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How to use your ipad for business

12 May 2011 26 CommentsBy Sarah Shaw

So here I was, off to NYC on business with only my ipad…..and no real sense of how to maximize it's fabulousness!   I have to admit I was slightly panicked as I am very attached to my macbook, yet was thrilled to be toting this new lightweight toy. 

What's a girl to do? 

I immediately reached out to my fabulous list of experts who have come through, like the rock stars they are, with so many uber-cool ideas on how to use your ipad……I am so all over these tips and have been downloading apps like mad. I have patted my macbook and put her to rest for the week in order to snuggle up with my latest lover de jour.

If you have something awesome to share…….leave some love and show me the next best thing!!


1. Whiteboard 2.0

My ipad rocks because: Plenty of great, simplistic doodle apps exist that allow you to draw similar to a white board using only your finger and the iPad's touch screen. It's a great way to simplify your presentation's message while remaining professional and cutting edge in front of clients. Plus, no more dealing with smelly markers and messy dry erasers.
Thanks to: Tony Adams of Houston Chimney and Wildlife.

2. Bring on the gallery

My ipad rocks because: Using the photo app has allowed me to make a fantastic revolving gallery of my images. It's easy to bring to stores and galleries and show them my work, without carrying ALL my cases. And the photos showcase off the designs in their best lighting!

Thanks to: lisa lehmann of Studio Jewel.

3. Go Paperless

My ipad rocks because: Make it a priority in 2011 to cut down on printing paper in meetings by switching to iPads or other tablet devices. iPads may be a little pricier in the short term but over their life span they save countless hours spent printing as well as trees. Outfit your conference room with iPads for anyone present and cut out the clutter of fifty page printed packets for everyone in the room!
Thanks to: Pam Pennington of Dallas Outdoor Lighting.

4. Don't Be (without) Square!

My ipad rocks because: Hands down, the most fabulous app that I use with my iPad is the *free* credit card application, Square. I can accept credit card payments anywhere, anytime as long as my iPad (or iPhone) is with me. It's super easy - enter the amount, add a picture of the product if you'd like, swipe the card, the client signs the receipt on the screen & it e-mails them a copy of the transaction. It always generates a great buzz at my shows & draws more people in my booth for more sales!
Thanks to: Tomi Budde of Tomi's Treasures.

5. Graphics & Keyword Research

My ipad rocks because: Professionally I use my ipad with 2 App Store apps to:
1. Build landing page graphics using a special stylus for ipad/iphone and the awesome graphics app Sketchbook Pro. It's like Photoshop for the ipad and only cost about $10. Even exports in photoshop format.

2. I do keyword research using an app I wrote called "keywords". I get ideas for new products all the time, not just when I'm at my computer so I wrote "keywords" for the iphone and ipad so I can do keyword research on the go.
Thanks to: Corey Bornmann of MobileAppsX.net.

6. Skip the Secretary!

My ipad rocks because: I've found several great free dictation tools that allow you to dictate a memo and convert it to text verbally without having a secretary present. It's great to kick your feet up and let your words flow to text and best of all, it's totally free. Dragon Dictation is a great app that comes to mind for this need. No more typing!
Thanks to: Terry Jones of Dallas Granite Countertops.

7. Video Showcase

My ipad rocks because: RePlay XD is an action sports video camera company. Anytime we go to an event we take a camera and our iPad. We'll go out and shoot video, then come back to our booth and upload our footage to the iPad on the spot--we can even edit the video right then and there. Not only does this let us showcase our products, but it also makes the company look cutting edge and top of the line!
Thanks to: John Spar of RePlay XD.

8. iPad presentations

My ipad rocks because: I love using the iPad to present credentials or proposals - so much friendlier than projecting in small groups! I can hold it up or pass it around, and jump to live links if we need to. Plus clients love to hold it!
Thanks to: Laurel Sutton of Catchword.

