There’s a lot of attention given to the amazing array of entertainment options on tablet PCs. But more and more people are realising just how useful they can be for business as well, especially for executives. If you spend a lot of time in meetings and/or giving presentations, a tablet PC is a powerful, lightweight tool that can make your day-to-day professional life easier.
Using a Tablet PC for Presentations
When you hear the word “presentation”, you probably think of PowerPoint on a screen in a semi-darkened room. That’s fine, but a tablet can be used as an aide for even a simple presentation at a podium or to your team. Unlike a laptop, which can be a kind of physical “barrier” between you and your audience — even concealing your face from some people in the worst cases! — a tablet rests easily beside you and doesn’t get in your way. It’s just like printing out your notes, but (a) you don’t need to, and (b) it looks more professional.
If you are planning to use a screen as part of your presentation, you can connect many (but not all so check!) tablets directly to the projector. This means you can plan everything at home, taking advantage of all the best apps and other software you already have on your tablet and not have to rely on the computers at the venue. Some venues insist that you transfer your files to their machines, which are already rigged up to the projector. But what if their equipment doesn’t work or doesn’t have the same software, If you can just plug right in from your tablet, you won’t need to worry about that.
Using a Tablet to Take Notes
One of the main advantages of taking notes with your tablet PC is that you don’t have to type them up later; you input them directly and just edit and tidy them up later. They’re also quick to get going so you can easily whip out your tablet and start taking notes if the meeting turns out to be more interesting or important than you expected.
In contrast, if you have your laptop in your bag, you have to get it out, boot it up, possibly looking for a power outlet, etc. True, it’s only slightly faster with your tablet, but it’s much less disruptive to proceedings. Having said that, though, using the onscreen keyboard on a tablet PC is a little clunky so you might need an external keyboard or just resign yourself to typing slowly and/or making lots of typos!
To combat this, another cool functionality is the ability to input handwritten notes directly using a “stylus” — a kind of “digital pen” which allows you to write on the screen. You can take notes at the same speed as if you were writing on paper but once the meeting is over you can then use the “Search” function to look for particular things in your notes for follow-up.
Using a Tablet to Stay Up To Date While on the Move
If you’ve ever had to travel with your laptop for business, you know that some can be really bulky and heavy. They may seem light and portable in the office, but carry one around for a week and your opinion may change! This is where tablet PCs have really broken open the market for the business user.
When you take your laptop away with you to a meeting or conference, you typically only use a small amount of the applications and data on it. Tablets can store quite a lot of data, have an ample selection of office suite apps and other productivity tools to keep you going, and truly are lightweight portable devices.
With a tablet, you can quickly and easily turn travel time or even airport lounge waiting time into productive time. Of course, we’ve been doing this for years with our laptops, but the convenience-factor has just tripled with the introduction of tablet PCs. And that equates directly to greater productivity. If it’s easy to open up your presentation and work on it in the taxi from the airport, you probably will. If it’s a laborious process on a bulky device you have to balance on your knees, you probably won’t.
Additionally, if your office uses a cloud-computing solution, you can take advantage of wireless internet access to stay in touch with the office, update your CRM, etc. all while on the go. Again, you can do this much more quickly than getting out your laptop, waiting for it to boot, etc. And the display is significantly bigger and simpler to navigate than doing the same thing on your smartphone.