I am in a local territory sales position for an office technology (hw/sw) dealership. The iPad is great for accessing our CRM when i'm driving down a street and I want to get background on the firm I'm looking at. Contacts, past history, etc. can help me quickly assess the account.
I also have the Satellite Map on, and it's great for showing you an out-of-the way business that you might have overlooked.
Oh, and for business usage the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard case is a must-have. I use the Notes app while in meetings and can type on a keyboard - much faster and more accurate.
Having the Calendar synced to my office Outlook is tremendous. Our new phone system is set up to forward a phone message to your e-mail, so now I can easily pick up any phone messages through the iPad - very handy.
In the business community, things like iPads are still very rare, so you look cutting edge when you incorporate it into presentations - I use SlideShark to show Powerpoints.
Lastly, a lot of the document management software I sell has a Tablet component that lets a user easily bring up documents for viewing and taking actions in a workflow. When you show it on the iPad it is still a really cool thing to see, and it grabs attention.
I felt that having the iPad would increase my productivity enough to easily justify the $800 expense - totally out of my own pocket. In sales, that could be just adding one more sale for the year.
However, there is the downfall of the enticement of the device. I have the NY Times on mine - just the free Top News section, and it is tempting to see "what's going on". They refresh that many times during the day, so there is always new content.
There is also a game called Words with Friends.....
One night I forgot my iPad at my desk and only had my laptop at home. I was stunned at how much more "work" I got done, not having the iPad around. It gave me pause....but I'm hooked. I love my iPad.
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