We talk about working from home, but what about working from the waiting room, or to soccer practice or a long car ride?
Most of us probably have laptops that we can take to work on the go, or just work from somewhere other than a desk. But if you have a tablet, you’ve got another powerful tool in your work-at-home arsenal that you might not have considered.
Think about it: tablets are small, light, easy to hold, and powerful for most of your basic tasks.
The truth is, there’s a lot you can do to work from home (or anywhere else) on a tablet. Here are just a few ideas:
Word processing and note taking
Whether you use something web-based like Google Drive or Office365, or a word processor app like Apple’s Pages, consider your tablet for word processing. Well-lit, with generous screen sizes for touchscreens or attachable keyboards, and audio features that are quite reliable and very easy to use, tablets make all kinds of copying easy.
The same goes for note-taking — you can use a word processor, or find the app for your favorite note-taking software and use it as soon as you get your tablet. If your tablet comes with a stylus or a handwriting recognition software, you’ll love taking notes on your tablet — no more scraps of paper to carry around!
And this is proofreading along the same lines. Caitlin Pyle has built a thriving proofreading business relying on nothing but her tablet
Email and social media
The touchscreen operating system on a tablet makes it a breeze to take care of your email, and most social media sites don’t have apps or tablet-friendly mobile sites. So while you’re in wait mode (or just sitting mode), schedule some updates and get your inbox back under control. We recently talked in depth about becoming a social media manager. Most, if not all, of these jobs include great social media and scheduling apps available on a tablet or even smartphone.
Create images and graphics
While tablet cameras aren’t generally ideal for taking photos and are limited in the types of photo post-production you can do on a tablet, there’s still a lot you can do with your photos. Canva, a popular image creation software, has a great app that makes it easy to put together social media-friendly images literally at your fingertips. In my opinion, the Canva app is actually easier to use than the website on my computer!
Use cloud-based storage like Dropbox to save your photos, or send them to your computer using your preferred sharing feature (such as email or built-in messaging apps). And when you get one right, you can upload it to your social media accounts on the tablet with just a few taps
Updating the blog
Although the back end isn’t as powerful as a desktop site, you can still do a lot content-wise with your blog on a tablet. Draft, schedule posts and upload images using the tablet-specific app for WordPress. Dragons are everywhere Awesome for dictating blog posts on the go.
Use your productivity and organization apps
Many of the best productivity and organization sites have tablet apps that make them easy to use when you’re away from the computer You can sync your tablet account with your phone and computer to keep everything accessible and easy to track There are Trello, Evernote, Basecamp, Asana, and countless other tablet-specific apps that go with you wherever your tablet goes.
One of my all-time favorite things to do with my tablet is online coursework. Video is crystal-clear, and it’s easy to carry my tablet wherever I go. I can pop in my headphones if I need to, and get really comfortable wherever I feel like watching instead of being stuck in a chair no matter how long the course module is. This is how I watch almost all my videos now.
There’s no limit to what you can do with the good old fashioned browser. Start researching your next writing assignment or blog post. Catch up on what’s happening with your favorite bloggers. Apply for gigs on a job board. Find inspiring images to get your creative juices flowing If you can do it while walking around on your main computer, you can probably do it on your tablet as well. To make it even easier, use Pocket app Bookmark things on your smartphone, tablet and computer and revisit them whenever you have time — on the device you’re using at that moment.
Smart device-specific gigs
There are some work from home opportunities that allow you to work on a smartphone or tablet. Or, maybe it doesn’t matter.
- mTurk – Crowdsourcing small jobs
- Field Agent – Mystery shopping and local jobs
- Gigwalk – Mystery shopping and local jobs
- humane – Listening to pre-recorded phone calls
- Intellicheck – Occasionally hired for mystery shopping gigs that can be done on tablets
There’s an app for that
No matter what you’re doing or what program you’re using, there’s a good chance you’ll find a tablet-friendly version these days. In the past, I’ve used tablet apps for email providers, survey tools (like SurveyMonkey), contracts and electronic signatures (like DocuSign), and video conferencing (like Zoom and Skype). Since tablets have been around for a while, most software companies are accommodating them just like smartphones
Accessories that optimize your tablet
When you want to get serious about working from home on your tablet, there are accessories that can make your work easier. First and foremost, I always have some kind of recommendation In the protective case To keep your tablet safe in case you drop it. They are a big investment for your business, so it makes sense to protect them
A lot of people aren’t crazy about typing a lot on a touchscreen, so there’s all kinds Keyboard Alternatives Most of them attach to your tablet and have an attached stand, so your tablet almost turns into a mini-laptop. Sometimes these can even be built into protective cases.
And of course, you can’t forget about portable WiFi. It’s entirely possible that you use your tablet while multitasking in the kitchen, but tablets are so portable that you’ll want to take them with you wherever you go.
Not everything you do on your tablet will require live internet access, but if you do need internet access, the safest and best thing to do is to bring your own portable WiFi. Enabling a data plan on your device is convenient, but also the most expensive way to go. Look for portable WiFi products (called MiFi or hotspots) to find the right option for you. Verizon’s MiFi An absolute must for homers at work on the go. It offers great nationwide coverage for frequent travelers and is safe. You can’t trust public wifi too.