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Your iPad: The New Mobile Office

Transform your iPad into a productivity machine by utilizing apps together for file and project management.
4.7 (7 ratings)
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168 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2013
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 9 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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This course focuses on how to maximize your iPad's potential as an office and project management device by learning how to "chain" apps together for multiple tasks.   Comprised of 30+ video lessons and walkthroughs, downloadable PDFs, reference scenarios, practical application scenarios, and brief quizzes, the course is designed to be completed quickly and should take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete.  

Learning how to use an iPad is easy.   But learning how to wade through the hundreds of thousands of apps available to determine the best fit for your professional needs can take an extraordinary amount of time.  With this course, you'll see how many of the most reliable office and productivity apps functions, with feature-by-feature walkthroughs, in order to give you a better sense of how to apply the iPad to your every day workflow and make the most of your time and energy!

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who wants to learn how the iPad and iOS can be used to manage documents and files in the most efficient way possible.
  • Busy professionals (managers, teachers, administrators) who don't have hours at a time to research office management tools on their own. Learn everything you need to know in just a few hours!
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What Will I Learn?
In this course, you will learn how to use cloud and file management apps in iOS to create a clean, efficient workspace for all of your organizational needs - all on your iPad.
By the end of the course, you will be able to use your iPad as a "mobile office" - a one-stop shop for "going paperless," improving your productivity / organization through word processing, scanning, PDF annotation, archiving, editing, collaboration, and more.
View Curriculum
  • iPad (any generation)
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 36 Lectures Collapse All 36 Lectures 04:22:49
Getting Started: iOS Basics
4 Lectures 10:04
Welcome to the course!  In this brief introduction, I'll touch on my background in educational technology, as well as provide a bird's eye view of the areas we'll be covering in the lessons.

I have been a technical specialist in education for many years, and an enthusiast for even longer.  You remember Oregon Trail, right?  Of course you do.  From that point forward, I was hooked, and didn't consider at the tender age of ten how technology would go on to influence and change everything about the world only a couple of decades later.  But, here we sit, taking courses online and communicating with people around the world via a complex and exciting network of social tools. 

At the heart of this experience for the last couple of years has been iOS, Apple's mobile operating system featured as part of the iPhone and the iPad.  I was an early adopter of the iPad, and its potential as a part of one's life in nearly every aspect - for work, school, entertainment - only continues to grow.  And yet, despite the many people I know who use their iPads every day as I do, I encounter just as many who want to be able to use it for more, but simply haven't learned how.  That's where this course comes in.

This course was designed for a wide audience.  Perhaps you're a busy professional who wants to make the most of mobile technology but don't have time to sit and spend hours pouring over apps and the differences between them.  Perhaps you're a teacher who wants to organize the massive amounts of material that tends to collect when you're dealing with students.  Or, perhaps you'd simply like to learn how to best tailor this unique, still relatively new device to your own needs.  Technology really should make our lives simpler, though sometimes it seems like the opposite happens.  That simplicity is possible now in a way that it never has been before, and my goal is to make you familiar, comfortable, and efficient as you explore the tremendous landscape that is iOS.

This course consists of multiple sections, and each section covers a subject area.  Section 1 will look at some iOS basics, Section 2 will cover cloud services and storage, Section 3 will look at creating, editing, and sharing documents, Section 4 explores apps that are geared toward project management, and finally Section 5 looks at how to tie all of these things together.  

The bulk of the course consists of tutorial videos that will walk you through all of the apps, services, and situations we'll be exploring.  Next, there are "Fact Files" - quick guides with helpful tips, trivia, and challenges to help turn your iPad into a powerful mobile office.  "Quick Look" files are downloadable PDFs that explore various scenarios step-by-step.  The Practical Application videos will demonstrate situations in which the material we've covered in each section is applied in a real-world example, and my hope is that these will have you brainstorming as to how you might apply a similar scenario to your own workflow.  And finally, each section ends with a quick quiz to recap what you've learned. 

