From laptop to iPad; How to make the move

With features like “instant on,” a multi-touch interface, and incredible portability, the iPad has been my new go-to device. In fact, it has completely replaced my laptop.

I want to say that this transition may not work for everyone. If you use the more advanced features of the MS Office Suite or if your working environment demands a Windows OS, moving completely away from a PC may not work for you. For example, the iPad isn’t going to do Pivot Tables (Excel) or Indexing (Word) least, not yet. The point of these blog posts is to simply tell my story of how I made the transition. In my opinion, the average pastor may benefit and enjoy the functionality the iPad has to offer…but most of us can’t justify the cost unless we are replacing something! So here’s how I did it.

To the Cloud…then to the iPad
Cloud computing is becoming much more mainstream, as proven by Microsoft’s new line of commercials. I have to say, these commercials frustrate me just a bit. Google has done a much better job of offering cloud solutions and they did so years ago. Microsoft is behind the ball in this department…and the commercials make it sound as if the cloud was Microsoft’s idea! Not so! Whatever the case, cloud computing brings incredible accessibility and very cost effective solutions.

If you are new the concept, you can read a blog post I wrote several months ago for The Quest.” In it I talk about the advantages to GoogleDocs and explain a little more about cloud computing. Basically, the cloud is simply inetnet-based computing. For example, instead of loading an Office Suite on your computer and saving your documents to your hard-drive (which you then have to sync with all your mobile devices), you could use a cloud based Office solution (GoogleDocs or MS OfficeLive) and save your documents to the company’s internet server. Though the functionality is somewhat limited, it does give you access to your files from any internet connected computer…and over a range of devices (smart phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, etc.). There are lots of cloud solutions! You can keep your calendars on the cloud…that way you can update an event from one device (your PC) and all your other mobile devices would sync automatically since they all access the one server.

The iPad was built for the cloud. Since there is limited local data storage (64GB at the most…for now), cloud solutions are a perfect fit. Here’s what I used to move my information from my laptop to the cloud to be accessed by my iPad:

From Outlook to Google Apps
Instead of saving my email, calendars, and contacts locally on my laptop using MS Outlook, I got a GoogleApps account (it’s free, by the way), and moved all my information over. It’s fairly simple to do…but here is some help from Google..

The iPad has a Mail program that allows you to access your Google mail and a Calendar Program that allows you view and edit you GoogleCalendars (click here for a step-by-step process of setting them up). However, I purchased InformantHD for my calendar and to do list. In my opinion, the native iPad calendar is missing some features…like swiping to move from one month to another…and the ability to touch and hold to add events. InformantHD has both features…and also allows you see your calendar and to do list in one app!

From Outlook Tasks to Toodledo
For my to do list, I use ToodleDo…a cloud-based task list solution. InformantHD can sync with ToodleDo, as will several other Apps. There have been several times when I was away from my devices, throught of an important “To Do” item, and used the internet to access ToodleDo. I love the cloud!

From My Documents to Google Docs
Accessing my documents from the iPad was a must! My solution was to move all of my documents over to my GoogleApps account. To accomplish this, I used Syncplicity. It’s a FREE site that allows you to sync your My Documents folder to a Syncplicity account. Then you can sync that account to your GoogleDocs account. I set it all up, went to bed, and in the morning, I had access to my documents.

Now I have to say that editing and syncing the documents has been a bit of a headache. In the next blog, I’ll talk more about Office Apps…but for the most part, this has been a great solution.

From OneNote to Evernote
Being trained in the Franklin-Covey methods, I take copious notes. For exemple, last week I switched phone companies at the church. I made notes on who I talked to, when, what they promised to do, and when they were going to get those things accomplished (some day I’m going to blog on taking Daily Notes). On my laptop, I used OneNote…a Microsoft solution. I have now moved all those notes over to Evernote. Evernote has a desktop app, an iPad app, and the ability to make notes from the website. It’s a fantastic way to keep all your notes in sync! If you have OneNote 2007, converting your notes is pretty easy. If you are using OneNote 2010, it’s a little more difficult. A basic Google search on the topic will yield you sufficient how-tos.

From Logos to…well…Logos!
When I first began thinking about making the transition, one of my biggest concerns was my Bible Software. I use Logos and believe it’s the most powerful Bible Study tool out there. I couldn’t imagine working without it! After a little research, I discovered that if I upgraded to Logos 4, I could acess most of library with the Logos App on my iPad! I could also do word studies, passage studies, and search my Library! It’s a fantastic app…and it solved a major problem! Thanks Logos!!

Too much work? Maybe not…
After reading all that, you might be thinking, “Wow…that’s a lot of work!” And I won’t argue…but for what it’s worth, I had already moved to cloud solutions before I even purchased my iPad. For our church, GoogleApps was a very cost effective way to sync calendars, share documents, and plan meetings. After all…it’s free! What I’m trying to say it making the move is worth every effort…and considering the accessibility and functionality you gain, you can’t beat the price!

Next up…Apps and Accessories!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


3 thoughts on “From laptop to iPad; How to make the move

  1. Thanks. Nice write up. How do you get along without Flash?

    I have had Logos 4 for some time, and it would be a nice benefit to have the iPad (I would really like the instant on feature). OliveTree (Cell Phone / PDA software) is really putting their efforts into the iPhone/iPad market too (I have bunches of their stuff also).

    How do you like the keyboard? That is the other hesitation that I have with the iPad. I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to type as fast (I’m pitiful on an Android phone, even with a keypad).

    Do you have the data service, or do you get by with the wi-fi version?

    Is there a version of Dropbox for the iPad? I use that a lot right now (2 GB free – syncs with all PCs, and accessible via Android). You can put any type of document there, and use the local editing software.

    Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks, Kevin.
      Honestly, I haven’t missed Flash all that much. There are a lot of apps that reformat video content to be used on the iPad. And the times I “needed” flash, I will just use the LogMeIn App and do it that way.
      The Olive Tree apps cost, so I haven’t tried them. I’ve used other Olive Tree stuff (Windows Smartphone) and really enjoyed it.

      When in landscape mode, you can use the keyboard with two hands, like you would a “normal” keyboard. I was surprised at how good it was. However, it’s kinda like running in mud…can’t quite go as fast as you want to. I did purchase the bluetooth keyboard for when I have to type a lot, and it works very well!

      I got the Wifi only version, though I did opt for a little more room (32GB). You can find free Wifi in so many places now (McDonalds, Starbucks, etc) that I felt like I didn’t need it. I’ve been at a few conferences when the church didn’t have wifi (Neanderthals!) where I wished I had some kind of connection. But I can’t afford a data service anyway!

      There is a Dropbox app for the iPad…but I just downloaded it yesterday and haven’t done much with it. From what I can see, you can’t go from Pages (the Apple WordProcessor) to DropBox. Silly Apple!

      Thanks for the comments!

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