If you’re a printer and you own an ipad or even thinking about one, there are some really great Free applications out there that can help you in your business and in dealing with customers.
I’ve almost completely transferred across from using a laptop to the ipad, it’s faster, lighter, more compact and I can do almost everything I used to do on the PC. Certainly when I have to travel for business the ipod is almost the first thing that gets packed.
Here’s 10 free applications for you to consider putting on your ipad if youhaven’t already.
1. Evernote. This is a cracker of an application. Get it for both your computer (PC or Mac) and your ipad. It lets you capture information that you find on the web and access it anywhere. Once you install the app on your desktop or laptop and you find something (like an article that you want to hang on to) you just click on the evernot button in your browser and it sends it to the cloud where you can access it anywhere.
From a printers perspective, you can capture an almost unlimited number of trade articles, tips, how to’s etc and have access to them when you have an opportunity to digest the information.
Get more info at www.evernote.com
2. Dropbox. Think of this one as a massive memory stick that lives in the internet. Like Evernote you’ll need the free computer application and the ipad app (both free). You can then transfer files to your dropbox by just dragging them into the dropbox folder. It will automatically synchronise with your ipad so that you can access your files from anywhere, even on other computers.
From a printers perspective, have your design team create brochures and “whitepapers” about your business and services. Load them all into your dropbox account and wherever you are you can access them.
Get more info at www.dropbox.com
3. Twitter. Of course you have a twitter account for your business don’t you. If not get over to twitter.com and register one right now. Then install the twitter application on your ipad. If you have updated the operating system to the latest version, twitter is integrated into the core of the operating system and will alert you when you receive messages on twitter. Then install the twitter app (go to the app store on your ipad and search twitter.
From a printers perspective, use twitter to communicate with your customers and potential customers, DON’T spend your whole time tweeting about cheap this or that, put a human face behind the business, have conversations with your potential clients, occaisionaly offer a special, follow your suppliers, follow your customers. If you just keep talking about your special print offers nobody will end up listening to you. It’s a bit like when you go to a party and you meet someone that just talks about themselves, communicate, ask questions.
4. Flipboard. I’m probably jumping the gun here but this is an amazing application that channels information from a number of sources and presents it magazine style so that you don’t have to do anything except skim and read what catches your interest. It brings you info from your facebook account, your twitter account, even National Geographic. You can also create and save a search for particular topics of interest.
From a printers perspective, flipboard saves you time and effort, you can save some industry related search queries and then have access to these almost immediately.
Find out more at flipboard.com
5. Facebook App. You’ve got a facebook page haven’t you? Good, now get the facebook app installed onto your ipad, that way you can interact really quickly and not waste a stack of time trying to keep up. Install this from the app store on your ipad.
From a printers perspective, well look at this way, there are now over 800 million people using facebook, at least 1 in every 8 minutes of internet usage is facebook, more than 50% of facebook users log on every day. Oh yeah it’s also free. So get a facebook account and create a facebook page for your business, if you want to offer special offers or competitions this is the place to do it.
6. Hootsuite. If your a twitter power user, you need to be able to see whats going on across more than one account. Hootsuite lets you also aggregate feeds from LinkedIn and Facebook so this could be quite useful. Again install from the app store but pop over to hootsuite.com for more info
From a printers perspective, you’ll have your twitter, facebook and linkedin information in one place. It’s like have a control centre for the social media side of the business.
7. LinkedIn. Think of LinkedIn as facebook for business people. It is a web based service that allows you to connect with people that you have worked with, clients that you have done business with and those with whom you would like to do business with. It lets you show the business community your personal profile and your business profile. It’s free but there are some pro levels that do cost, however, for most people the free account is more than enough. Once you have created your profile and started to make some connections you should get the free LinkedIn app for the ipad. (app store)
From a printers perspective, LinkedIn is all about business, you’re in business right? Then you need to get organised and get yourself onto linkedin. I’m stunned at how few printers are on there but there are so many great print resources available for free.
To find out more about Linked in go to www.linkedin.com
8.Yellow Pages. Might seem like an odd choice but get the yellow pages app because it makes finding businesses when you are out and about really easy. It has great integra
tion into maps and best of all it lets you add the business straight into your contacts. (app store)
From a printers perspective, this is really more for anyone in sales, you go out to meet with customers, yellow pages mobile app actually shows you on a map where all of the competitors are for the business you are meeting with, hmmm now what could you do with that information?
9. Skype. Free phone and video calls to other skype users (just uses your data allowance) You need a skype account and to install the skype app from the app store.
From a printers perspective, you don’t just have customers that are in your area these dys, your clients could be anywhere in Australia or even the world. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but imaging you have a great customer in Melbourne, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have a video call with them to discuss their business, do you think they would appreciate you doing this? Do you think your competition do it? Remember, it’s free (you need an ipad2 for video chat..sorry)
10. Adobe Ideas. It’s like a notepad for sketches. so when you have a meeting with a client and you need to sketch out a workflow or an idea you can use your finger to draw whatever your heart desires. (app store)
From a printers perspective, papers great but you don’t always have a notepad with you, instead of scratching the design layout on a coffee stained napkin you can use a piece of 21st Century technology, it even lets you email a copy straight to the customer. Oooh.
There are thousands of applications out there that make the ipad sucha useful tool.
If youu want to spend some money, I’d also recommend Apples Pages (word processing / document layout), Keynote (presentations imports powerpoint) & Numbers (spreadsheets & imports word) these plus the 10 listed get used by me every day.