Productivity on the iPad

You only have to wait a few more days, my impatient friends. Your iPad will soon arrive, and you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content. In order to help keep you occupied, I have found a few videos that showcase some of the features and apps built in to the device. Productivity is important, and many nay-sayers are adamant that the iPad won’t be usable for any type of work. How wrong they are.

Keynote is a very powerful presentation application, and was built from the ground up specifically for the iPad. You can create beautiful presentations from photos, charts and animations. You can use a template to create a new presentation, or bring in an existing document from your Mac or from PowerPoint. The large disply on the iPad will give you a good view of whatever you’re working on.

Pages is a word processor made for the mobile device. It can create newsletters, reports and other documents with a few flicks of a finger. When you rotate the iPad, your page fills the screen. Pages tracks what you type, so it can suggest words, correct your spelling, and insert punctuation automatically. It can even tell when you’re creating a list, and format it for you while you’re typing.

Numbers is the spreadsheet application from iWork that you’re already used to, and it’s powerful on the iPad. It’s easy to work with tables, charts and graphics on a canvas that you can use just by touching. You can again use one of the preset templates to get started, or import an Excel spreadsheet from Microsoft Office.

Who says you can’t be productive on an iPad? These built-in applications would suggest otherwise. While the iPad may not be suitable to be your “main” computer, I think it will do nicely when you’re on the go and need to get some work done.

What’s Better Than Microsoft PowerPoint?

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Did you ever know how most presentations suck? It’s bad enough that people doing them tend to suck, as well. It’s not their fault, though. Most of the presentation software is just not that good. A good presentation shows pictures, and don’t have much text. The worst ones to watch are where the speaker just reads every word from the slides! They drive me nuts! What do you use to create presentations? Tell me you aren’t using desktop software! Adobe has thrown their hat into the ring. They have a basic, online office suite and a new presentation software!

Acrobat Presentations is excellent. You have tons of options. Best of all, of course, is the ability using an online platform gives you to easily collaborate with others. When you create a presentation with desktop software, it’s very difficult to allow multiple people to work together on it. Using Presentations, it’s a simple process.

Presentations is a better way to create, edit, and share presentations with others online. Built on the Adobe Flash platform, Presentations looks and behaves like a desktop presentation application – but operates inside a web browser.

It’s free, and cross-platform. There’s no reason to not try it!

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How to Travel Back in Time

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When this application hits 88 miles per hour, you’re going to see some serious stuff! Visualize data in a completely different way. If you were naive to believe that there’s no software available for Mac OS X… think again. Here’s another breakthrough product that’s only available for the computer you claim is “too expensive.” Bee Docs allows people to create timeline charts. The cool thing is that once you create a chart, you can “fly” over it with a 3D perspective.

Your audience will think you spent days crafting your timeline, but it does not get any easier than this… Choose a “look” and enter your events. Got images to add? Drag them onto your events. That is it!

Present your 3D timeline in full motion. Browse your timelines with Quicklook. Search for events using Spotlight. Share you timeline using iChat Theater. Present your timelines in full screen interactive 3D or export your timelines as PDF to include in your documents, movies, or websites.

People can use this instead of using traditional presentation software. It’s built to be a part of a whole ecosystem of presentation. It works fantastically with Keynote. You can automatically chart out iCal calenders, as well as many other applications.

Once again – check with me for a coupon before buying any software!

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In December, I’ll be traveling to New Orleans to speak at a conference about the future of Community. Then, in January, I’ll be heading back to San Francisco to lead the same discussion with a different set of people. I’m often invited to present my ideas and perspectives on the matter, and am usually more than willing to oblige organizations in their request – sometimes, I even speak remotely (via live Web camera, natch).

I happened to record two of my streamed sessions from Podcamp this month – although, I wish someone would have captured my impromptu ‘social tools for change’ micro-seminar (if only in audio). So many great conversations!

Since I don’t use presentation software, and I don’t have a set agenda for how any particular talk is going to go, both of the following videos cover the same territory in different ways. If you only have time to watch one, I think I did much better on the first day. The audience’s questions were just as good on the second day, however. The recording quality is sub-par due to bandwidth caps and other limitations – but at least the message should get through loud and clear.

I don’t have a transcription available, but I hope you’ll be able to follow along well enough. Each one of these videos are a little over an hour long, so go grab a snack, a notepad, and take ’em full screen (one at a time, of course):

Can You put a PowerPoint Presentation on an iPhone?

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During the course of the average weekday, we record videos here on the live stream. Sometimes, I run out of ideas of what to do. So when I threw it out to the chat room for suggestions, Fireworks came up with a good one. He wanted me to check out AuthorStream. On AuthorStream, you can upload, share and discover PowerPoint presentations. Let’s look at the features available to you with your free registration.

  • Send to YouTube If you had set up ‘Rehearsed Timings’ or have recorded audio ‘Narrations’ in your PowerPoint file, they would automatically be available in a video format (MP4 or M4V) which can be shared on YouTube via send to YouTube feature.
  • Share on iPod via iTunes Your presentations will also be available to be downloaded in iTunes. Your viewers can then sync their iPods and have your presentations available even when they are not online!
  • Download PowerPoint As a viewer, you can now download PowerPoint files if their respective authors have given their permission to do so. This is a great feature for those who like presentations and want to use a slide or two to enrich their own.
  • Featured Audio/Animation Presentations Cool presentations get featured and you can view them categorized as Featured Presentations, Featured Audio Presentations and Featured Animated Presentations.
  • RSS Feeds Subscribe to the RSS feeds for categorized groups of slideshows as well as customized feeds for users and tags.

So… instead of emailing a Presentation to someone you need to collaborate with, why not use AuthorStream? You could even use Google Docs or MindMeister. Heck, for that matter, why not check out something like


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