9. Bits & Pieces

My ipad rocks because: iPad, you make my life so much easier! I recently had to do an inventory of all my jewelry making supplies and materials (meaning counting many, many beads and other bits and pieces). I found a great iPad app called Itemizer that allows me to import and export data to/from QuickBooks via excel and save the information in a PDF report. I can attach a photo for each inventory item, come up with my own categories and descriptions, and easily record a physical count with my iPad right next to me.
Thanks to: Kathy Pine of WorldWise Jewelry.

10. This Square's For You!

My ipad rocks because: Square is a FREE device which allows you to use your iPad to accept credit cards. It’s compact, plugs right into your pad and permits you to swipe credit cards for only 2.75%. You can also create a store and input prices for your products. When a purchase is made you simply tap the icon for the selected item and Voila’ the device tallies it all up for you including taxes. This is a perfect way for anyone who is mobile desiring to sell their products to use their iPad for business!
Thanks to: Shanon Nelson of Shanon Nelson International.

11. Manage Your Social Media

My ipad rocks because: I use Hootsuite's software to manage multiple social media profiles, track social media statistics, and blast out my blog feed automatically across my different social profile walls. It's super easy, convenient, and surprisingly scientific. If you haven't got a Hootsuite account for your I-Pad, you are wasting hours of work tabbing between social media profiles, walls, and sharing individually across these accounts.
Thanks to: John Childs of J.L. Childs Outfitters.

12. Two is better than one!

My ipad rocks because: I typically have more than one browser open at one time on my desktop computer and I came across an awesome app the other day to help me organize my work. There is an app for the iPad called iDisplay that allows your laptop or desktop computer to sync up with your iPad display and have the ability for a second seemless monitor. This has allowed me to have a little more organization with all the browsers I have open during a typical work session.
Thanks to: Shawn Hermanson of Buzz Revolution.

13. Lost in the City

My ipad rocks because: The app I use the most is Google Navagation! After making a ton of deliveries last holiday season and not having my routes all mapped out, I decided to invest in an ipad. This is a huge timesaving app for anyone that makes deliveries!
Thanks to: Jill Workman of Wicked Wicker, LLC.

14. iPad Photo = End of Prints

My ipad rocks because: Archadeck is a custom designer and builder of outdoor living spaces. We typically showcase our work through our 65 franchisees in glossy photo form in a three-ring binder. Using the iPad Photo app, we now encourage our franchisees to transfer those images into outdoor living photo galleries. With its high resolution and excellent color quality, the iPad brings Archadeck photo images of our installations to life in a way that hard paper just can’t match.
Thanks to: Larry Spada of Archadeck.

15. Keep your company connected.

My ipad rocks because: Keeping your company organized and connected is essential! Expensive software makers and IT people want you to think they are necessary. But the truth is that free software exists that accomplishes the following:
Unlimited Free Calling and Conferencing (Skype),
Sync folders and files between hundreds of company computers (Dropbox.com),
Backups of all files (Dropbox.com),
Share screens and offer remote-mouse-control assistance to other computers (Join.me)
Get yourself connected...for free
Thanks to: Alec Hess of BizSaves.com.

16. Digital Look Book on iPad

My ipad rocks because: Most wardrobe stylists, wedding planners, and interior decorators use heavy piles of catalogs and magazines with sticky notes every which way. Just managing the rotating editions is a challenge. Some have cut the weight out of planning (literally) by using the iPad, namely the Catalog Spree app to digitally comb fashion and lifestyle catalogs, select the pieces they like and post them to Facebook or bookmark under their profiles for future browsing. It's a free way to cut back on organization.
Thanks to: Joaquin Ruiz of Catalog Spree.

17. A Founders Ipad Toolkit

My ipad rocks because: Record meetings with Dragon Dictation to have a transcript. Paste transcript into Evernote for sharing. Turn transcript into actionable plan with mindmapper iThoughtsHD. Use 1Password to track security logins and financial account info, including Expensify to track expenses and receipts. Manage your phone system with Twilio's OpenVBX which is like have your phone system on steroids. I use Docusign to handle contract tracking and sign on the spot then store using Dropbox. The perfect tool!
Thanks to: Seth Price of TurlyTag Lost and Found Made Easy.

