No New Year resolutions this year. In fact, I don’t do any any year. However I am resolved to creating a mind map of my goals and aspirations for this year and beyond. Yes, it’s a resolution; but it’s not a New Year’s resolution.
It’s something I’ve never done before and never really understood the point; I think because it’s so far removed from the day-to-day business of getting things done – to-do lists, projects and next actions. Plus, they’re very often cited in the context of a spiritual journey, which put me off & made me somewhat sceptical of their usefulness.
So, a couple of weeks ago I finally bit the bullet and bought an iPad. I was feeling flush and so went for the top-of-the-range 64G 3G one.
I was cautious about buying an iPad – unusual for me, as I am a complete Apple fanboi. I really couldn’t see the point or need for one in my life. I manage to come up with a couple of possibilities:
- It would make a good coffee table browser. OK, but if the family are going to share it I want multiple user facilities so we can all get at our own email accounts without the embarrassment of having to read each others’.
- I could use it for work. Here there’s a better fit, as most of my work is around documents and numbers, resourcing and scheduling. (In fact, Pages and Numbers, if we’re talking applications.) However, it doesn’t meet all requirements, as I sometimes code (PHP, SASS) and a lot of our core work involves video – so iPad’s lock down on video formats excludes a lot of things it would be nice to have the iPad do for me.
So, like Natalie Inbruglia, I was torn. My Apple lust made me want one and my practical side couldn’t justify it.
This finally resolved itself when I said to myself, “We could really do with an iPad for work. You know, for testing and that.”, which was the excuse I was waiting to come up with, and so I went out and bought one.
Two weeks later
After the (well attended) official unpacking ceremony at work, the iPad spend the first few days if its new life in a bag doing nothing. I was still finding it hard to see what to do with it. Having spent the money, though, I did some research, got some apps and now it’s become a staple of my day.
I use it almost exclusively for work related activities; it’s great to take to meetings and I will be trying it out at a conference for the first time this week. (“Building Perfect Council websites ’10” – see you there!)
Although not exhaustive, here’s the list of applications I’m currently using:
- I use Things on all my Macs. The iPad experience is great, making good use of the larger screen that makes using it on the iPhone a bit frustrating. (That’s not Things’ fault, mind.)
- Again, Evernote is a staple application in my environment. I use it for knowledge management, mainly. Again, it’s been re-purposed for the iPad and is a really good experience.
- I do all my work off Dropbox. Available on all my computers, and also viewable on iPhone and iPad. This makes my life so much easier, as I synchronise my iDevices with my personal laptop, so having my files available in this way means I can sync them across from my Personal iTunes, into the iWork apps on the iPad (see next).
- Pages & Numbers
- The user experience of having to synchronise via iTunes is not good, but tolerable. The iPad versions of these applications are lovely. Although not feature-full (which causes problems when you want to edit files) they are well worth using for document creation.
- On my Macs, I use Mindjet’s Mindmanager, but on the iPad I’ve discovered iThoughtsHD. It’s compatible with most mind map file formats and has the added advantage of being able to load and save maps to and from DropBox directly. I’ve used it a little and so far, so good.
I’m off on holiday very soon, so I’ll be grabbing some childrens’ books and videos and putting them on the iPad; I think it’s going to be an excellent way to keep my 3-year-old occupied on the plane journey.
After that, who knows? If you have any great apps, I’d love to hear about them.