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I create holistic, sustainable paper goods for socially-conscious changemakers.
Shop owner, online educator, and activist. Fan of hydration and organization.
As a business owner it can sometimes feel luxurious to invest in new technology. A lot of us tend to be a bit on the thrifty side and big purchases can send us straight to the nearest distraction (Pinterest, anyone?).
When the iPad Pro first came out in 2015 I knew I wanted one. Not just because I thought they looked fun, but because I could see how they would play a role in completely changing the paper, planner, and notebook industry in the coming years….and I wanted to make sure I was part of that.
I went back and forth for several weeks. I knew it was going to cost me over $1,000 and would be one of the biggest purchases I’d made to date. I kept finding ways to justify it, and then other reasons to put it off or live without it. Finally I decided to just head to the nearest Apple Store and look at them.
Not surprisingly, I left with a brand new iPad Pro and Pencil and never looked back! Apple has a 14-day return policy on iPhones and iPads, so I felt confident in my purchase knowing that if I got home, used it for a week, and found that it just wasn’t something I’d use for my business I could return it. (You won’t incur a restocking fee on the purchase unless you get an iPad with Wireless Service).
My first iPad Served me SO well the past 5 years, and this past December I finally upgraded both myiPad Pro and Pencil to the newest versions. Obviously, if you are an artist, graphic designer, or calligrapher, justifying an iPad Pro is pretty easy. But what about those of us who don’t have an art-driven purpose for the purchase? The iPad Pro has ended up being easy for me to justify in my business and for any of you out there on the fence, trying to justify the purchase, I thought that hearing about the ways I use mine, how it has paid for itself, and why I think it’s worth it might help you make the leap into an iPad Pro for your business.
Digital Planning: I know you love paper, I do, too. But making the switch to a digital planner has meant one less notebook sitting around and one less thing I feel like I need to carry with me. Digital Planners give you the same experience as your beloved paper planner, especially if you have a Pencil I turned my best-selling paper planner into a digital planner for Goodnotes (you can purchase it in my shop) and wasn’t convinced I’d ever be the type of person to make the switch entirely, but I finally did and haven’t looked back. Check out this blog post for more about Digital Planning.
Replace your stack of notebooks: similar to the first example, if you have an iPad Pro and Pencil the device can essentially replace all of those notebooks and journals you have. I used to keep a notebook for business ideas, podcast ideas, blog post ideas, favorite quotes, free-writing + more. Now, I have created digital notebooks in the Goodnotes App on my iPad, and using the Apple Pencil I get the same satisfaction of writing and the same benefits of the brain/hand connections but everything feels so much more organized and accessible. I love being able to access my notebooks from anywhere. If I’m at a coffee shop or on vacation, I have access to all my notes and random ideas just by opening up the app. An added benefit is that you can also put Goodnotes on your iPhone so that all your notebooks or planners sync across devices.
Online courses: I love taking online courses and I’ve found my iPad to be a really great tool for these not only because it’s such a great device for watching video tutorials or tuning into a webinar, but also because it makes it so easy to download and organize all those PDF workbooks and resources that come along with your online course purchase. In the past I’d download them to my desktop, would rarely ever print one off, and I was lucky if I ever remembered to actually complete the course. Since getting an iPad and being able to save, open, read, highlight, and take notes on these PDFs digitally I have found that I am way more likely to follow through.
Signing Documents: Sure, there are easy ways to sign digital contracts online….but man is it satisfying to pop your actual signature right on it from the email and fire it back in a matter of minutes. Same goes with filling out forms.
eBooks: I’m also an avid reader, and although I absolutely adore the feeling of a physical book in my hands I am trying to come to terms with the fact that eBooks are a better fit for my lifestyle and the environment. I live minimally and prefer to be mobile, so lugging around boxes of books is no longer an option. Although I’ve struggled in the past to enjoy eBooks, the iPad Pro finally started converting me because the large screen makes for a great experience, and the Apple Pencil allows me to highlight text or add notes (one of my favorite things about reading!).
Graphic design: If you’re an artist or calligrapher justifying an iPad Pro for your business shouldn’t be hard….but what about those of us with a severe lack of artistic skills? Good news, the iPad Pro can help you fake it. I use the app called Procreate to create all sorts of creative content for my various accounts. Everything from illustrations that I use on my website and branding, to motivational quotes for my Instagram Account, or overlaying hand-lettered designs onto my photos to make them more interesting.
Dual monitor: I have a dual-monitor set-up in my home office, but I love working from coffee shops in order to get out and socialize. However, it always irks me to go from two monitors to one. If you get a simple stand for your iPad Pro (I love this acrylic one) it can make a great dual monitor option for your laptop at home or on-the-go.
A second camera: If you work in social media or online marketing (or various other fields) you might find yourself demonstrating things on your phone a lot. One way I use my iPad that I didn’t foresee, is utilizing it as a second device to record or photograph my phone. Seems silly, but it has come in handy many times!
Collecting information: if you do workshops or any type of in-person event, your iPad can be utilized to check people in or collect their information.
Using it as a POS: iPads also make a great point-of-sale device. Utilizing services like PayPal or Stripe you can essentially turn your iPad into a cash register.
You might look at this list and think that you would never use your iPad for all of these things, but remember that although an iPad is a big investment, it might only take getting one new client or signing one new contract through something you created or did on your iPad Pro for it to pay for itself. Perhaps a motivational quote graphic that you created in Procreate reached the right person, who signed a $3,000 contract with you, or one email address you collected at a trade show turned into a long-term client. For me, purchasing the iPad Pro in 2015 made me realize that I could turn my best-selling planners into digital versions. I recouped the cost of the iPad within a couple days, and to date have made 6-figures from my digital products…which I may have never created if I hadn’t gotten the iPad Pro.
Even if you never make money thanks to purchasing an iPad Pro, try thinking about the money you might save by using less ink, less paper, not buying so many notebooks, or just the peace of mind you might gain by having so many things organized in the same place. It might also help you develop new habits like reading more or journaling, or entirely new skillsets such as handlettering or graphic design.
Here are links to buy the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil direclty through Apple (you can also opt for pick-up at a local store through their website).
A few additional tips for purchasing:
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Thinking of creating your own customized planner? This eBook will walk you through the entire process.