18. Skip The Sign Up Sheet

My ipad rocks because: Gone are the days of needing a newsletter sign up sheet. If you use MailChimp they have a handy little app called Chimpadeedoo that will collect email addresses for you. It eliminates deciphering bad handwriting and customers love to interact with technology. You can even brand the signup screen with your logo or other photos. It's a quick way to ensure you stay in touch with new or potential customers.
Thanks to: Monique Malcolm of Antisparkle Apparel.

19. iPad Tips for a Niche Business

My ipad rocks because: We have a pretty niche business (aerial photography), and when we fly we don't have any internet connection. I find the iPad is very productive in this situation. I flag business articles with Instapaper, which downloads a text copy to the iPad for easy reading. I respond to my email in Mail, which gets sent automatically once I'm back in WiFi range. I use Photos to save a copy sites we need to shoot for easy, paper-free, referencing. Regardless of how niche your business, this is a great tool!
Thanks to: Steven Holtzman of West Coast Aerial Photography, Inc.

20. Events Made Easy

My ipad rocks because: Working in event planning can sometimes become a juggling act. Enter the Eventbrite Easy Entry app for the iPad. This app makes attendee check-in a breeze! Just input your RSVP list online and it uploads straight to the app. The list then shows up on the iPad with an easy one-touch check in button. After the event is over the attendee list is available to view on the Eventbrite website. No more paper checklists to lose, now all that valuable information is waiting for you on your computer!
Thanks to: Samantha Silver of The Spa Buzz.

21. Loving my iPAD for...

My ipad rocks because: Keeping up with my writing. When I received my iPAD for Christmas, I immediately downloaded the pages app ( you will need to be working on a Mac computer though). It allows me to write blog ideas, blogs, and continue writing my next Human Body Detectives children's story. Once I'm done writing, I will email it to myself. Perfectly ideal, convenient and easy.
Thanks to: Heather Manley of Human Body Detectives.

22. Truly Noteworthy!

My ipad rocks because: My favorite feature on the IPad is the Notes App. I used to take notes by hand at a meeting or new business consultation. Then I would have to rewrite them to send to my associates. Now I just type them using the Notes App and email them directly. This has completely streamlined my business process and has helped us all be on the same page. Brilliant!
Thanks to: Leslie Josel of Order Out of Chaos.

23. Don't Miss A TV Show, Ever!

My ipad rocks because: As Brand Ambassadors for Fortune 500 companies,we showcase the latest technologies and services to customers.With Comcast/Xfinity and their downloadable apps,we demonstrate how to schedule DVR from an iPad,watch real time TV on Fancast,and check email/voice mail.This sets us apart from the competition and reinforces the benefits of being a Comcast customer.As leaders in the industry,Comcast offers cool technology and a portable Show & Tell sales tool to a mobile crowd who's looking for WOW.
Thanks to: Robin Samora of Partner Promotions, Boston .

24. Low tech iPad presentations

My ipad rocks because: I use iPad for demos and presentations of our website. Because internet connection is not always great, I take multiple screenshots so I can quickly flip through them offline.

Once I get people's attention, we are ready for a discussion. We can point at the screenshots and address questions. This saves me browsing time, connectivity worries and navigation anxiety.

To take iPad screenshots press Home and Power Buttons simultaneously. Pics are automatically saved to the photo gallery.
Thanks to: Alex Marinov of Tennis Round.

25. Leave your laptop at home!

My ipad rocks because: There's no need to lug your laptop through the airport when apps like MightyMeeting are available. This app allows users to upload PowerPoint files and have access to them remotely. You can share the presentation through your own iPhone or iPad or invite users to participate from their own devices or computers. This app could very well change the way that salespeople, trainers and other presenters do business. If your presentation is less than 25MB, you can use their free account option.
Thanks to: Amanda Haddaway.

26. 3 Stages of iPad - Real Estate

My ipad rocks because: Beginning. I deliver my listing presentation on the iPad2. It's a sleek way to inform sellers about benefits of my representation of their home.

