted this package in my hands I needed to be at the mailbox by the road when the delivery person arrived. If I missed her I’d only have a note letting me know my package was waiting for me in the post office in town.

Fact 2: I normally walk the one mile to the mailbox as a part of my 4 miles a day walking routine. Today we had rain in the forecast.

Fact 3: I am not even a little fancy and do not own a Tesla. But we do have a golf cart for getting around our property. It runs off of batteries. I pretend it is a Tesla.

Fact 4: I knew I might have a wait because I only knew that our postal delivery person normally arrives before 11 am. I went at 8 and took my iPad and keyboard.

Fact 5: With little effort I managed to arrange a comfortable writing situation and got stuff done.

iPad Journal: On the road with a truck driver and iPad

I’ve got a client that emailed me back in September. After years of working for other people as a truck driver he had bought his own truck and was going into business for himself. He’d purchased an iPad and needed to know more about using it. Of course I was happy to help him out.

His prior computer experience to that point was primarily a Windows laptop. It was an older and heavier laptop and he didn’t want to lug that around. He called me a couple weeks after getting his iPad because he had a list of tasks he’d not yet discovered an app for. We ended up meeting three or four times. He often receives emails with pdf attachments that need to be filled out and signed and returned. He also gets documents on paper that need to be archived and/or replied to. So, the first thing we did was get him set-up with a scanning and pdf workflow. He followed my advice and purchased Scanner Pro and PDF expert. We discussed iCloud, data-use and the benefits of keeping everything synced up. We went through the process for sharing a pdf from Mail to PDF Expert and then the reverse. We did the same for using Scanner Pro to PDF Expert to Mail. We also downloaded a faxing app for the rare occasion when he needs to fax instead of email.

I helped him set-up an invoice template in Pages. We discussed sharing that out as a pdf via Mail. He’d also purchased a printer for wireless printing which we set-up. He rarely prints but wanted it “just in case”. We’ve not yet gotten into spreadsheets yet though I suspect that might be an interest and we’ve discussed it briefly. Last, he’d downloaded a series of apps specifically for truckers for routing, mileage tracking, fuel purchases and scheduling. He didn’t need my help with those as he’d already been using them on his iPhone for many months. Same thing goes with email which he’d been using on his iPhone. The only new trick there was learning to use the share menu and to effectively move/save/share attachments. Last but not least, when he’s not driving he uses the iPad with the DirectTV app to watch movies and tv shows and FaceTime to chat with his at-home spouse.

He’s now been carrying loads since early November. Nearly five months on the road and he’s very satisfied with his iPad as his primary on-the-road computer. Maybe I should have told him that the iPad is only good for Facebook and watching movies?