How I Use My iPad (2019 Edition)

How I Use My iPad (2019 Edition)

Tablets are a great way to have productivity on the go. With the latest hardware and apps, some people are using them to replace their computers. Today I’ll give you an update on how I use my iPad.

When I first bought an iPad, I thought it would be an asset, but I never thought it would become a mainstay of my productivity. I wrote about how I used it back in 2015 at What I Use: My iPad Productivity Tools. I use my iPad every day, and on a recent vacation didn’t even open the laptop, using the iPad exclusively instead. Here is how – and when – I use my iPad.

Morning Routing

My heaviest use of my iPad comes in the morning. I get up at 5:30 and have 1.5 hours to do growth activities before I have to get ready for work.

  • Meditation: The first thing I do is focus on meditation for 3 minutes. (Any more than that and I risk going back to sleep). The first minute is noticing my senses; the second is focused on my breathing, and the third is about projecting how I want the day to go. I use an app called MeditationTime, which has a nice interface and good sounds.
  • Kindle/Nebo: Next I do 25 minutes of non-fiction reading on my Kindle app on the iPad. In order to cement the concepts, I take notes using Nebo, an app that converts handwriting to text. I run these in split screen on the iPad and use the Apple pencil as the input device.
  • Journaling: Next up is journaling. I use an app called Diaro which allows me to have folders for my entries. This allows me to use a single app for the three types of journals that I keep, including the daily one.
  • Comics: After I am done with my morning blogging/noveling, I make my way downstairs. While I eat breakfast, I use Safari to read my comics for the day. I get them from two different sites: GoComics and Arcamax. I have bookmarks to the individual Arcamax items, and the main GoComics site.
  • 1st Pass Email: After I am done with the comics, I will quickly process through my email for the first time. If I need to take action on something, I send it to my task manager, otherwise I file or delete the emails. My email program of choice is Spark, because it has four swipe options and can pick up Gmail and Yahoo mail in one place.
  • Yoga: Once I am done with breakfast, but before I go upstairs, my cat and I will do some yoga. (Yes, he really does yoga with me and will come running when I call him for yoga). I use 5 Minute Yoga to do five simple yoga stretches.

At that point, I go upstairs and get ready for work.

At Work

At work I don’t use my iPad as a notebook or a reference device, although I used to do both. I prefer to do my logging on paper these days. But I still use my iPad, and it is all about access to other systems.

  • Team Viewer: When I need to get something off the work computer at home, I use TeamViewer. I love Team Viewer’s ease of use and the ability to have true remote access.
  • Horizon VM Ware: Often I am called into meetings at my client site, but still have to keep an eye on processes that are running. To do this I use my iPad to remote into my desktop computer and monitor what is going on. I don’t care much for the interface of Horizon, but it’s the only remote software that my client will allow to access their systems.


I also do a lot of blogging and novel writing on my iPad. Sometimes it is because I am on the go, and sometimes simply because I need a change from sitting at my computer.

  • Blog planning: I have recently switched over from using a paper planner to plan blog articles and products. While I prefer writing on paper, the amount of unused paper I recycled each month was more than I found acceptable. I use a notebook in GoodNotes with my own forms (the same ones I printed out) to plan.
  • Blog writing: I do all of my blog writing in text (TXT) files. Since I code HTML as I go, it’s not a problem. I use Permanote to do the writing on the blog. This also syncs with Dropbox, so I can get updates on whatever device I am on.
  • Book writing: My preferred book-writing software is Scrivener. With the release of the iPad version of Scrivener, I do more writing on the iPad. I have most of the functionality of my laptop, and a great light-weight device.
  • Blog ideas: I keep a running notebook of blog ideas. I currently use TrunkNotes, a wiki software, to manage it. TrunkNotes is going away (booooo!) and I will have to find a replacement, but I won’t do that until I absolutely have to.

Other (Rare) Apps

There are other apps I use on the iPad, but these are fewer than they used to be.

  • PDF Expert. Sometimes I need to use PDFs on the go. This is my software of choice.
  • Mr. Reader and Instapaper. I manage my blog reading through RSS feeds (more about this later this month) and it’s easiest to scan/read on the iPad.
  • Social Media. I have stopped all personal social media, except Instagram (where I follow a good friend and my daughter), and I do that on my phone. Blog social media happens on the iPad and is limited to 15 minutes total every day. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (for the blog).
  • Evernote. It’s easier for me to read on the iPad than the phone, but it’s rare that I use Evernote on the iPad because I generally don’t have it with me when I need to get into Evernote.


My use of my iPad has really evolved over the past few years.

— Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash —