Why chief executives get an iPad or another slate device

by | May/25/2011

When I purchased my first slate computing device, I literally thought it would just be a toy for me to play with and I would never use it for anything serious. I could not have been more wrong.

Note: I bought an iPad; however, there are many other slate devices that provide a similar experience.

In fact, because I arrived early for a meeting and have time, I’m typing this blog entry using the sleek Apple Bluetooth keyboard connected to my iPad. I often find that I use my iPad more than a computer on any given day.

Besides e-mail, I also use OmniFocus extensively. OmniFocus allows a listing of “to do” items based on your whereabouts. This allows me to accomplish ordered tasks in places with the following situations:

  • No phone or Internet connection
  • No Internet access, but I have phone access
  • My laptop’s 4G card has a signal
  • Using Wi-Fi or standard Ethernet connection
  • I am using a lighting fast fiber connection

My effectiveness skyrocketed with this tool.

As many of you know, I frequently travel five days a week and notes in Evernote track all the reservation details and confirmation numbers for ten flights, four hotels, four rental cars, and the time and address of all the locations I need to visit.

Even though Kindle is an Amazon tool, the Kindle app allows me to carry many technical books without the weight and size of the printed versions.

The travel apps for airlines are very helpful too—especially for people who travel frequently.

The instant-on feature, small size, and ability to easily connect a “real” keyboard are some of the most valuable features to me.

I never see my slate device as replacing my Windows machines; however it is a nice compliment. Of course, if and when all services move to the cloud, then slates may be tools that practically eliminate the need for a laptop.

How do you feel about the iPad or other slate devices? What are the applications you use the most?

Please post your comments on this blog.


  1. Jered Koslowski

    I recently purchased a Motorola Xoom. I though the same; games and playtime at first. I also have a bluetooth keyboard for typing and found it very easy to pop out the Xoom to quickly find something on the web, check calendar, lookup contact, or email. The 10″ screen makes it much nicer than a 4″ mobile phone.

  2. Tom Scalish

    Last January we bought iPads for all our senior managers.
    Dropbox and Notability have become our most used apps.
    Dropbox is our favorite and most used app hands down.
    Second would be Notability which can record audio while you take notes. Works great in meetings.
    While playing back the audio, you can click on a note that you typed, the app jumps to that section in the audio to hear what was being said while you typed that note.
    Gotomypc and Quickoffice are two other apps that each manager most managers use.

    As the IT manager I love ADManager. Use it almost daily to unlock an active directory account without having to remote into a domain controller.

    • Mike Foster

      Thank you Tom and Jered! Your input is very helpful. Thank you for sharing your uses and some of the applications!

  3. Ed Cox

    I have watched every CEO in my Vistage chief executive group acquire an iPad this year. The last one sent me an email about an hour before I received your post. Yes, they were gagets at first, and I see more and more daily value emerging. I appreciate your comments about the most useful apps.
    I have begun using Drop Box regularly and it has proven invaluable, along with GoToMyPC.

    • Mike Foster

      Invaluable – that’s the kind of description people use. Also phrases like, “I don’t know how I ever got along without it.” Thank you for your comment Ed!


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