Monthly Archives: May 2011

iPads for business use … what do you use?

I absolutely love my iPad and often get asked about how effective it actually is as business tool – here’s my answer… the iPad is like any technology tool it can be very useful but it takes time & patience to find how what best suits you and your industry. I have jotted down some of the apps that I find most useful at the moment – but I must confess that I am fairly fickle and do have regular ‘clear outs’ of apps once I find something better. I’m also interested in finding out which apps you use for business – so please let us know using the ‘comments’ section below and we’ll add them to our list.

Name    £ Description

lino

free

Online ‘stickies’ service for making notes; easy to use and linked to email so reminders are sent to your email account. There are no limits to the number of ‘stickies’ or  noticeboards you can set up – so you can set up different noticeboards for different projects easily and colour code them. Can upload docs, images and web links to the ‘stickies’ – a bit similar to Infinote.

Prezi viewer

free

Used to view prezi presentations (www.prezi.com); can drag to pan and zoom in / out of topics during meetings and add in additional notes, comments. I never use ppt now as Prezi has the wow factor in presentations – syncs with the desktop version, enabling presentations to be created & viewed on both

Pages

£5.99

Word processing app – multi touch gestures for creating letters, reports, project plans, etc. Inserting images, tables and text has never been so easy. Once downloaded a tutorial guide is provided which shows you how to use the application fully.

Numbers

£5.99

Spreadsheet app – can be a bit tricky to start with but the tutorial guide covers all the key points.

Keynote

£5.99

Presentation app and can be connected to a projector to deliver presentation to bigger groups – much slicker than powerpoint and again a tutorial guide is provided.

Infinote

free

Another note taking app which is best used during brain storming activities – you can have multiple noteboards, can print from your iPad and has search functionality too.

Flipboard

free

Social media in a magazine layout which makes it easy to read all feeds from my Twitter, facebook, Google Reader and Flickr accounts – highly recommended

Memeo Connect Reader

?

Syncs with Google Docs and can be used to import from Google Docs to Pages, Numbers & Keynote – some duplicate functionality with Dropbox but I use both

Adobe PhotoShop Express

free

Used to edit and share photos – particularly useful when illustrating projects to clients

iTranslate

free

Universal translator for the iPad

Good Reader

£2.99

PDF reader for iPad – can be synched with Dropbox and be used to ‘read’ books, movies, maps & pictures

Dragon Dictation

free

Easy to use voice recognition app can be used to send voice notes / reminders to yourself / make notes from meetings and update Twitter etc. Works well but you need to talk clearly and needs wifi to work

WordPress

free

Used to update company wordpress blog – moderate comments, create / edit posts and pages

Invoice2go

Free (Lite)

20 built-in invoice styles, can be used to create / email invoices, keep track of payments owing & made and even calculates totals and tax. Need the full version (£8.99) to be able to add your own company logo to the invoices. It also produces an interesting range of useful reports / graphical displays.

Word Web

free

English dictionary and thesaurus

Doceri Remote

free

Needs wifi! Can launch, present and annotate any document / presentation or web page. Need to download the desktop Doceri onto the pc you wish to ‘control’ – at present the desktop Doceri is free

Stanza

free

e-reader app used to purchase and read e-books

TripAdvisor

free

Travel review app – used to find reviews for hotels, flights and restaurants. Very easy to use

Year Calendar

?

All – in – one year planner which syncs with built-in iPad calendar. Lots of icons and colours can be used to plan events easily

LinkedIn

free

This is an iphone app as yet there isn’t an iPad app for LinkedIn however you can still access discussions, send messages and edit you profile easily

Dropbox

free

Free cloud storage service which syncs files between iPad and pc – folders can be shared with others. Email attachments can be saved straight to Dropbox and you can always have access to the files

Twitbird

free

There are LOADS of iPad apps for Twitter – it’s down to personal preference and I do change apps based on functionality – at the moment this is the one I prefer
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Pushing envelopes: Paying for university

Higher fees for additional university places could boost the charitable sector – a cartoon by Ros Asquith highlighting potential manipulation that could take place with the introduction of additional places at university being available ‘for sale’ at a higher price.

What are your views? Is this a step too far?

McDonald’s chief tells company directors to hire more school leavers

“The boss of McDonald’s in the UK is urging more businesses to recruit school leavers and end decades of snobbery that favoured graduates.

Jill McDonald said it was time to drop hackneyed clichés that put all teenagers in hoodies and belittled their qualifications by calling them “dumbed down”. She said thousands of teenagers who joined the burger chain each year were bright and desperate to learn.

More than half the executive team at the US-owned business started in one of its 1,200 restaurants and 90% of restaurant managers joined as trainees.”

Read the article by Phillip Inman in full here

This article highlights the impact of the McDonald’s NVQ qualifications which are overseen by the schools regulator Ofsted. It appears that McDonalds currently has around 15 applicants for every one of their vacancies, which can be estimated at between 6,000 and 7,000 at any one period of time.

Jill McDonald said: “We now see the equivalent of six full classes gain adult certificates in maths and English every week and we’ve now awarded 3,000 Level 2 Apprenticeships in hospitality.”

She told the conference, also attended by the chancellor George Osborne and his shadow Ed Balls, that “we need to acknowledge the road many young people take today may not be the one we took in the past.

Our View

It can surely only be a good thing if young people have the opportunity to gain qualifications whilst earning money at a time where the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures put youth unemployment as  1 in 5 and education opportunities are decreasing as a result of the introduction of increased university fees, etc. Although it’s a shame that these young people haven’t necessarily achieved the Maths & English qualifications they need at school, to have an employer who is prepared to invest time and money in your personal development can only increase your sense of worth.

The importance of developing ‘life skills’ such as communication, teamwork, time management, etc in the hospitality sector shouldn’t be underestimated either and can be hugely beneficial to these workers in future careers.

What’s your view?