TOOLS OF MY TRADE: #6 iPAD

The iPad. This is one of those things that you don’t know you need until you get it and if I’m being perfectly honest I don’t NEED it, but I am finding more uses for it constantly. Could I live without it? Yes. Is it totally cool to have and can you use it for a bunch of things? Hell yes!

But seriously, I think it’s a bit of a quality of life issue. You remember life, don’t you? It’s what we all had before we started spending hours on the computer. So what does the iPad do for me? Here are a few examples:

Reading: I already mentioned on Tools of My Trade Day #1 that I use the iPad in conjunction with the free DropBox App for reading submissions for ARe. It frees me up so I can get away from the computer but I still have access to my files. I can read my PDFs and Word documents on the iPad rather than the computer.

I also find I’m using it more and more as an eReader, even though I have a Nook and also used to read a lot on my iPod Touch. I have the Kindle App and iBooks (which takes ePub or PDF) on the iPad and between those I can read pretty much any eBook.

Travel: It’s incredibly light but has a lot of functionality packed in that tiny package. I think (though I have yet to do it) I could travel with just the iPad and not the laptop and still be okay, even in the event of a work emergency. [NOTE: I don’t write on the iPad. I also can’t write when I travel. My brain rebels. So I’d use the iPad for travel strictly to check email, social networks, etc.] As long as I have a connection, I’ll have access to all my files through Dropbox, and access to the internet for any sites I need such as my blog or website. Hell, I found a WiFi connection on a highway, pulled the car off the road and ordered promo on the iPad while parked on the shoulder once. It wasn’t the ideal situation but it worked. (It was a limited time offer and it was order right then or lose the price forever–maybe I’ll cover my crazy promo habits in a future series.)

Sleep: How does the iPad let me sleep? Well I used to try and stay awake for my favorite shows that aired on TV late (like 10PM). I usually ended up falling asleep during a commercial break and waking up tired the next morning. Or, I would watch the show the next day on my computer on ABC.com or whatever the station, but that tied up my computer and my time, both of which I really should be using to write. But now with the iPad, I have the ABC App, I also have the HBO GO App. I can go to sleep early, wake up and there are my favorite shows on the iPad, which I carry downstairs with me, set on the counter and let my show run while I’m making coffee, feeding the cats, emptying the dishwasher, whatever. It saves me time because I’d have to do all those other “kitchen” things anyway but now I’m watching my show at the same time. Multi-tasking.

Here’s Sookie in the latest episode of HBO’s True Blood, playing on my kitchen counter on the iPad (which is in a case with a built-in easel back for easy landscape or vertical viewing)

SOCIAL NETWORKING/EMAIL: I can quickly and easily check my Twitter, Facebook and email on the iPad and it does end up being faster because I’m not tempted to go off on tangents on the iPad like on the computer which turns a quick task into a very long one. Sure, I can follow a link someone tweeted or reply to an email on the iPad, but honestly, it’s easier to do all that on the computer so I usually wait.

Besides the Apps you can download for Facebook (I have yet to find one I love) and Twitter (Echofon is my favorite) there is another really, really cool app for keeping your social networks and blogs in order but I’m saving that for tomorrow when it will be the seventh and final tool of my trade.

7 responses to “TOOLS OF MY TRADE: #6 iPAD

  1. Awesome! I love seeing what others use for their writing. My business partner Debbie LOVES her iPad.

    I, however, hate them. Two reasons. One, they don’t work with Flash. That was a monumentally stupid decision on the part of Apple. Second, I don’t like touch screens. I type 95 words a minute, and the touch screens just annoy me.

    Deb says that she has a portable keyboard that plugs right in, so that’s how she gets around that. She insists I should change my mind.

    I shall, I think, remain stubborn. Firm, I mean. Remain firm. ~grin~

    In the meantime, happy iPadding! Write some more Cat storeez, and I’ll hush up on the whole iPad thing. Whatever keeps you writing is good, in ANY technology!

    • Oh I definitely do not write on the iPad! Just typing a FB status update on this iPad is agony. The whole point of the iPad is for when I need to get off the computer and away from writing.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • For writing or anything that requires a bit of typing, I have the ZaggMate bluetooth keyboard and love it.

  2. I was thing of getting an e-reader but now they have the i- pads and I was thinking that might be better, waiting for more info on them though, or my daughter to tell me if it really is worth it.
    Zina

    • I think it depends on your reading habits, Zina. I personally think it’s hard to see the iPad screen in the sun, but I love the backlight on it for reading in bed at night without the light on. I do love that Amazon will send Kindle purchases directly to my Kindle App on the iPad wirelessly and that I can open any eBook in ePub or PDF in my DropBox app and read it in iBooks. That part is very easy.

      Conversely, the Nook is great in direct sunlight, but I need a light to read in low light with it since the originial Nook with the eInk screen is not backlit. And though sideloading the Nook with eBooks from my computer that I purchased elsewhere than BN, such as ARe, is easy, I find having to hook the Nook up to the computer with the USB to do it is annoying and I rarely take the time.

      All things to consider when choosing an eReader…

  3. I like to read in bed at night as well but would also like to be able to take it on vaca to read while the kids are at the beach, some good things to think on.
    Zina