If you’re like me, you probably think that the whole social media world has an iPad or some other tablet device to make their lives wonderful – everyone but you, that is. You might even fantasize about how many ways a tablet could make your life easier. Or maybe you have a tablet already and would like to learn more ways you could be productive with it. To get answers, I talked to some social media pros to find out how they use their tablets every day.
One of the first things I learned was that I’m not the only social media person without a tablet. There are still plenty of us who aren’t using them yet, including Shannon Paul, Social Media Director at Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan and Ann Handley, Head of Content for Marketing Profs. Handley admits, like me, she definitely wants one and has even bought iPads as gifts for others. (I promptly asked her to add me to her gift list.)
Some social media pros have them, but haven’t started using them fully yet. Ford’s head of social media, Scott Monty, just started playing with his Samsung Galaxy , but still does most of his day to day stuff on his Blackberry and laptop.
From the social media pros I spoke with who are using an iPad, Galaxy or other tablet every day, here are eight great ways you can use your tablet for day-to-day activities:
1. Carry your library with you. Dave Linabury, Group Director of Social Media at Campbell Ewald said he uses his mostly for reading. He travels a lot and likes being able to take all his reference books with him. “I love having 50 books in my luggage without them weighing even a pound,” says Linabury.
2. Organize your work. Christopher S. Penn, VP of Strategy and Innovation at Blue Sky Factory, said he’s a die-hard iPad fan. The one way he uses it most impactfully is via Evernote. “I use Evernote as a blogging and scratchpad platform, knowing I can quickly frame out content that I want to publish later,” says Penn. “The iPad is a critical part of that – it’s just the right size to pull out when I want to draft something quick while in an airport lounge or taxi.”
3. Improve your note taking. Ken Burbary, VP, Group Director, Strategy & Analysis at Digitas says the main advantage his tablet provides is for taking and organizing his meeting notes. “My handwriting is terrible,” says Burbary. “I almost always take notes electronically. A tablet is an on-demand notebook, where I can pull up my notes from anywhere, regardless of where I wrote them.”
4. Add an extra monitor. Sarah Worsham, CEO & Web Strategist for Sazbean Consulting uses her tablet, even when she’s sitting at her computer. “If I’m at my desk, the iPad often becomes another computer or monitor,” said Worsham, “usually displaying twitter feeds or some other type of information I may be monitoring or using to put together a document.”
5. Quick access to your tools. Henry Balanon, President of Bickbot, says, “I use my iPad for quick access to my calendar and email. Instant on. I also use Flipboard and Twitter for iPad to keep up with what’s going on in my social media stream.”
6. Cost efficiency for your startup. Alex Strieder, Founder & CEO of the recently-launched Amsterdam Systems in the Netherlands says, “We consider tablets to be a cost-effective alternative to desktops and laptops.” He added that when you’re “just getting started, cost is always an important factor.”
7. Move quickly from meeting to meeting. Brandon Chesnutt, Social Media Director at Identity Marketing & Public Relations talks about how his iPad keeps him agile and connected to all his clients. “I’m frequently moving from meeting to meeting throughout the day. The iPad allows me to quickly upload meeting notes, access my suite of project management tools and view shared documents on the cloud while on the go, without the need of a cumbersome laptop.”
8. Control killer robots. Well, maybe not “killer” robots, but security bots. Linabury is experimenting with using his iPad to connect and control security robots in his office. The robots use facial recognition technology and flag his iPad if someone unrecognizable comes in.
Amongst my small sampling of social media people, the iPad was definitely the main tool. But several have the Galaxy and like its smaller, one-hand stature. Even if you don’t have a tablet, you can use some of the tools talked about here. I, for one, plan to check out the Evernote program that Penn talked about. At least three other pros I interviewed talked about how they’re using it with great success.
What about you? Do you have a tablet and if so what other ways are you using it in your day-to-day activities?
Illustration by Charis Tsevis <Creative Commons license at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsevis/4454164464/>