Middle. On the iPad, we review offers, reports and settlement statements with buyer and seller clients.

End. DocuSign is a tool I use to enable seller and buyer to use for official electronic signature purposes. A click on the iPad approves a contract or updates terms of an offer.

Considering....entertaining clients' kids with the iPad2!

Thanks to: Andrea Cueny of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's Int'l .

27. Virtual Job Interviews-iPad2

My ipad rocks because: If you're a small business owner, like me, and have international offices, then consider using FaceTime on the iPad2 as a tool to conduct virtual job interviews. Any time, any place. I've interviewed several job candidates for our international offices over the iPad2, and I certainly recommend it. As an interviewer, you can cover all aspects of the interview including reading their personal behavior traits. The size of the screen is helpful too!
Thanks to: Kenneth C. Wisnefski of WebiMax.

28. Read, Write, and Squash

My ipad rocks because: Reading the latest Design Blogs at my work station is just not the same as with the iPad. Using the brilliant Retina Display to flick through RSS feeds via "FeedlerPro" at a Coffee Shop first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day. Writing Emails is an easy task for any device but I prefer using the iPad to write out my mindmaps using iThoughtsHD. Get up, walk around and collaborate with co-workers, now thats 2.0 planning and projecting.
Lastly, you gotta get Zombie Squashing in!
Thanks to: Wayne Roddy of Revital Agency.

29. my iPad saves trees!

My ipad rocks because: I typically work with two people at a time, and I use my iPad as a mobile presentation device. Rather than giving everybody paper copies of a document, we can each look at the iPad and scroll through a document together. This saves some trees and keeps everybody on the same page.

Favorite Apps: Noterize for making notes on PDF documents, GoodReader for sorting and reading PDF files, Outpost allows me to work in Basecamp offline, and MindMeister for mindapping books, ideas, etc.
Thanks to: Jude Boudreaux of Upperline Financial Planning.

30. Smart Bookmarks Make You Smart

My ipad rocks because: Using technology to make you smarter keeps the prospect engaged, gives you credibility and closes deals.

When pitching a corporate brochure recently, I bookmarked competitors' brochures and websites as well as rough layouts of what I wanted to present. Since they were familiar with what they liked and did not like, it was a quick and easy way to pop back and forth between websites and layouts, giving them a quick glance and an impression of their potential final
Thanks to: Thomas Odgen of XPECT Marketing.

31. iPad Grows Businesses

My ipad rocks because: There is an app for that! Using the iPad for business can keep you connected and prepared at all times. This can lead to serious business growth. Apps like Quick Office for MS Office Files allows you to edit and share docs. Get rid of those sticky notes and use Evernote. I love Dragon Dictation, dictates voice to text. Perfect for on the go communication. Are you a Realtor try Realtor.com app for iPad. Pilot? Jappenson Mobile TC won't disappoint. Epic EHR, medical Pros access patient records.
Thanks to: Camryn Del Rio Linton of D. Linton & Associates Realty Inc..

32. No Need for a Desktop Computer

My ipad rocks because: My iPad2 has been a regular contributor to a lot that I do. At first, it was mainly used for entertainment, but now it makes running my company easier. Apps like ActiveStrategy Mobile allow me to track our Grand Strategy success, while Flightcaster gives me predictions on my flight schedules when travelling. I can file emails, tweak presentations and do video conferences. My iPad2 provides me with same flexibility as laptop, without the added weight or security issues at the airport.
Thanks to: Todd Davis of LifeLock, Inc. .

33. Don't Leave Home Without It

My ipad rocks because: I love my iPad. It makes business travel much easier. The unlimited data plan for $30 is half the cost of the wi-fi card I subscribed to pre-iPad. DropBox allows me to have all the documents I need for a trip. If I missed something, I can use the Remote Desktop application to fetch what I need. TripIt keeps all my travel information organized in one place and even provides contingency plans if needed. Presentations are fast and beautiful. I don't miss the laptop.
Thanks to: Coleen Sterns Leith of Marketing Matters.

