Categories
Business Information Tech

Can a Tablet Be Your Full-Time Computer?

Can a tablet be your full-time computer? That is a good question. Since a tablet is light-weight and more capable than ever, I wanted to see if it were possible. The quick answer is a resounding YES! And maybe a little no.

Recently Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have given us a boost in that direction. The new Apple iPad Pro, the Microsoft Surface Go and Pro 6, and Samsung with their DeX connection make it easy. However, I don’t have any of these devices.

What Do You Need?

What will make this a fruitful inquiry?

  1. Is the hardware available and sufficient for full-time work?
  2. Is the hardware viable with its smaller screen?
  3. Is the software applications plentiful enough?
  4. Are the software applications adequate?

Let’s Begin with Hardware

My first concern is the hardware. What do you need to begin a successful test?

  • a beautiful screen with a high resolution
  • a superb Bluetooth keyboard to connect
  • a Bluetooth mouse for quick location onscreen
  • a large monitor to connect when working at your desk

These criteria would help with the process of converting to a tablet.

ASUS Tablet & Logitech KeyboardAs readers know, I have an ASUS ZenPad 10 Android tablet. It is two years old and yet has a screen resolution higher than most current tablets at 2048 X 1536. Great screen and definitely a high enough resolution.

The Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth keyboard is still the best Bluetooth keyboard available today. The keyboard weighs nothing and is so thin it is barely there. And it still has key movement similar to my ASUS ZenBook laptop. It will fill the keyboard slot very well. I just bought a second one for my wife to use with her new tablet.

I have yet to test a Bluetooth mouse, but there are plenty of brand name and off-brand names available. From the Amazon reviews, these work well enough for this part of the hardware requirements.

Connecting a large screen is also easy to do. Amazon Basics offers a USB Type C to HDMI adapter that will handle a large monitor. Since I got rid of the last desktop computer and monitor I had, I am unable to test this part, but again, according to the Amazon reviews, this is solved.

How about the Software part of the equation?

Software is the toughest part of this test. The resounding YES! is because there are plenty of productivity apps to satisfy most users. The small no comes from the lack of availability of specialty software.

With Google Drive and its associated apps, it can handle basic computing needs. There is Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheets, Slides for presentations, Forms for information gathering, Drawings for creativity, and more within this suite of products.

Even Microsoft offers versions of it’s Office Suite on the Android and Apple platforms.

I suspect this will cover most computer users on the tablet.

Publishing on the Web

Even writing specifically for the web is easy using apps provided by the different suiters. I use the WordPress app on my tablet for writing with the Keys-to-Go Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve written about this before.

I found a Medium app in the Google Play store that allows for reading and writing with the Medium website.

Miscellaneous Apps

There are apps for all of the following:

  • To Do
  • Photo editing
  • Video editing
  • Notes
  • Time management
  • Calendar
  • Voice to Text
  • Text to Voice
  • Voice recording
  • Phone recording
  • Web meeting
  • Email
  • Scanning
  • Team collaboration
  • Password managers
  • Presentation
  • and more

What is Missing

The problem comes with specialty applications. I use only a few in this category.

I’m not using these everyday, but regularly enough for them to be problematic. 

I think working on the go is possible with just a tablet, keyboard, and mouse, but I think I still need a full-fledged laptop back at home base.

Categories
Business Sales

The Sales Life

The sales life is one of joy and frustration, fun and stress, and excitement and upheaval. What follows are some thoughts I have on sales.

The most joy a salesperson can have is helping a customer solve their problem.

The most frustration a salesperson can have is dealing with support staff.

The most fun a salesperson can have is getting to know a customer better and sharing lives together.

The most stress a salesperson can have is dealing with a sales manager that doesn’t trust you to do your work.

The most excitement a salesperson can have is playing golf with a customer who have become a good friend.

The most upheaval a salesperson can experience is dealing with upper management that has never sold anything, yet continues to tell you how to do your job.

What do you think? What are your thoughts about the sales life?

Categories
Business Information WordPress

Twice as Long

It seem everything takes twice as long as it should.

 

I have an interest in writing in Google Docs, but need to publish on my WordPress website. That process is clumsy and causes formatting issues.

A bit of Google research shows a simple add-on to Google Docs called Publish to WordPress that does all the configuring and translating in the background to convert a document from Docs to WordPress. How cool is that?

No need for copy and paste, then spending time re-formating,inserting pictures, etc. Just write, add pictures, format, then click Publish Post or Save Draft. Should be easy peasy. The only requirement is to have JetPack installed and an account to log into. Got it.

Or maybe not

Installing the Add-On was straightforward and went off without a hitch. Adding the first website was as easy as I thought.

