Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Apple iPad And A Road Warrior's Toolkit

I don't know if it's one of Murphy's Laws, but work crises tend to rise in degrees of severity proportional to one's distance from the office. The phone calls started yesterday about 8pm. By 9am today there was a second problem that needed immediate attention.

I had desired to relegate checking office email correspondence to the late evenings in order to focus on the content of the multi-day conference at which I'm in attendance. Circumstances denied me that choice.

This morning I was sitting in the front row of a conference workshop session while configuring my iPad to send and receive office emails rather than use the Web interface for correspondence. In less than five minutes about 50 email messages came streaming into my inbox. It was the 24 messages about a singular issue that captured my attention. Within 15 minutes, while listening to the workshop speaker, I had dispatched responses.

Following this early morning session I learned the iPad is a wonderfully stingy device. I set myself up in an open area by the conference exhibits and the free Wi-Fi service kicked in. The iPad is programmed to switch to Wi-Fi from 3G whenever it's available. It saved on the data quota on the monthly AT&T 3G plan while I kept working without interruption.

By early afternoon it was beyond doubt the best road warrior tool kits include an iPhone and an Apple iPad. I was talking on one of the devices while reading and sending emails on the other. The .pdf files that were sent my way were read and forwarded to the office for immediate follow-up.

I'm now used to having my iPad at the office all day. Today proved the Apple iPad can amply assist with crisis management from remote locations as well.

I'm seeing fewer notebook PCs at meetings and conferences these days, but smart phones are in abundance. Smartphones are good for quick notes and email replies. I'm preparing this blog entry using the Pages app for the iPad. For the things I want to do and for those things that just have to get done while away from the office, a smartphone is good. But an iPhone and an Apple iPad combination is simply better. Enclosed in the Apple iPad case and stowed in my bag, the Apple iPad is lighter than any laptop I've ever carried and can be used to get at least as much done.

Robert Paul Leitao

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