My New Business Tool

I recently bought an iPad. I’ve been an iPod user for year, but have never gone the iPhone route (previously used a Palm Treo, currently using a Blackberry Bold). But the iPad intrigued me, so I bought one.

I thought since I waited a couple of months — I wasn’t running out to buy one when it was first released like I wanted to — that I wouldn’t have a problem getting one. That wasn’t the case at all!

All the Best Buys in my area were sold out and so was the local Apple store in the mall… so I put one on order at the Apple store. But I kept checking Best Buy’s inventory on the web, and lo and behold, my local store got some in stock, so I drove over and bought one. And then I canceled my order at the Apple store. This was a good thing because it allowed me to use my Best Buy RewardZone card and get some additional points.

Fortunately, Best Buygot the one I wanted in stock (3G+WiFi, 64GB). I haven’t signed up for a 3G data plan yet, but I wanted the option to do so. And I probably will, eventually.

Of course, I wanted all the capacity I could get. I plan to fill it full of apps, books, movies, and music… I’ve got over a terabyte of music files on my system and heck, I’d like to put them all on a portable device like the iPad, but that option doesn’t exist anywhere… yet. When it does, I guess I’ll be out shopping for another gadget.

But I wanted an iPad mostly for its book reading capability. Now I know that folks out there swear by the Kindle, and friends have let me play around with theirs. I liked it – a lot – but all it does is function as a book reader. That is no slam because that is what it was designed to do… but I’ve used many book readers in the past (e.g. Sony, Franklin Rocket) and quickly tired of them. The “genius” of the iPad is that it is great for book reading – plus a whole lot more.

Which brings me to the title of this blog entry. I call my iPad “my new business tool” even though my wife calls it my new toy. I tell her, “…look, I’ve got all these DB2 manuals in PDF right here at my fingertips…” and she says “uh-huh” as she slowly shakes her head at me.

Other business tasks I perform almost daily on the iPad are tweeting (both following and posting to Twitter), keeping up with e-mails, posting and reading updates on Facebook (yes, I do keep in touch with business associates that way!), and general web browsing.

But then my wife will look over my shoulder and see me playing Scrabble and say “sure, that’s a business tool.” Hmmm, well, errr, I , ah… see, Scrabble hones my mind and keeps me alert… oh, what the heck, it is also an entertainment tool (not a toy, mind you)!

I find myself using the iPad in places I would never fire up a laptop – out in the yard at lunch, in bed before heading off to sleep, etc. – so it increases my mobility. And perhaps I get some things done that I wouldn’t otherwise get to until later. That might be a mixed blessing, but for now, I’m liking it.

So the iPad really is a useful business tool… and also an entertaining alternative to a laptop… but I’ll never call it a toy… never… (after all, my wife does read my blog posts every now and then).

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About craig@craigsmullins.com

I'm a strategist, researcher, and consultant with nearly three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development.
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7 Responses to My New Business Tool

  1. I just saw this report after posting this blog entry: An In-Depth Look at How People Are Using the iPad.

    Nice report… except where they call it an expensive toy… c’mon now, don’ t forward that to my wife!

  2. Scott McFall says:

    I’ve been an iPod, iTouch, and iPhone user for several years but originally poo-pooed the iPad as a toy but you are right. First it’s a great reader (which will save me a bundle at Borders from my English teacher wife) but it’s also so much more. It’s also so much more “snappier” and handy than a bulky laptop. I don’t know if you saw my Facebook page but we had an iPad at our booth at a show in Vegas and installed a 3270 emulator on it and brought up the ProTech mainframe. See?…it IS a busness tool after
    all! 🙂

  3. Karen Lopez says:

    I use my iPad for online meetings like GoToMeeting and Webex. This gives me more freedom to roam. Love that part. I also use RDP to get to a “real” machine to to PC work like using DB2 tools. I was out shopping one day and a client called with an issue. I popped over to Starbucks and solve the problem. Billable hours plus a happier client.

    As a woman I get the most use out of the iPad because it fits in my purse. Perhaps men will adopt the man-purse idea due to the need to carry the iPad everywhere..

    Get the wireless keyboard. It makes a huge difference in how you use the iPad.

  4. Nick Manu says:

    still waiting for more details about the professional experience (i.e. poor man’s DBA’s Data Studio, if any, MS Office, etc.) – thanks for sharing!

  5. Six years later and decided to post a comment because in the interim my wife has become an iPad convert. She uses it for social media and reading… and she no longer calls it a “toy”!

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