In authorizing my main website, I got an error message. As I normally do, I copied it over to Google to see what the issue was and how to fix it. Nothing. Not a single hit for the error message.

Okay, let’s go to the Publish to WordPress website to search. It took several searches before finding the add-on was by Plugmatter. I read all through the home page a few times with nothing jumping out as a potential problem. Then I noticed an FAQ section to check out.

One sentence, “make sure JSON API is enabled” caught my eye. Further digging says it is enabled by default. Yeah, right. More Google to figure out how to check this in Jetpack to make sure it is enabled. I found that information quickly.

BINGO

Well, you guessed it. It was not enabled on this website. The instructions didn’t mention how to activate it, but that was an easy mouse click.

Back to Google Docs to try again … Success.

I am writing this in Google Docs, formatting it, and have added a picture with wrapped text. Now to see how it works in real life. Now to click Save Draft.

IN WORDPRESS

Publish to WordPress ScreenshotDid it work? Not so much. Picture alignment is off and I can’t get the text to wrap to the right. The bold and italics didn’t come over and neither did the heading 2 formatting. The font size was the same in Google Docs, but changes in WordPress. I am disappointed in the results. The code is bloated and difficult to navigate. Fixing all the issues would be easier to just start over.

Since the add-on is free, there seems to be no support, so there you have it. I guess I’ll keep looking.

Has your experience been different? Let me know. Where do you write? In WordPress or in another program, then publish on WordPress?

Categories
Articles Business Featured

Tablets and Software

CamCard I believe tablets are ready for use as sales tools. They are small and light, making them easy to use. The struggle is the lack of software … or is it? The software is catching up quickly and there are very few things I can’t handle on a tablet now. Will it replace a laptop? Not for everything a laptop will do, but let’s face it, most sales people use their laptops to look up a piece of information on occasion and to enter orders. This and more is something a tablet is very good at.

What Software?

Much has been written about using mobile devices at work, but from what I see, most only use them for looking at their Facebook page, Tweeting something, or posting a picture to Instagram. Is that all that mobile devices are good for? Not even … and I’ll cover some of my uses next, then later we’ll look at going heavy duty with work.

Software I Use

Here is a list of the apps I use on my phone or tablet for work

Categories
Business Featured

Tablets in the Workflow

Nexus 7 and Verbatim Keyboard
Tablet and Keyboard

Selling is hard work, not doubt about it. I’m always asking myself, how can we make it easier, better, more efficient. I believe one way is by using technology for the tools they are. Technology itself does not make sales easier, but it can make it more efficient.

Today I am writing this article on my Nexus 7 tablet to see if a salesman could enter information into a tablet quickly and easily. Some will say I’m cheating because I have my Verbatim blue tooth keyboard connected, but again, I say, use the tools. A very inexpensive keyboard turns this tablet into a data entry machine. Still not a full laptop, but remember, most information a salesman enters is short notes about a planned meeting, short notes after the meeting, or adding something to the to-do list.

I know this isn’t the end all, be all, but it shows a proof a concept once the appropriate software is made available. So now the question is about software. What can you use? How can you use it? I’m glad you asked because that will be next.

Categories
Business Featured Information

Are Tablets Ready for Business?

iPadAir Are tablets ready for business? This is a question asked more each day. Here is how I answer that question. While businesses are asking the question, sales people are carrying their own tablets on sales calls.

I first witnessed this almost four years ago when a salesman I was working with left his big heavy laptop at the office when we left for a day’s work in the field. He did, however, carry his iPad under his arm, which I thought nothing of at the time.

At our first stop, he jumped out of the car, iPad in hand and I watched closely. As we talked with the customer about different products he needed, the salesman recorded each item on the tablet. When asked about a particular item, he brought up a picture from the web, showed the customer, and recorded another sold item on the order for he used.

Did the company issue the iPad? No, it was his own device and was not formally vetted for use in the field by anyone from IT. It was light, fast, easy to carry into an office and it instantly caused a reaction from the people in each office. I was hooked.

Normally between calls, my conversation with the sales person is about the previous call. What went well, what could improve … but not this day. I was asking questions about how he used the tablet in his work day. How did customers and prospects react to it when he was by himself? (It’s always different when two people go in together) Had he witnessed an increase in business by actively engaging the customers with this technology?

That was when I knew the tablet would come into business. It was a natural tool to use in front of customers. It was instantly on, it was easy to hand to the customer to look at a picture or watch a video, and customers were talking and asking questions. This is a customer engaged … a huge plus for any sales person.

I have begun using my Nexus 7 in my daily workflow at the office. I’ll write about the details in another article.

How does your company look at tablets? Has there been any discussion? Are people using their own equipment like they do with their cell phones?

I’d really like to know how this is playing in other industries. Talk to me …