How have iPads and or tablets changed or improved the way you do business and your job?

It's almost hard to remember what it was like before having access to smart devices like my iPad. Having immediate access to the Web and email wherever I am means I'm in constant contact with what's happening back at the office - a very handy thing when you work in IT. iPad business apps are getting more sophisticated as IT vendors create quick and secure ways to use their products on mobile devices. Gone are the days where I feel like I have to be tied to my desk to do my job effectively.

One of handiest tools with an iPad is being able to capture ideas when they occur, rather than relying on my memory or a Post-it note. I use the Notes app if inspiration strikes or send myself email messages at odd hours to make sure I don't lose anything. Being able to jump online to check a fact, look up a phone number or use Google Maps is invaluable.

Social media apps make it easy to maintain our business presence using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If I'm travelling to our Queensland training centres, I can keep posting and moderating no matter where I am without lugging a laptop around.

There is the temptation of being "always on" and sending emails to colleagues in the middle of the night. Some self-discipline is needed here - you need to ask yourself if you really need to respond immediately, or can it wait until daylight hours? The answer is invariably "yes".

Dana Kennedy AFAIM
General Manager, Information Services
Australian Institute of Management - Qld & NT

Admittedly it was a conscious decision to better utilise the iPads we had bought for the team that sat idle for some time. Upon reflection however the scope of use for iPads within my businesses is diverse. On any given day I may be using the iPad to film a keynote presentation I am delivering, workshop participants ideas and interactions or showing clients a real time view of their form and positioning when using their xstretch to develop their strength and flexibility.

The quality of the video is good enough for the purposes that we utilise it for and the size of the screen allows both parties to review the images comfortably without the delay of downloading it on return to the office. My teams are also able to work remotely and manage tasks such as actioning updates in real time on our web stores, tracking inventory and shipping orders, addressing emails or simply researching topics. At conferences and trade shows we have used them as displays to showcase catalogues and short videos and to capture marketing data in simple forms.

We utilise a variety of apps both for our own productivity purposes and for knowledge development use with clients in the areas of health, fitness and behavioural change. The iPads save carrying a laptop and camera and provides greater flexibility for clients to interact with you than using your smart phone. Used effectively it's an invaluable tool, however if not explored to its fullest capacity, it's just another thing to carry.

Michelle Cooper AFAIM
Membership Manager
Australian Institute of Management - Qld & NT