Running A Business Using a Tablet
Depending on your business, you can ditch a laptop and run your business from a tablet, such as an Android or Apple iPad. However, in this blog post, I will be focusing on the contracting market.
Apple’s release of the iPad in 2010 revolutionized the way we as consumers think about and use mobile computing. We got used to sending emails with our fingers, not a stylus or a keyboard. We were introduced to “Apps” instead of software and programs we installed on our hard drive.
The Frustrations of a Tablet
Yes, we all began to get used to using our tablets for a lot of things: to-do’s, emails, calendars, games, CRMs, and more. But then the frustrations began to happen. A few examples:
“I want to edit this MS Word document. How do I edit it and save it in the proper place?”
“How do I email an attachment from my Dropbox or Google Drive storage directly from my iPad without opening up another app?”
“How do I save an attachment in my email program?”
“Can I create an Excel or Google spreadsheet with all of the formula features on my tablet?”
Have any of these thoughts ever gone through your head? Well I’ve heard these four questions and many more over the past four years.
There is ANOTHER App For That
So what is the solution for the Tablet as of right now, Spring 2014? More Apps? Yes. More Apps. Application developers are busy at work creating millions of apps to help solve many problems tablet users face. Basically, they are all trying to make tablet applications act very similar to laptop or desktop computers. This is not easy and it takes a lot of capital.
Every month applications just get more slick, easier to use, and powerful. Yet most of them are still very weak and do not yet fully replace laptop features. Some of these limits are not the developer’s fault, but the fault of companies like Apple that have very strict development standards. So, the technology is there. It will just take a little more patience on our part or more of Apple allowing developers more freedom to make better apps.
What I Use
My goal has been trying to use less Apps to run my business remotely. To use an iPad in the field, I have 6-8 business apps I use, and they don’t always work seamlessly with each other. The number now is less than it used to be. Every few months, I find ways to cut down on the amount of apps I use! One of the Apps that has really been a time saver (besides Google products) is Base CRM. This company has done the best job at doing most of what I need within one single app: contact management, task management, and even sending emails.
Yet, I still find myself using a laptop more than a tablet device. It is just easier to use for all of the things I do in my business. It is faster and has way more features than a tablet.
So I, like you, am eagerly awaiting the day when I will only have to use a tablet, 100%, for my business. For the contractor, I think it will still be another year or two before you could consider 100% running all aspects, from a tablet. The personal computer is still a very trustworthy and useful tool. So my advice is, it is okay to use a tablet in the field as much as you can with the apps you want to use. Yet, having a laptop handy and nearby is a very wise choice!
I’d love to hear what you guys are using in the field and how it is working.