10 Productivity tips for writing on iPad

Hey guys, recently I’ve been writing a lot on everyone’s favorite mobile device: iPad. It’s been tricky to find the use for iPad, but when I finally figured it out, it suddenly became my favorite device and you will see why in this article. On this occasion I will explain how I use it for writing.

iPad Pages Workflow

Why should you use iPad for writing?

  1. It has awesome battery life, even though my Macbook Pro should last up to 7 hours, it often can bug out and live up to 5 or so hours. iPad is one of the rare devices which exceed 10 hours advertised battery life, because when it’s suspended, it literally doesn’t consume battery at all. I can endure 2-4 days on a single charge.
  2. Light weight is especially imortant for people that are moving a lot and can’t allow themselves to carry on something too heavy. Ipad is absolulte champion in this, cause it’s 600 grams+ heavy.
  3. Mobility kinda goes hand in hand with light weight. It’s carefully designed so it can fit any bag.
  4. It has less distractions due to it’s software architecture

Now that I’ve persuaded you to consider iPad for writing, I wanted to show you how it’s done and what do you need in order to make it work. Required Accessories (estimated cost: 50-150$):

  • Dock – iPad can’t stand on it’s own, so you have to improvise or have a dock. You don’t have to get dock exclusively, you can get creative. I for example use my iPad case in horizontal mode as a stand. You need some sort of stand, so it can visibly display your working display.
  • Glass Protector – This is essential, don’t make my mistake! I wanted to roll without glass protector, as I thought, why would i protect my screen, I don’t intend to sell my device, but it’s not about keeping it’s value, as much as it is about preserving your viewing area of your device.
  • Keyboard – There are all sorts of keyboards that work with iPad and while there are couple of options, including some, that will make dock or “stand” obsolete, I prefer Apple Original Wireless Keyboard. It’s smooth, light weight and great battery life. There are alternatives out there, but try to make sure to hit the right version of your iPad.

Now that we’ve got hardware covered and you can place and focus on software tools that can help you (estimated cost: 0-30$):

  • Evernote – If you want to go on the cheap, all you need to do is get free app called Evernote. It offers easy synchrnoisation of your notes across all devices that have Evernote installed on them.
  • iThoughtsHD – This paid application is great mind mapping tool and I use it for creating outlines and drafts of articles. Unfortunately there isn’t corresponding MAC or Windows application, but it’s integrated with Dropbox, so your work can be accessible while you are on your computer or phone as well.
  • Pages – Pages is one of my favorite applications on MAC, hence I love it on my tablet as well. If you come from Windows tribe, Pages is basically the same thing as word, just way way more beautiful and intuitive. Price of pages is 10$ for iPad version and 20$ for MAC version.

Final piece of this writing puzzle is how to transport all of your work to the computer, so we can get ready for some serious publishing. Here’s the list of resources that show you how I synchronize my work:

  • Tedious sync goes through iTunes when you use your iPad usb cable to connect it with your PC or MAC. It’s most reliable way to move your data, but also least practical.
  • Email is great option, when you are done with your work, you can send it to yourself. This way you are creating backup copy that will land in your email inbox and you will have your document available to you at your computer.
  • As previously mentioned: Dropbox is great tool for synchronisation.
  • Evernote sync might be by far the easiest way to transfer your writing to your computer, for future editing.
  • iCloud – I am eagerly awaiting for this service, which will make all of my documents available to all of your iDevices.
Are you using iPad for writing?  Do you think we’ve forgot to mention some of the tips? If you think so, please leave your favorite tip and technique and we will link back to your website in credits.

About Bojan
Bojan is internet marketing professional with a passion for all things productive. You can invite him for a Hangout on Google+ and follow him on Twitter or App.net.

Comments

  1. Lynn Brown says:

    This is good info here Bojan!  I love doing mind maps for my product creation and development.  also handy for blog posts, articles and videos.  I have actually been looking at the Samsung galaxy.  And I know I do want to get a tablet of some kind. 

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and the video was good as well! 

    • If you really want to take some Android tablet I highly suggest Asus transformer, it’s only device that is good enough to be on pair with iPad as we speak, in certain areas its even better.

  2. Karla Campos says:

    Hi Bojan, thanks for the info. I had no idea the iPad had such a long battery life, it sounds like a dream for someone who is always on the road. Have a great day!

  3. Timo Kiander says:

    Bojan,

    Great stuff!

    I have been thinking of buying iPad at some point. How well does it work for reading e-books, have you tried?