Can a Tablet Keep You Covered When the Crap Hits The Fan?

One of the big debates about Tablets (and there are several) is still the consumption vs creation debate. In my view Apple and its iPad can stand on either side of that debate, depending on what kind of creative work you’re doing. But there’s another wrinkle that slides in and out of the creative side of the equation. Note that I said earlier “depending on what kind of creative work you’re doing.” That’s a key.

I’ve been absent here from the pages of GBM this last week or so as I’ve essentially been working in two places at once. At home at Wayside Theatre and at Totem Pole Playhouse where we just had a successful opening of a musical I co-authored, Southern Crossroads. I chronicled how I was using the iPad, as well as testing out the HP TouchPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.2 in earlier posts. That’s one kind of creation. But the other is the kind of creation that I needed to do in order to deal with a few critical points back home.

Simply put, we hit a cash flow low point, as well as a negotiating snag with some of our business partners. I’ll spare you the specifics, so suffice it to say that documents were flying back and forth via email in a feverish pace. Quite a few of them required my signature which was handled easy enough with the Sign-N-Send App on the iPad 2. But Many of those documents were also spreadsheets that needed work as well.

Here’s the thing. None of this kind of work is unusual in a daily routine. But, when you are in a two places at one time mode, it is tough to keep pulling away from your responsibilities in one place to deal with those from the other.

The iPad 2 provided me a way to handle this, somewhat surreptitiously (or is that sneakily) in both instances simply because it is a very personal device. (The other two Tablets did as well, but in somewhat less successful ways, but that’s a subject for another post.) There’s no opening up a laptop, no taking out a phone to tap on a keyboard, and as far as anyone in either location new, I was right there with them on whatever we were working on, simply because the Tablet was always present. Of course that requires a brain capable of mutli-tasking. I’m not saying mine is particularly good at that, but I was able to handle most of the issues that needed to be handled pretty much as they came up. And again, this is all because of the very personal nature of the Tablet form factor.

Comments

  1. HildyJ says

    I’m in the same boat but I find that my usage is tilted toward creation versus consumption so I put up with the limitations (primarily battery life) of a Windows tablet (HP Slate 500) in exchange for the power of normal workflow. I can open, edit, and comment on documents with Word, Excel, Acrobat, or even (shudder) PowerPoint secure in the knowledge that my changes will not affect someone else’s formatting and that tracking changes is consistent. I also like the convenience of a pen. Handwriting recognition is remarkably accurate. I only wish there was a video out for presentations.

    Still, to each his own.

    • Cuhulin says

      I agree with the advantages of using Windows for compatibility with others.  This, I think, is the key hope for Windows 8: to be able to do both what Apple does well with Ipad and have the ability to use the applications that permit the work to be seamless with the team.

      Now, to see whether MS delivers before the entire team has moved to Ipad…..

  2. Steve says

    A month ago, I started using my iPad with NotesPlus and PDF Reader Pro and a stylus for all of my notetaking (meeting notes, to do lists, etc.), and document reading and annotating (I read a lot of scripts, legal documents and business plans).  It took about a week and half to get it down, but it is a huge relief to no longer have to keep track of dozens of pieces of paper, various legal pads and notebooks I bought and half used. If I don’t have my iPad (rare), Dropbox keeps the docs available to me anywhere I can grab a device with a Web browser. Only drawback is the short battery life when I use it constantly during the day (that and the fact that my desk is neat for the first time in 20 years, which is affecting my free spirit reputation). 

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