When it comes to pressing your iPad into service as a tool for your business, the possibilities are almost endless. We covered the really obvious stuff in the introduction, but these ideas only represent the tip of the iceberg – there’s plenty more. Below and to the right you’ll find ten ways in which your iPad can be used within all aspects of your business, proving once and for all just how capable and versatile it is, whatever your business needs happen to be. Take things further Over the next few pages you’ll also see how your iPad can be used to help you with business planning, from managing specific projects to creating a business plan for start-up or expansion purposes. You’ll also discover how your iPad can be used as a tool for presenting ideas to others, whether through simple sketches or through presenting complete slideshows. And you’ll find out how collaborative services can be accessed from your iPad for the purposes of completing tasks, editing documents or taking business ideas to the next level. The net result? Not only is your iPad business-savvy, it might even be the
only piece of business tech you need. Still don’t believe us? Turn the page to find out more.
Work on documents
Price: free to $16.99
No need to lug your laptop with you should you need to edit a document or two while on the go, your iPad offers a wide range of apps for that very purpose. There’s the iWorks series of apps from Apple, or you could opt for Google Drive. Other office apps to consider include Documents To Go and Polaris Office, but also check out our tutorial on Quip (page 26) if you’d like to be able to collaborate while on the move too.
Price: free to $39.99
If you’re responsible for making sure your business’s figures add up, you’ll find plenty of apps to can help you. If your business involves working for others, you’ll find plenty of invoicing apps with time- and expense keeping features, such as FreshBooks or Zoho Invoice and Time Tracker. One app that combines invoicing with general bookkeeping features is Easy Books, which also supports double accounting
Price: free to $2.99
You’ll find myriad ways your iPad can help you deliver better sales, but one of the most innovative has to be Showpad, which is a service that turns your iPad into a fully featured sales and presentation tool. Look out too for apps like Sales Assailant, written by sales people for sales people, and Profit Story, a calculator tool aimed specifically at calculating margins using sell price, cost price and other factors.
Business email and calendar
Whatever system your company opts to use for its email, task management and calendar, there’s almost certainly an iPad app for it, like the OWA app for those using Office 365 or Exchange Server from Microsoft. If you’re looking for a standalone tool for managing tasks and your daily schedule, take a look at Gneo – it’s great for organizing your day and helping you focus on what is most important.
Your iPad mini or retina iPad’s rear camera makes a great scanner thanks to its high resolution. All you need to do is choose the right app – see page 60 for our tutorial on Faster Scan HD – and you can snap your document, crop and frame it, then optimize it as a color or black and white document before archiving it and sharing it as a JPEG or PDF file. It is also possible to fax or upload your files, too.
Price: from free
Getting user feedback is a critical part of improving any sort of business, and your iPad makes the whole process – from setting up a survey to posting it online and analyzing the final results – as simple and straightforward as possible. All you need is the right app, and there are plenty of them to choose from. We like Zoho’s free Survey app as it is brilliant for this very purpose.
If you’re in the habit of recording meetings, lectures or other business-related interactions, then leave your Dictaphone at home and press your iPad into service instead. One of the best voice-recording apps for business use is Recordium Pro see our tutorial on page 56. One of its most innovative features is the ability to insert searchable text notes, images and tags into your recordings.
Point of Sale terminals
Implementing an iPad-based Point of Sale system is a no-brainer when you look at how cost-effective and easy it is to set up. Your staff can be trained in hours and you can add in all the additional hardware, such as chip-and-pin readers and cash registers, for a fraction of the cost of an electronic system. Many cloud-based POS systems come with short-term rolling monthly contracts.
Price: free to $1.99
There are two apps worth checking out if you need help with foreign languages: iTranslate Voice 2 and DuoLingo. Want to converse in a foreign language yourself? DuoLingo helps you learn for free. Alternatively, use the iTranslate Voice 2 app to hold a spoken or typed conversation with a business partner or colleague without having to worry about the language barrier getting in the way.
Take and organize notes
Staying organized is a critical part of any business, and your iPad has a range of well-established apps, including Evernote and Notability, that can help you not just record ideas, memos and other note-related things, but also to organize them in a useful way and search them too. You’ll find a range of tutorials covering various organizing and planning apps throughout the rest of this bookazine.