These are many ways an iPad can improve your daily productivity. Aside from knowing about and using the best apps and services, having a good handle on the ‘little things’ will shave minutes off of your repetitive actions every day. In other words, knowing all the tricks of the trade will really help you best use this device and maximize the amount of work you can get done. Here are just a few:
1: Use Split View and Slide Over to take advantage of your screen space
Split View and Slide Over are very powerful ways to make the most of your iPad’s gorgeous screen. While it is best on the big 12.9” iPad Pro, they also work very well on its smaller 9.7” sibling. This feature allows you to have two applications open and fully running side-by-side—all without wasting a pixel of screen space.
Even though similar, Split View and Slide Over are slightly different: Slide Over gives you quick access to a second app and disappears when you tap on the main app on the left. Meanwhile, Split View really lets you multitask. Two apps can run at the same time, each taking up a part of your screen.
How to use these features: With an App open, simply slide your finger towards the left starting at the right edge of your screen. The first stop will be Slide Over where you see a little ‘handle’ appear in the dividing line. Give this handle another swipe to the left for Split View and then scroll down the list of Apps on the right side to choose another App to open.
2: Maximize Safari
Safari has lots to offer in its clean, uncluttered layout. There are also a few hidden gems. For instance, there are two icons along the top toolbar in particular that can do more than meets the eye.
At the far right, you will see the plus sign and a stacked square looking icon. The plus sign lets you create a new tab for a new webpage, while the stacked icon expands your tabs into separate pages to choose from. Note that in this mode you can create another tab or choose ‘Private.’ In Private mode, Safari does not store any browsing data and once you close out, there is no history of your browsing activity stored on your iPad.
Another benefit of the plus sign: Say you had some really important tabs open but closed them either accidentally or purposefully. Now you need one or more of them back! Relax, Safari has your back. Tap and hold the plus sign, and you will see a list of Recently Closed Tabs. Just tap on the one you want to retrieve, and you are back in business.
The stacked icon has its own magic: Tap on it and hold for a second, and you will see a menu offering to create a New Tab or to conveniently Close All Tabs. Some advice: If you create tabs for the purpose of accessing multiple Safari windows easily, your best option may be to just use Split View.
3: Mark up documents in Mail
The Mail app is a great place to manage all of your email accounts. You can have multiple accounts from different services such as iCloud, Google, Yahoo, Outlook, Exchange, and your own domain. This helps streamline things by keeping all of your accounts in one place yet also allowing you to view your individual accounts and messages separately.
How can you use Mail to be more productive? Well, have you ever needed to sign or make a notation on a PDF you have received as an attachment? Mail makes this quick and easy and doesn’t require any other apps.
Here’s what to do: Tap on the PDF attachment in your Mail message to open it. If you then tap on the toolbox icon on the top right corner of the screen, your PDF will open in Markup mode, offering you a collection of editing tools. Along the bottom of your screen you’ll see the pen tool, which works great with your Apple Pencil for writing and as a loupe to magnify a portion of the document. The text tool allows you to create a text box, and the signature tool will allow you to create and save signatures to your documents. You can create more than one signature here to quickly add your signature or initials whenever you need them (in case your Apple Pencil isn’t handy at the moment). On the right, you are given options for editing colors, pen stroke thickness, and font options.
When you are finished marking up your document, tap Done at the top right corner and Mail will attach your edited copy to an outgoing return email for you to send back. I told you: It’s so easy!
Terry Jarrell is an Apple consultant, Rocket Matter Certified Expert, and instructor based in Florida. Terry has been supporting legal professionals for more than a decade, and he also provides Florida Bar accredited CLE instruction and personalized technical services.