34. Always Have Your Notes & Docs

My ipad rocks because: I now take all of my notes on my iPad (using NotetakerHD), email notes to colleagues after meetings, and store all relevant documents (using Quickoffice). For those with iPad 2, try Scanner Pro to quickly scan and store (or email) printed documents, articles, etc. Then store/share with Dropbox.

Need to keep track of to-do lists, not just notes and docs? I use ListPro for business and Cozi for personal (so our entire household can manage a shared to-do and shopping lists).
Thanks to: Tony Morse.

35. Run Windows on your iPad

My ipad rocks because: Crazy, right? With a little back-end setup and a free app, you can remote-control a Windows desktop straight from your iPad. Many our my clients run their Windows-only software, like Quickbooks, this way. Ask your I.T. guy about setting up Windows Remote Desktop on your computer or server, then download the free RDP Lite app, and you're one step closer to freedom from the Microsoft monster!
Thanks to: Noam Birnbaum of MacCentric Solutions.



  • Lisa Stewart said:

    I love my iPad because I can upload my latest catalogs as PDFS and show them to customers. This is great for exhibiting, walking, and reviewing them as virtual booklets!

    It also provides a jukebox (I use Pandora) in my workshop when I need music while making art!

  • Andrea Rosenfeld said:

    THANK YOU for this informative article!

    I just purchased an iPad2 for my fine art jewelry business (although my son immediately downloaded Angry Birds and a paper airplane making App). I was waiting for my Apple store to schedule an iPad2 business, tutorial meeting but they have nothing planned.

    Although I’ve downloaded quite a few business applications (some mentioned above), I’m still searching for more/better. After reading all of your input I’ve discovered applications new to me, in quite a few areas, that suit my business.

    I’ll be reviewing your thoughts with the App Store open and my finger hovering over the SEARCH box!

    Thank you,

    Andrea Rosenfeld

  • Sarah said:

    Wonderful post, I will definitely be adding a few of these apps to my iPad. I use my iPad at tradeshows to place orders. I simply go to my website and submit the order. Since my product is personalized it saves all of the personalization details in one place with the payment and I never have to worry about loosing a paper order.

  • Sarah Shaw (author) said:

    I know these are such awesome ideas right?
    I am downloading like mad right now!!

  • Joey Sargent said:

    Great post. So many good ideas. I’m loving my iPad for note-taking at meetings and events. I use Evernote for that, and can easily turn my notes into blog posts or client docs later.

    Also, a most-awesome app for staying organized is Wunderlist. Like Evernote, it syncs between my iPhone, Ipad and desktop so I can add To-Do’s from anywhere and still have one central list. No more sticky notes and paper scraps to get lost!

    Joey Sargent (@brandsprout)

  • lisa @thebeadgirl said:

    Wow…such great tips..thank you for including my photo gallery tip!


  • mandi said:

    Well you’ve all sold me on an ipad … now to get one!!

  • Kristin said:

    My ipad just arrived today! Can’t wait to check out some of these great recommendations. Thanks Sarah!

  • Lori Brown said:

    I use an Android Tablet instead of an ipad but have also found a ton of great uses for it for my business – including several mentioned here that are also available for android. Some of my favorites are mindmapper called Thinking Space that lets me brainstorm anywhere, and Dropbox & Evernote to sync files and notes across it, my laptop and my smartphone. It’s become a vital tool.

  • Shannon said:

    What great ideas and tips. I had not heard of the square app. I need to get that to some of my clients as soon as possible.

  • Dhane Crowley said:

    Fantastic article Sarah. I’ve been considering getting an iPad for a few months now and you’re making it more tempting…

  • Terry said:

    This basically sold me on the idea of getting an iPad, very cool and I had no idea there were this many creative uses for it in business….

  • Richard said:

    The iPad is truly a great device for business…I just too bad there aren’t many clear instructions for how to fully utilize it. I would highly recommend this video series for people who want to use their iPad to its full potential.

    iPad Video Lessons

  • Jacob said:

    RIP Steve Jobs, the reason this post was even written. What a great invention he gave the world!

