My friend Lee's long wait is almost over - his new LS800 is on the way. He asked me today what he should do with his new tablet when he gets it. There are tons of things you can do with your tablet and discovering those things is one of the joys of tablet ownership.
That said here are 10 tips - things you can do with your new tablet to get you started.
- Install Vista
There is a lot to love in Windows Vista if you are a tablet or mobile user. The Snipping Tool (which is available for XP tablet users in the free Tablet Experience Pack from Microsoft), Pen Flicks, multiple selections in Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer's panning tool, autocomplete for URLs and email addresses, an updated Tablet Input Panel and handwriting personalisation make Vista a compelling offering for tablet users. You can read more about all of these in this post I did way back in April last year, during the beta. There are some more mobile friendly features outlined here as well.
- Make a Mind Map
Mind mapping is a great way to plan things out or get your creative juices flowing. I use Mind Jet's MindManager 6 - but there is a new version coming out soon, so that will be well worth checking out. If you are running it on a small screen tablet, check out my optimization tips.
- Ink on a PDF. Tablet users delight in freaking people out. A great way to do that is to return a PDF form that has been emailed to you by emailing it back within minutes all filled out. I use PDF Annotator to do this. Apart from being very efficient it is good fun.
- Take some notes. Note taking is where a tablet comes into its own. If you have OneNote installed you can use that, but if not all tablets (Vista or XP) come with Windows Journal.
- Do some drawing. Drawing is great on a tablet. For the best tablet experience you want something that is aware of the different pressure levels that are reported by an active digitizer. My favorite is NZ grown ArtRage - even my daughter loves it. Another good option is the free photo editor Paint.NET.
- Read a book. In slate mode a tablet makes a great platform for reading eBooks. I've used both Microsoft's Reader and Palm Digital Media's eReader and they are both good.
- Ink in Word - You can use ink in Word to markup documents or to insert ink comments. If you are using Word as your editor in Outlook 2003 or if you are using Outlook 2007 then you can also ink email messages.
- Ink on PowerPoint Slides - Another great way to show off in front of the ink challenged masses. More on that here.
- Ink Instant Messages - If you use Windows Live Messenger then you can chat in ink. Great if you happen to be having an IM conversation while on the train (I've done that!)
- Most importantly of all - Have fun!