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6 Tablet Computer Productivity Tips

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Being a workshifter is a constant quest for productivity. Do more with as little as possible – at least, that was one of the reasons I used to justify buying a tablet computer earlier this year.

As such, I’ve been putting my iPad 2 to the test. My goal was to figure out if tablets could really replace laptops, as I certainly want them to. Carrying my tablet is so much more convenient, not to mention the ease of taking it through airport screening.

However, I’ve discovered the key to being productive with my tablet is contingent upon the amount of planning I do. Using a tablet for a long trip or heavy-duty work does take some forethought, so for those of you out there trying to go tablet only, here are some tips to consider:

Internet Access

Get both 3G and Wi-Fi on your tablet so that you can access the Internet from anywhere. The internet is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.

File Access

Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to access a document when you need it. Apps like GoToMyPC give you the peace of mind of knowing you can grab a file when necessary. It’s like cloud storage but better, because all of your files are right where you’re used to finding them on your PC. It also means no more fumbling around for a thumb drive.


I know, this sounds so fundamental, but managing battery life has become an essential skill for workshifters. When you’re unsure of your next electrical outlet, make sure your equipment is fully charged, and to help conserve power, separate tasks by the most appropriate device. Don’t attempt tablet-level jobs on your phone and vice versa.


Typing on a flat screen takes some getting used to, and I’m not sure I’ve completely perfected it. Short messages are no worries, but longer messages, well, are a little weird. If you’re like me, then do what I did and get a cover for your tablet that has a built-in Bluetooth keyboard. It makes typing very convenient.

Tablet Covers

Speaking of convenient, having the ability to angle your tablet screen is very helpful. It’s probably because we’re used to having the screen angled on our laptops. Whether it’s a smart cover or something else, having a cover to give that little angle makes a difference.


What discussion about tablets would be complete without mentioning apps? These days there’s an app for everything. On one hand, that’s a good thing for productivity. On the other, it means we have to resist the urge to download a bunch of apps we’ll never use. Here’s a post to help you manage your workshifting lifestyle.

Got any tips or resources to improve tablet productivity?

Photo Credit: C.C. Chapman

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  • Anne-margaret Olsson

    Hey Sharlyn!  I LOVE my IPad.  I find that it is slowly taking the place of my laptop even at home.  I guess I will have to go to your other post to add my favorite apps.  My Bisnow newsletter stated that a new 2012 trend will be CEOs with IPads.

  • Nerida Gill

    Great article thanks. Am working up the “business case” for myself to purchase an iPad to provide that additional flexibility not available with lugging around the laptop. Will add your suggestions to my thought processes. Will definitely look at GoToMyPC. 

  • http://www.beavershred.com/ Confidential Paper Shredding

    I pray that tablets will eventually take care of laptops. A few more generations and we will be there for sure. My company has been using the iPad for demonstrations of website’s and apps that we design for a year now and the convenience factor alone is enough for me. Bringing a portable, digital copy of a functioning website is awesome when clients are always on-site or traveling. Cheers.

  • Pauline Brannigan

    Review any presentations on the tablet (especially if created by a PC based Marketing team) prior to using it to do a meeting.   The first time I did one, the charts and graphics clearly visible on both my MAC and PC were there on the keynote presentation.   More planning I am afraid.

    Also on the battery… I carry a small three prong plug in my briefcase.  It helps to charge things on the fly and make friends with someone that is hogging the one outlet at the airport gate.   I have also started carrying a kindle to read on the plane rather that using the iPad battery.   Presentations drain a ton of power.  

    Great post…   I agree with everything and want to try the go to my PC app .. I have been using iCloud and like it but that seems like a better option.

  • http://www.bellavitabuildersinc.com/ Home Remodeler

    Apps, just managing their power consumption needs an app. Just like on smart phones, be sure to get an app that will display all of your running programs to better manage power consumption.

  • http://www.privateinvestigation.ch/ Privatdetektiv

    I going to buy a tablet in like 3 days and now after reading this article i would surely checkout for all this options in it, Thanks.