I will update this content to reflect changes in iOS 7 when it's officially released, so look for this and additional content - my goal is to make this a "living course" so you'll continue to get modifications and new lectures in the future.  As far as the technical aspects, you don't need anything for this course except for the basic functional knowledge of how your iPad works - if you know how to download and open apps, you're good to go.
I hope that you find this course helpful, and if there's something you'd like to see or have questions about, feel free to post in the forum or email me at 


Please note: all videos are HD screen-captures of the iPad in action, so be sure you select HD when viewing.  The information in these tutorials reflects apps updated in June 2013 with iOS 6. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Apple or any of the companies in charge of development or distribution of the apps discussed in this course.  My commentary is purely from a user perspective.
Preview 04:35

In this brief overview, we'll take a look at a few of the basic, built-in elements of iOS (multitasking, folders, and moving apps from screen to screen) in preparation for a more detailed look at streamlining your workflow.
Preview 01:36

In this overview, we take a brief look at how reminders and notifications work in iOS.
Preview 03:53

A "cheat sheet" for section 1, including a fact file, iOS challenge, and some trivia!

Section 1: Fact File
1 page
File Management in iOS: The Cloud
9 Lectures 27:54
We're going to start off by looking at file management in iOS - specifically, how the most reliable cloud services work, and what features they offer beyond just file storage.  
Section 2 Introduction

For our first look at cloud services and storage in iOS, we're going to check out Dropbox.  Dropbox is probably the most universally-adopted cloud service, mainly because it's easy and fast to set up and use.  

This video covers:

Accessing and organizing files in Dropbox

Uploading content to Dropbox

Creating offline-accessible "Favorites"

Opening files from Dropbox in other apps

Printing and sharing options

Dropbox passcode settings

Using Dropbox

Already a Google user?   Never touched a Google Doc?  No worry - in this lecture, we'll discuss how Google Drive took the place of Google Docs to create an iOS-friendly, collaborative workspace on your iPad.

This video covers:

Accessing and organizing files in Google Drive

Uploading content Google Drive

Creating Google Docs

Making files available offline

Sharing files / collaboration

Using Google Drive

Box is probably my favorite of all the cloud services, but since it's geared toward business, it's not as popular with casual users.  Don't let this deceive you, though - it's a powerful suite of tools with an unbelievable number of apps that can work with it!

This video covers:

Uploading files to Box

Accessing and organizing files in Box

Making files available offline

Sharing files / collaboration

Compatible apps / "app-chaining"

Using Box

iCloud, Apple's built-in cloud solution, is a bit different than the rest of the storage-based cloud apps, which can make it a bit confusing.  That said, it's nice to have backup for your iPad, and knowing how to use it for maximizing your backups will go a long way toward optimizing your iPad experience.

This video covers:

How iCloud works

iCloud settings and storage

Manually backing up your iPad with iCloud
iCloud: How Does it Differ?

So, how do these elements all tie together?  This lecture looks at some simple, intermediate, and advanced practical applications for the cloud services we've explored in Section 2. 
Section 2: Practical Applications

Section 2 Summary
18 pages

A step-by-step walkthrough of how to share a PDF in Dropbox.
Quick Look: Sharing a PDF with Dropbox
7 pages

A "cheat sheet" for section 2, including a fact file, iOS challenge, and some trivia!
Section 2: Fact File
1 page

You know everything there is to know about cloud computing now, right?  Show me!

Using the Cloud
4 questions
Creating and Editing Documents in iOS
11 Lectures 01:02:48
Now that you've seen a variety of options for saving, storing, and managing your iPad's content, what about actually creating some?  This section will explore word processing on the iPad, how to turn your iPad into a PDF scanner / converter, and PDF annotation.

Apps covered in this section:

iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers)

OnLive Desktop

QuickOffice Pro


Jot Not Pro Scanner

iAnnotate PDF
Section 3 Introduction

Pages is Apple's 'answer' to Microsoft Word, and while it has many of the same features, the iPad versions of three iWork apps are designed for the mobile experience, making them a tactile, satisfying way to develop content.

