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Photography by George Faerber

How to turn your iPad into a device that's great for business

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I use the heck out of my iPad, and have started leaving my big Laptop behind for more and more client meetings.
 
Click on through to see a list of apps that make my iPad indispensable.
 
When I'm working with my iPad in the general public or even using it at a client meeting, people are always interested in what I'm doing.  I'm sure over the next few months as more Android based tablets and other similar devices become more prevalent this will change, but for now it seems to be the status quo.  
 
I use my iPad for work more than I use it for play, although it certainly is great for playing and entertainment.  A lot of people ask about how I use it to get work done, and so this post is a general response to that question.  I've outlined the applications below that I use to stay connected, review my work files, and to keep on top of my agenda. 
 
LogMeIn - Remotely Control an internet connected Macintosh or Windows computer securely from anywhere you have WiFi or 3G coverage on your iPad.  If I need to work on something in Flash, I can just load a computer from my office to do so.  If I need to run an application that I can't load on my iPad, I can load that computer with the app installed. Performance is very good in my experience, even over 3G I'm able to interact with my Windows and Macintosh client computers with quick redraws and scrolling.  I can also interact with a multi-monitor setup, swiping my fingers left / right to switch monitors.
 
MaxiVista - Use your iPad as a secondary monitor for your laptop or desktop when both devices are connected to the same WiFi network.  This is great if I'm travelling and don't want a second monitor ... the iPad can serve double duty.  It's not as fast as LogMeIn actually, but for an extra screen in a pinch it's great.  I've got another article just about this app here
 
Digits - Fantastic calculator app featuring an editable 'tape' allowing you to change your mathematical inputs or calculations. 
 
Dropbox - Access files stored in your 'dropbox' on your computer from anywhere your iPad has internet connectivity.  No syncing required.  View PDFs, JPGs, Excel and Word files, and even music.  Star a file for offline access as well.
 
Evernote - Write once, read and edit everywhere. Take a note on the go and have it automatically available back at home or the office.  (Or vice versa!)
 
Bluetooth Keyboard - Pick up one of the little bluetook external keyboards to go with your iPad.  Poof, no more on-screen tap-typing.
 
Convertable Book Jacket Case - from InCase, this iPad case lets you orient your iPad in about a half dozen orientations.  Pair this with your Bluetooth Keyboard and poof - instant Netbook. 
 
Meebo / Beejive - Both of these are great Instant Messaging apps that feature persistent connections if you close the application.  Keep connected.  Double bonus if you add Olark to your website for online support whenever you have your iPad handy.
 
Toodledo - This is a web service with an iPad app - use it with the GTD organization concept to just Get Things Done.
 
Kindle for iPad - Reading was almost too easy on my last vacation.  I plowed through 7 books in less than a week. 
 
Skype - Place phone calls to land lines whenever you're connected to the internet.  
 
FTPOnTheGo - a great FTP client for the iPad
 
Slacker or Last.FM - leave your music collection at home and stream radio to your iPad instead.  Save space and get introduced to new artists at the same time.  Pandora's big too, but  
 
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