Constraints and Performance Report – increasing productivity with an iPad

General experience 

During the last week I was strictly avoiding paper handouts in the lectures and committed myself to use the electronic handouts. As I already mentioned in my last blog post, I have downloaded an app called GoodReader which allows me to take notes on pdf documents.

 

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Once you get to know the app, it enables you to make quick notes during a lecture. However, I would not say that it´s quicker than making notes on a paper handout. Depending on the lecturer and the way he is presenting it could be difficult to take notes on an iPad and listen simultaneously. But when it comes to mobility and the access of your documents, the iPad as well as the necessary apps such as GoodReader, Dropbox, Quickoffice allows you to edit and create new documents as well as to save it in order to access it later from any other device. Where as if you use a paper handout, you obviously need to have the same copy with you all the time.

Constraints

In the lectures where pdf versions of the handouts were provided I could easily abandon the paper handouts. But for some lectures during the week there was only a PowerPoint version uploaded on the VLE, which was not suitable for making notes with goodreader or any other app on my ipad. The second point I would like to bring up is the speed of making notes on a pdf document, which I already mentioned in my introduction. Especially when I was trying to make notes on a particular slide it took me longer to do so and therefore sometimes I got lost in what the lecturer was saying. Even though I would highly recommend using GoodReader for making notes on pdf documents, the speed issue is a major drawback in my opinion and need to be seriously considered.

Productivity

Generally speaking using the iPad during the last weeks helped me increase the productivity of my daily and weekly workload. In order to have an overview of the different deadlines and “To-do´s”, I am using the app called “Reminder”. Once I have created a reminder it automatically pushes the notifications to my iPhone as well as to my MacBook. So, every single day I can either look at the things I need to do or just cross them of the list. Therefore, I usually never forget any deadline or import tasks.

For making notes in general I am either creating a word document with Quickoffice and send it to my email address afterwards so I can continue working on it later at my laptop or I simply use the app called Notes which again pushes all my notes to my devices. But like I said before, these are notes I take when, for example, I have some ideas for my dissertation topic. In terms of making notes during a lecture, I am using GoodReader.

In terms of using the ipad for assignments, I only used it for the module “Debates and Controversies” where we needed to read an article and write a 400-word reflection essay. But in this case I have used it for the whole procedure, reading the article and writing the essay.

 

Making screenshots from the iPad and transferring them to my laptop

In order to upload screenshots of how I used the app GoodReader to make notes on a pdf document I simply just make a screenshot. Because I am using the same Apple ID for my iCloud accounts on every device, every picture I make is automatically on my iPhone, MacBook and iPad. In this case I only needed to go on my laptop and upload the pictures from the “photo stream” folder. This is how Apple is calling the folder where all you “cloud” pictures are saved.

All in all, the ipad is helping me to increase my daily productivity. Its maybe not perfectly replacing paper handouts yet, but I would say it’s a matter of time one get used to the app and the way how to make notes more quickly. For smaller assignments it is also possible to work on them only with an ipad.

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