  • Tom Kimball said:

    Thanks, Sarah,

    I’ve been compiling business apps for a course I’m teaching and your rock stars hit many that I missed.

    Some other ideas:

    ‘Free Wi-Fi’ to locate hotspots on the road
    Use the iPad to view training videos on the road
    Download audiobooks, Podcasts from iTunes U or the public library for any topic (sales?) or industry to listen while driving
    Mobile contact and opportunity tracking (CRM) software for iPad like Bento
    Apps for tracking billable hours like Paymo

    Also, Apple has a business apps section in the App Store called @Work that is organized by business function

    Tom Kimball

  • Tom Kimball said:

    One more.

    Inspired by Thomas Ogden (Reason #30 Smart Bookmarks)…

    I love using the Share button to the left of the URL window in Safari. Try ‘Save To Home Screen’ and watch what it does. Nice, shiny bookmark on your desktop!


  • Free Samples said:

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much it’s almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want Ha-ha

  • Bosun Ojomo said:

    Thanks a lot. Now I know I can use my Ipad for more things than reading my emails.

  • Samia Lee said:


    I agree with you iPad can be an efficient tool at work if we know how to use it well!
    I recommend a business application “Beesy” for note taking/ToDo/Project management.
    I often use my iPad at work especially for meetings. I used as note taking EverNote and then Awesome Note for a long time and their ability to sync but both had a disadvantage ; the lack of features to accommodate tasks, to-do and make monitoring.

    So I was seeking an alternative application to save time for my meeting. I have almost tested all the apps on Notes/ ToDo on the APPstore and I must admit I am still surprised they do not fit with a pro use. A month ago, I discovered Beesy, an note taking and management app ToDo which include taking notes with a business way. Until now I’m really satisfied by Beesy. It’s really efficient and maybe the only disadavantage is you need a bit time to use it efficiently.
    Also, the advantage is to submit easily by email minutes about my different meeting.
    If you are interested you can google “Beesy”

    All the best,

  • my blog said:

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Regina said:

    In order to learn how use your i-pad I would try this site.
    I-Pad Video Lessons
    It offers videos and lessons that helped me get familiar with how it works. I was new to Mac so I was glad i found this site, this site is also good if your transitioning from windows.

  • Ryan - iMobileRescue said:

    Lots of good uses. For me, it’s simply the internet! I don’t use any crazy apps. I just love having the ability to crank out an email, do some research or get something done, without having to boot up my laptop.

  • Johnson @ Travel Entertainment iPads said:

    Absolutely loved this article. So many cool uses for business and personal use…it’s so hard for people to not want to purchase one. Although purchasing an iPad is not always viable (cost?), renting one is…especially for short-term needs like vendors at outdoor festivals, caterers, professionals doing presentations, party planners putting on events, or people who just want to try it out before they purchase. The possibilities are endless!

    Travel Entertainment iPads

  • Niaw de Leon said:

    I love using my iPad to review my outline and notes as I prepare for talks and of course read books that are related to my line of work. With the bigger screen, it’s much nicer to read business email on it than a smartphone.

    Aside from my own use, I believe iPads are the perfect tool for mobile meetings. In fact, our company has developed an app called Anywhere Pad that allows you upload Word docs, Powerpoint files, images, and PDFs, then share those files with invited participants. As a presenter, your page flips and annotations are synchronised with everyone in the meeting.

  • janed said:

    I love using my iPad to review my outline and notes as I prepare for talks and of course read books that are related to my line of work. With the bigger screen, it’s much nicer to read business email on it than a smartphone.

  • About Using The Ipad For Business | Get Your iPad Now said:

    […] How to use your ipad for business – The Entreprenette Gazette – My ipad rocks because: Professionally I use my ipad with 2 App Store apps to: 1. Build landing page graphics using a special stylus for ipad/iphone and the awesome …… […]

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