The pen and paper are losing their dominance in boardrooms across North America. Instead, workers are meeting with iPads in tow. While the laptop is often considered to be an intrusive device on the table, since the mere opening of the screen partially blocks its owner, Apple's slick tablet is a much more welcome face. With more than 25 million iPads already sold, this trend is bound to continue.
To make your meetings iPad-friendly, here are some tips.
1. Take a Stand
Whether you're showing something on your iPad or using the device to take notes, one of the best stands on the market right now is The Loop from Griffin. It's a portable and durable accessory that will keep the first generation iPad in its place, whether you're in landscape or portrait view. If you have an iPad 2, your best bet is the Targus 360 rotating stand and case. Like The Loop, it's durable and easy to carry around.
2. Sync Together
When you want to share a document with your attendees, there is a new app that will make the presentation experience a breeze. Idea Flight allows you to share multiple file formats with other iPad users, up to 15 people in fact. If your colleagues have iPads, they simply download the app for free to tag along. As the program "Pilot" you will have to pay a one-time fee of $7.99 to be able to control what you share. The best thing is that you can lock the presentation so everyone sees what you see, or you can unlock it to allow your "Passengers" to browse through at their convenience.
3. Use Video
With so many people working virtually, the norm these days is to assign an attendee a call-in number and listen to him chirp in on a Star Trek-like phone in the center of the boardroom table. To bring the caller into the room in a more physical way, try using Skype video on your iPad 2. This way you can truly have everyone at the table at no extra cost.
4. Make Notes
If you're wondering what tool you should use to take notes in a meeting on your iPad, look no further than Evernote. This popular software now has more than 10 million users, thanks to how easy it makes it to capture ideas, share notes across multiple devices, and tag things for easy searching. With all this functionality, you'd expect to pay a price: however, the iPad download is free (extra features are available in the paid Premium version).
5. Be Courteous
While there is no doubt that technology can make us more productive, it can also make us less courteous. When you're in a meeting with your iPad, it's a good idea to mention that you're using it to take notes (versus surfing on YouTube). Avoid hammering away on the tablet answering emails or chatting with people beyond the boardroom; keep your focus on the meeting in front of you.
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[Image: Flickr user stickwithjosh]