Category Archives: Independent Knowledge Professionals

Have iPad. Will Travel.

This blog is called Independent Knowledge Professional for a reason. It’s where the action is in our crazy global, info-everywhere world. Workers don’t necessarily work at work anymore. They work wherever they need to or want to. It just so happens that an iPad fits in really, really well in this environment.

Part 1 – Have iPad. The iPad is the Post-PC device Steve Jobs envisioned and created a year ago with the help of his awesome team at Apple. Steve hires the best of the best and they pretty much eat sleep and breathe the excellence cocktail Steve has brewed for them. Forget about the iPod and the iPhone for a minute. Those were a starter set of tools for our mobile selves.

Now we’ve got the big brother or sister of iPhone 4 to make our way in the world. The iPad and its newer companion the iPad 2, are personal devices. They aren’t really like the *big* computers we’ve grown up on.

PCs. I’ve got the smallest *big* computer I can think as my main Mac: the new Macbook Air. I got my first one in November 2009 and didn’t look back. The Air is a little like taking a sow’s ear and seeing if you can make a silk purse out it. I would say, Apple succeeded admirably with the Air. I liked the slightly limited gen 2 Air and now am in love with the 4th gen Air I’m writing on right now.

By the way, I’m writing in bed. I do have one of those chairlike pillows to lean up against, but this Air can do writing in bed quite nicely thanks. So, I don’t want you to think that you will never want to use a computer again. And, I want you to see that we aren’t in Kansas with a big honking desktop PC, chained to the desk – even before iPad.

Part 2 – Will Travel. We have moved on, out, around the house, on the bed, the sofa and the kitchen table. We’ve moved out to the local coffee shops of all stripes en masse.

Knowledge professionals working fulltime jobs (probably a minority but it still happens) often bring their own laptops to work and back every day. Some take the work laptop home if the company supplies nice laptops. The main point of all this is we are mobile in our computing and have been. Things just keep moving in that direction.

The word computer is getting stretched a bit thin these days. It is true that the iPhone, for example, is a computer. It’s small and sexy and has a phone and all sorts of sensors and extras on it, but its still a computer.

Most cell phones seem to be on their way to becoming smartphones. When smartphones grow up they become mobile computers that are also phones. Calling isn’t the only way people communicate these days. Look at those Blackberry folks thumb-typing to beat the band. They are into email and will talk to you on the phone if they have to. Texting is popular across the globe at this point. Social communications on tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a whole slew of others seem to consume a lot of people’s time as well. This is going to keep getting more interesting as the phone continues to morph.

So, that leads to the question, what does the iPad have to do with any of this? Steve says its the car to your PC pickup truck. He says it can do a lot and is easy to keep with you all the time. That’s true by the way. I can testify that keeping an iPad with you almost continuously is something that is not only possible but desirable. The iPad is the daytimer or clipboard of our decade.

The iPad is new and Apple took the opportunity to make a new iOS with different rules and tools. They didn’t play nice like us lazy humans wanted. They didn’t do cool new stuff but also stick every single standard thing we’ve become accustomed to on computers into the container. They said no again. That darned Steve and his minimalism. He just won’t quit on that no stuff.

So, with an iPad you don’t have a USB connector at all!!! It is heresy of the first water to deny people of USB ports. What will we do with all our usb sticks not to mention the 101 USB devices we purchased with our hard-earned money? I ask you.

And forget about a file system you can navigate around in and set up folders wherever you want. No way. The file system is there but you don’t get to play in that fun little sandbox. Every app has its own place for files hidden in the back somewhere. All we get is a way to send files from App A to App B. To send email attachments to Apps that can deal with them. It is not seamless no matter what Steve says.

So, just take my word for it that you won’t be able to just run with an iPad as a smaller, thinner laptop sans the keyboard. You can’t. You have to learn new things and all the pieces are not perfectly synchronized yet. Remember how long it took to get copy and paste on the iPhone?

In spite of all that inconvenience, the iPad is a resounding mega hit. Apple sold so many iPads in 9 months that they almost made as much money there as they made selling all models of the Macintosh. Something is going on here and even Steve’s marketing and incessant commercials couldn’t do that if the product wasn’t pretty phenomenal.

I’m writing this on the Sunday after the international launch of iPad 2 in 25 countries on Friday. The lines were really long. And happily lots and lots of people brought home shiny new iPad 2’s. Even with Scalpers running amok buying up iPads to sell in the rest of the world that hasn’t gotten lucky yet.

I am starting to think that the PC as we’ve known it was longer in the tooth than we realized. The PC is 30 years old and sure its gotten faster, has bigger screens, has applications that can jump through all sorts of hoops. Maybe the time has come for something a bit off the charts. Something smaller, lighter, more personable and human-friendly. That’s the iPad.