This video covers:

A comprehensive look at the many features in Pages

Creating and editing files in Pages

Importing and exporting files in multiple formats

iWork, Pt 1: Pages

Keynote is Apple's 'answer' to Microsoft PowerPoint, and while it has many of the same features, the iPad versions of three iWork apps are designed for the mobile experience, making them a tactile, satisfying way to develop content.

This video covers:

A comprehensive look at the many features in Keynote

Creating and editing presentations in Keynote

Importing and exporting files in multiple formats
iWork, Pt. 2: Keynote

Numbers is Apple's 'answer' to Microsoft Excel, and while it has many of the same features, the iPad versions of three iWork apps are designed for the mobile experience, making them a tactile, satisfying way to develop content.

This video covers:

A comprehensive look at the many features in Numbers

Creating and editing files in Numbers

Importing and exporting files in multiple formats
iWork, Pt. 3: Numbers

OnLive provides a unique experience for the user: a cloud service that mimics Windows XP, with fully functional 2010 versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as the ability to play Flash videos, but there are pros and cons, as we'll explore.

This video covers:

How OnLive Desktop functions

Creating and editing files in OnLive

Limitations and premium features of OnLive
Word Processing Meets Cloud: OnLive Desktop

QuickOffice Pro is one of the most powerful apps in the App Store for office productivity.   Fully compatible with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and complete with many editing and sharing functions, QuickOffice Pro is an integral part of the mobile office on your iPad.

This video covers:

Creating and editing files

Compatibility with Microsoft files

Tracking changes

Cloud service integration

Word Processing: QuickOffice Pro

Another unsung feature of the iPad is the ability to scan - not just take pictures of documents, but using apps that function as a flatbed scanner would, complete with photo adjustment, sharing options, cropping, and enhancements.  We'll look at Jot Not Scanner Pro and TinyScan, both of which are solid scanning options depending on your needs.

This video covers:

How scanner apps work

Cropping, editing, and enhancing doc scans

Sharing and exporting scans
Scanning Documents and Images

The ability to annotate documents is a major feature of any office, and the iPad has numerous options for editing PDFs, which normally must be edited in a dedicated desktop program like Adobe Acrobat.  While PDFs can't be edited, they can be annotated and marked up for reference, and apps designed only for that task are an integral part of my workflow - and once you try them, they'll become part of yours, too, I'm guessing.

This video covers:

How to annotate PDFs and documents in iAnnotate PDF

Customizing toolbars and adding features to iAnnotate

Importing, sharing, and archiving documents

PDFs & Annotation

Now that we've seen how cloud services and file management works, Section 3 built upon that by showing you how to create and edit files and documents.  In iOS, just about anything can be a building block for something bigger!  This lecture looks at some simple, intermediate, and advanced practical applications for the document services we've explored in Section 3. 
Section 3: Practical Applications

Section 3 Summary
23 pages

A "cheat sheet" for section 3, including a fact file, iOS challenge, and some trivia!
Section 3: Fact File
1 page

Creating and Editing in iOS
4 questions
Project Management in iOS
10 Lectures 01:06:55

Now that we've seen how to manage files, create content, and explored how to better manage and organize materials on the iPad, we're going to look at some apps that function as "all-in-one" solutions to your project and file management needs, as well as some powerful collaboration tools that will take your workflow to the next level.

Let's get started!

Section 4 Introduction

Evernote is one of the most versatile and popular apps in the App Store for a good reason - its robust suite of features act as a virtual filing cabinet and make managing a lot of data quick and - yes, really - fun.

This video covers:

Differences between Evernote Free and Premium

How to organize files by tags and in notebooks

Features of notes and notebook

Integrating media into Evernote
Notebook Apps: Evernote

Notability, the second of the "notebook" apps we'll explore, is so loaded with features, you'll wonder how you accomplished anything without it.   Incorporating multiple elements of file and document creation and editing with multimedia elements, Notability is one of the two "must have" apps we'll look at here if you want to take your productivity and organization to a new level.

