5 Tips That Make Your Meetings iPad-Friendly

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]

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  • Hi, Now with the ipad air and the appropriate apps you can add great value to your meeting notes. I was an early adopter of the ipad for meeting and I recognize myself in your points, but now, since ipad is widely spread among managers, developers started to create very interesting and useful apps for increasing your productivity at work. For me the best ones are all-in-one apps like Beesy (http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-taking-note-ipad/ ), I use it everyday but if you prefer you can combine different apps to get the same features (evernote, todoist, apple reminder, etc…)

  • David Yana

    Thanks for the article! A meeting app which is worth looking at: iTakeNotes

    are plenty of apps to take notes on your ipad but very few are really
    productivity apps able to generate structured reports. Writing down meeting
    minutes or meeting reports is a painful process which is time consuming.

    has been released on the appstore recently: the principle is to formalize notes
    during the meeting and get a meeting report as soon as the meeting is over in
    pdf and in .txt if you want to review the format. They provide audio recording
    and camera so as not to lose any data during the meeting. The app exists in
    english and french and a spanish version is on its way, it is a very productive
    tool for those who spent desperate time formalizing their meeting notes.

    I highly recommend

  • Brian Magalong

    We too use Anywhere Pad at the office. Saves a lot of time to get everyone in the meeting on the same page (literally) because it mirrors what the presenter sees on his iPad on everyone else's.  It does annotations too.  It's also free right now at the appstore!

  • Dale Perryman

    Here's an App that helps run more effective meetings.  It can be connected to an LCD projector.  Agreements can be captured through handwriting, audio recording,  or typed notes.  Sound effects, and color changes help to keep groups on track.  Awesome tool for anyone who conducts meetings.  http://bit.ly/qFMijL

  • Bill Fitzgerald

    The iphome is probably the most diverse device in the meeting setting. it lets you take notes and also share information in an upright position. It's pretty interesting. www.iphomeproducts.com

  • Bill Fitzgerald

    I have been looking for the best solution for taking notes on the idad and also being able to share the screen with others in a more creative environment. The "iphome" seems to do this well. My kids have been provided these at school.
    this may be helpful. www.iphomeproducts.com

  • Patrick

    I would like to use the iPad for showing notes and presentations (pdf). Apple's Dock-to-VGA cable only allows me to show videos, not text or pdfs. Does anyone have a solution ?

    Also, a wireless pointer that works on the iPad screen would be useful, as well as a power charging solution that does not use the dock connector as you need this for displaying ...

    Anyway, your article is great, and the iPad is not just a wonderful tool for boardrooms, but also for seminar rooms (e.g. explaining stuff during the breaks with the presentation literally at hand, or doing brainstorming sessions as anyone can do background research and every group or individual will come up with different answers, really sparking innovation) ...

    Patrick Van Renterghem (Belgium)
    comments or answers can be sent to @itworks on twitter

  • Cameron Wicks

    We just purchased an iPad for my office.  Very cool and a lot easier to use during client meetings than a laptop.  Skyline just introduced a new take on one of their current products.  It's a stand that you mount an iPad at trade shows and expos.  Very similar to the following link, but with an iPad instead of a monitor: http://goo.gl/HKiO5

  • pailebaker

    I like the concept of eBOARD meeting which is really bang on. because through which we can gets information about agenda. I used to ipad for daily news. But that five tips makes my ipad meeting friendly. Glad to read this article. 

  • Lisa

    Another neat app for the iPad is eBOARD Meetings.  It was developed for school systems (originally board meetings) and allows you to see agenda content and take notes with the iPad.  You can ever search for information from prior agendas by keyword.

  • Lisa

    Good ideas.  I hate taking notes on paper.  I always lose them.  Here's a blog called Fleshing out your meeting agendas that I wrote with further ideas.  Additionally there are some iPad apps like eBOARD meetings that help folks create and manage paperless agendas.  Here is a link to the blog; http://blog.eboardsolutions.co...

  • David Rosen

    Thought these were all good point.  However, I have started to go on trips with just my iPad and no laptop.  My greatest concern was having a regular keyboard, not just relying on the on-screen keyboard.  I have been traveling with the Apple wireless keyboard, but it is a little too bulky.  I recommend that people have a keyboard such as the brookstone case for the iPad version 1 or a Solid Line's Rightshift for the current iPad.

    A real keyboard provides quick access to numbers and special characters that require toggling on the ipad.  They also provide direct access to the Tab and Arrow keys which I dont think are available on the on-screen keyboard.

    One other option to help the iPad become a primary meeting and notetaker is something like audio-note app.  This app is great since it records a meeting (audio) and catches keyboard strokes when they are taken.  This is tremendous whenever you want to go back to your notes and answer... "What did they say about XXX"  Audio Note makes a great stride for meeting notes and capturing what was said.