13 Work Reasons to Buy an iPad

Updated with Photo of iPad 2

Six Months In. Here’s what makes the iPad so great for students and knowledge professionals of all categories:

  • Affordable quality. The iPad is a jewel of a device. Great design. Minimalism with power. And cheap considering its construction, capabilities, screen, speed and storage.
  • Amazing battery life. Makes the hassle of trying to keep your laptop alive for more than a few minutes go away. No worries. It just keeps working all day long if need be.
  • Lighter, smaller and easier to deal with than a laptop. 1.5 lbs. A whole different experience. Greatly increases the chances you’ll have it with you when at home or out and about. Sure you’ll break out the laptop for serious work sessions, but what about all those other brief opportunities to record a thought or check a fact? Yes, the iPhone might have you covered, but it may also be too much work to write much down. Valuable thoughts and knowledge go uncaptured.
  • Big enough for reading. If you are going to read for more than a few minutes, you’ll prefer a book-sized screen. The iPhone is too small for a lot of people – especially anyone who prefers larger type. The iPhone 4 does have more adherents due to the awesome 960 x 640 pixel display. Larger pages work great on iPad, not so great on the small screen. There’s a reason most books are bigger than an iPhone and smaller than a laptop.
  • A Better Alternative to Paper in our Digital Age. Rather than committing your thoughts or notes to paper, why not capture them easily in some digital form on your iPad? As our media goes digital, there is less reason to interact with paper. Paper starts seeming rather limited in its capabilities. Enter iPad.
  • Internet access. The large bright screen, fast processor and iPad version of mobile Safari make for an awesome web browsing experience. There may be an occasional Flash video you miss out on but the trend to replace Flash with HTML 5 continues. And you aren’t annoyed by intrusive flash ads.
  • In Meetings. An iPad is sociable and unobtrusive as it sits flat on the table. It’s great for sharing info with a couple other people on the screen or for taking notes and even recording audio while doing so.
  • Touch-based. More human-friendly, less abstract. Direct manipulation at its finest.
  • Very functional. The vast number of apps means you can do all sorts of things with it. And there might be an app for your special hobby or interest like say bird-watching or star-gazing. Not to mention even more specialized applications like a one-handed clipboard in the field or as an information pad for aviators.
  • Simpler to use than a laptop. Dumbed down a lot and simplified compared to a full-blown computer. Makes it effortless and more fun to use.
  • Travel and errands. Just as the lightness and simplicity of the iPad makes it something you’ll carry with you around the house. You’ll be carrying it with you when you walk, run errands and travel if you can possibly figure a way to avoid all the hassle of a battery-sucking, heavy laptop.
  • On the couch – comfy. A lot of people were keeping their laptops open while watching TV. The iPad is worlds better for that function. It’s less conspicuous too. Kind of fits like a magazine would. You may squeeze in a little more work on the couch when you can’t face cracking open your laptop. See? I told you these were work reasons.
  • In bed – comfy. If you want a big screen in bed, this is it. Beats the Kindle when you have little light. You can do some of your professional reading or actual work in bed. A lot of people like working in bed – makes it a little less like work!

I’m sure I haven’t thought of every good reason here. But this should get you started.

New iPhone/iPod Touch tool to keep up with your Reading

I now have a way to see my latest reads in progress which is great because sometimes I forget I have them.

Readmore lets me view my list of books in an attractive format where I can easily identify books by assigning colors and textures.

I can manually organize the list by using the Edit button shown and then just drag books to the position I want.

It makes a game out of getting my reading done. It shows me when I’m likely to finish reading a book and percent completion. It gives me a simple structure to help me stay current and get some of the more challenging books read.

I want to be able to finish reading these books and this app helps me get the job done. As a knowledge professional, keeping up with my reading is important the way keeping up with my fitness is important in my personal life. We now have a Runkeeper for reading. At $2, this structure can’t be beat! The iTunes link is: Readmore.

Maximizing Passion in your Career/Business

Many of us are passionate fans in one or more areas of our non-work lives but few of us have managed to make a career out of a beloved hobby. There’s a new book out called Fan to Pro:¬†Unlocking Career Insights With Your Hobbies that attempts to leverage our passionate interests for both self-insight and actual money-making career development. I bought the eBook yesterday for $5.95 and am several chapters into it already – reading in iBooks on my iPhone and iPad.

This is a great read for any independent knowledge professional. The author, Steven Savage, argues that we should take our hobbies more seriously. Our passionate hobbies tell us about ourselves. They point to a source of energy and self-motivation that would serve us well in our career efforts if channeled there and not kept on the sidelines.

Savage is a technology enthusiast in the extreme. He is and has been making his living in his field of choice for quite some time now. He believes that too many of us regard our passionate interests as too much fun to be something we can do for a living. The book is really well-done and reflects a multi-year effort.

As industries and job categories sink or swim in today’s unruly economy, many of us are in an inquiry about the direction of our careers. If you can’t be sure how viable a particular career path may be in an unpredictable future, make sure that your chosen path reflects your abilities, interests and values since that is something you can figure out. Then, boldly go forth seeking your way armed with self-knowledge.

Fan to Pro comes to grips with the complexities of career choice. Savage helps you look at your strengths, the obstacles you might face in converting your passion into a career and the hard work you will be in for. He doesn’t gloss over the challenges. That’s what makes this book different from the dozens of career and business books that just tell you what you want to hear.

Thanks to Innowen at DIY Planner for reviewing Fan to Pro. Good find!

Related Post: Discover Your Strengths and Supercharge Your Business, CopyBlogger