This video covers:

Creating and organizing content into notebooks

Customizing options for note-taking and display

Adding multimedia elements to notes

Handwriting features

Audio notes and virtual post-it notes

Importing, exporting, and sharing options
Notebook Apps: Notability

For my money, NoteSuite is the Queen Mary of organizational and productivity apps, similar in some ways to Notability, but featuring even deeper integration of mail and sharing services. 

This video covers:

Creating and organizing content into folders

Customizing options for note-taking and display

Adding multimedia elements to notes

Handwriting features

Audio notes

Importing, exporting, and sharing options

To-do lists and project integration

Email routing and integration with folders
Notebooks Apps: NoteSuite

No look at productivity and project management could really be 100% complete without looking at collaboration, and just how far you can go on the iPad with collaborative tools that enable you to work directly with others on projects and documents.

BaiBoard is the first of two collaborative apps we're going to look at in this course, and in terms of creating whiteboard presentations, it's a solid way to go, enabling the user to collaborate with others on a whiteboard, add documents, maps, files, audio notes, and even IM chat.  Plus, its ability to be shared via Wi-Fi network makes it a great inter-office or small-group tool for working on a project from multiple angles.

This video covers:

BaiBoard's interface and features

How to share content via cloud and other services

How to import documents to your board

Real-time communication and messaging

Collaborative Space: BaiBoard

Continuing a look at collaboration, Moxtra makes an impressive case for itself with the use of public and private sharing of collaborative space.  While similar to BaiBoard, it boasts a bit more versatility.

This video covers:

Moxtra Binders for public or private sharing

Moxtra Meet, a real-time audio conference setting

Creating new content in Moxtra

Importing from cloud services, web sites, and other media

Collaborative Space: Moxtra

Now that we've reached the end of the course, it's time to look at how we can use the more expansive apps like NoteSuite and Evernote with single-task apps like the cloud and file apps we looked at in Sections 2 and 3.  These practical applications will provide some hypothetical situations that illustrate how you can chain your apps together and boost efficiency!
Section 4: Practical Applications

Now that we've explored a variety of ways to incorporate iOS into your workflow, as well as how to 'piggyback' apps and use multiple tools at once, it's time to consider how your workspace can be streamlined and optimized using the tips and techniques we've discussed in this course.  How will you customize your new mobile office?
Section 4 Summary
23 pages

A downloadable "quick look" at how to use what we've learned so far in a hypothetical project involving multiple participants and apps.
Quick Look: Managing a Project From Your Couch!
9 pages

A "cheat sheet" for section 4, including a fact file, iOS challenge, and some trivia!
Section 4: Fact File
1 page

So now that you've learned about how to manage projects in a few key apps, let's see what you remember...
Managing Projects
4 questions
Summary and Additional Resources
2 Lectures 11:08

It's important to remember that iOS is an ever-changing thing, and that features will be added to apps we've discussed here, along with other apps that we may come to rely on down the line.  With everything that we've discussed in mind, how will you continue chaining apps together for new projects?

App Chaining: An Overview

It doesn't have to be all work, all the time - there's certainly enough opportunity for entertaining distractions in the App Store!   To close, I'd like to mention a few of my favorite apps for recreation and fun, and just think: with the time you'll save by using your iPad to perform some of the functions we've discussed, you'll have extra time for games and entertainment anyway...;)  My best to you all, and I hope to cross paths with you again soon.

Apps for Fun & Recreation
About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
7 Reviews
168 Students
1 Course
Educational Technology Specialist

Currently the Head of Educational Technology for a private institution in the Midwest, I have developed and taught online courses in a variety of subjects for many years.  I have also served as a subject matter expert and instructional designer for distance learning since 2007.  In addition to being a Mac enthusiast and iOS power user, I am a firm believer that with the right training, technology can be your friend, and, dare we say, fun!

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