A Small Office Configuration

iPad may effectively support business activities particularly if colleagues are intensively involved in external relations.

Mind maps are the most efficient way to summarize information about a topic. So I created a mind map which contains many suggestions for integrating iPads and iPhones in the daily tasks of a small business effortlessly.

Small businesses are often forward-looking companies implementing modern technologies to improve sales. Usually they are not supported by technical and organizational assistants and the CEO has to supply the knowledge and to communicate the usage of devices, sharing techniques, and organizational guidelines. Summarized: He has to do everything.

The dream of all CEOs is a maintenance-friendly environment with easy-to-use devices. As tablets are rapidly gaining popularity there are no special training demands required and the company is usually not faced with problems of acceptance as the staff already use these kinds of devices privately.

Let’s discuss some details where the benefits of mobile devices integrated in a suitable environment makes business easier:

  • A colleague has to share a document with another colleague.
    He can do it by E-Mail that means selecting the E-Mail address, writing a short text, adding an attachment and sending the mail. Lots of E-Mails must be managed later by selecting relevant mails and deleting others.

    An alternate way would be to use a cloud storage and an automatic syncing functionality like Apple’s iCloud syncing which is supported by a growing number of apps.

  • A document on an iPad should be printed out in the office.
    You may save the document to a cloud storage, download it on a PC and print it on a network printer.

    An alternate way is to use an PC/MAC application called FingerPrint.
    Every network attached printer will be shown on iOS devices in the print menu. So the document can be directly printed out on any printer in the office.

  • You call a colleague and inform him to call a customer at 15:30.
    The colleague writes it down on a cheat sheet.

    An alternate way is to enter a reminder which is automatically synced with the other iOS devices and reminds the colleague to call the customer. Shortcuts (defined under ‘General – Keyboard – Shortcuts’ like CC=Customer call… with) makes it easy to forward the information directly to the colleague.

The mind map above outlines experiences made in the company I work for.
It focusses on …

  • Easy file sharing between iOS devices and
    other iOS devices even if they are running under different Apple IDs
    cloud storages and desktop computers within the office
  • Fast and easy syncing of
    Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Bookmarks
    Documents, Data stored in a database, and Scanned documents
  • Easy connection to
    computers within the LAN from outside the office
  • Ability to print from anywhere
    in the office via Fingerprint that makes every printer AirPrint-capable
    from outside the office via Google Cloud Print
  • Improving business by using social networking
    via clients for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Using a database
    with essential business information which automatically syncs with all other devices
  • and last but not least reducing the costs of the technical equipment to a minimum

To understand all the experiences I made use this mind map and adjust it to your individual requirements.

Here is a slideshow with details of some branches of my mind map for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool:

Download …

The mind map ‘iPad in Small Office Environments’ created with iThoughts for iOS can be downloaded here:

Map as a PDF

Map in ITMZ file format (iThoughts)

Map in MMAP file format (MindManager)

Map in XMIND file format (XMind)

The Apple group on Biggerplate
to see and download all mind maps related to Apple.

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