The Marketer's Quick Guide to Getting More Done With Tablets

I recently received a Google Nexus 7 which is a great compliment to a larger tablet like the iPad. The smaller form factor of the Nexus 7 (it has a 7 inch screen) is more convenient for times when you don’t want to carry the larger device. The 1.33 pound iPad 2 can start to feel heavy pretty quickly if you are holding it while lying in bed while the Nexus 7 is about half the weight and easier to hold with one hand. The Nexus 7 is also easier to take with you when you leave the house, since it can fit in a large coat pocket.

Tablets can be a useful tool for marketers for tasks like creating content, using social media, and consuming marketing content.

Here are some of the ways that I use tablets to get more done:

Catching Up on Marketing Books
The Kindle App is my go-to tablet app for reading books. My favorite features are the ability to read a preview of almost any book (like browsing a huge virtual book store) and the ability to highlight key passages for future reference. In the iPad version you can read the most popular highlights by other people who have read the book (I couldn’t find this feature on the Android version).

Taking Notes at Conferences
It can be a huge pain to have to lug around your laptop at a conference. A Nexus 7, which weighs less than a pound can be a great alternative. You can also use a bluetooth keyboard if you are live blogging and need to type thousands of words like I did here for the 2012 Mozcon conference from my iPad 2.

Blogging Away from the Desk
Blogging on a tablet can be more comfortable than sitting on your sofa with a hot laptop on your lap. And as regular bloggers know, inspiration for a great blog idea often occurs when you are away from your desk. I sometimes write small pieces of a blog post on my tablet throughout the week, rather than trying to sit down for a couple hours and force out a full blog post.

Watching Conference Videos
Marketing conference videos are often more enjoyable when you are using a tablet rather than sitting in front of your computer. I like to watch Distilled conference videos, which are currently available to subscribers of Distilled U ($40/month). You can also enjoy relevant TED talks like Simon Sinek’s talk on figuring out the why behind your company. This Google Doc lists links to over 1300 TED talks.

Watching Marketing Videos on YouTube
There are many great marketing videos available on YouTube including these 13 marketing talks that can be enjoyed on a tablet device. Along with countless interviews, there are several great series of online marketing videos that you can watch on your device while you are doing the dishes like Whiteboard Friday and Koozai TV.

In Person Meetings
If you are meeting a business contact for coffee or making a sales pitch over lunch, a larger tablet like the iPad is excellent for showing examples of what you are talking about.

Updating and Monitoring Social Media
I like to use the application Tweetdeck to post to Twitter and view Tweets from my curated Twitter lists. I create lists of specific groups of people like marketers, Seattlites, and SEO professionals so that I can view Tweets from specific segments on demand. I also create a private list of “cool” people who provide exceptionally valuable information. Tweetdeck is useful for updating your Twitter status and it lets you post from multiple Twitter accounts if you want to Tweet for your company or client. I’ve heard great things about the Buffer app which sends out your saved updates at an optimal time.

Taking Notes
If I don’t take notes when reading or listening, I tend to forget most of the content. The act of taking notes forces my brain to scan for takeaways and I tend to pay better attention and retain more information. The notes can also be repurposed as useful Tweets. One app that I use frequently for note taking is Evernote because I can access my notes from multiple devices and can take photo notes like a great magazine ad that can be added to my swipe file.

Favorite Tablet Apps:

Kindle App – my favorite application for reading digital books.

Stitcher – this app allows you to stream your favorite marketing podcasts on demand.

TweetDeck – great for viewing your Twitter lists in separate columns.

Evernote – great for saving photos that can be used for inspiration or for examples on your blog.

Are there any tasks you find tablets particularly useful for? Please share them in the comments.

Creative Commons Photo by Houang Stephane

Full disclosure: Staples provided me with this Google tablet. The words opinions express in this review are strictly my own. To see the full line of tablets visit