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Issue #101: Creating the iPad Office Toolkit 🗂

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First of all, I’d like to thank you all who’ve taken the time to answer the 100th issue survey. Thank you for your input, and your kind words – I’m taking it all to heart, and will act accordingly. And if you haven’t had the time yet, the survey’s still open, so do consider sharing your thoughts. It’s a super short one, and anonymous too.

This issue will be a little shorter than usual, but I hope you’ll find it interesting nonetheless. You see, I’ve been wanting to dive deeper into how the iPad works for various professional use-cases. One thing most people will say is that iPadOS is fine for light office work, which sounds about right, doesn’t it? Well, I’m on a mission to try to figure this out, and see where the whole thing falls apart.

Email and documents won’t be such an issue (although I’ve got thoughts on the latter), but when it comes to spreadsheets, the iPad’s screen might not be the best option. Those are the things I’m going to explore, essentially creating an Office Toolkit, consisting of apps and services, for iPad users.

What constitutes as office work differ, though. The fundamentals are basically covered (in theory) by Apple’s iWork suite, which obviously is just a Microsoft Office rip-off.

I’d like to define an office suite as the following:

  • Word processor tool (i.e., Pages or Word)
  • Spreadsheet tool (i.e., Numbers or Excel)
  • Presentation tool (i.e., Keynote or PowerPoint)
  • Video conferencing tool (i.e., FaceTime or Teams)
  • File sharing tool (i.e., iCloud Drive or OneDrive)

We’ve also got apps for email and the calendar, which will be touched upon, but not as prominently as the aforementioned. And yes, I’ll include Google Suites, and possibly other alternatives, in this series, too.

It’s not the full picture, though, and this is where you come in. You see, not all office needs are created equal. We might all need to be able to send a document or share a spreadsheet, but what else is there? Do you have VPN needs, and if you do, what is it and is it tied to something the I.T. department at your company needs to be involved with? Are there parts of your office workflow that just doesn’t fit the modern “everything in the cloud” way of thinking? And what about paperwork, could you ditch the binders in favor of a proper scanning solution, digitizing everything?

Tell me, please. Hit reply (if you’re reading this in your inbox), or tweet to @tdh.

I’ll be working on this for weeks, it’s not a light endeavor. In scope, I’d say this’ll end up being a lot more comprehensive than my dumbphone experiment series. I want to put both services and apps to the test properly so that we do indeed end up with a working office toolkit with clear limitations, if there are any.

So, again, please let me know if you’ve got something other than the aforementioned in your office workflow. I’d love to know what it is.

Thanks for reading.

Thord D. Hedengren