iPad Tips and Tricks

Saving Time with Your iPad

Written by Lori Gracey

Use these simple tips and tricks on your iPad or iPhone to save time and gain back a little of your life and your sanity!

If there’s one thing that all teachers ask for more of, it’s time. There simply is never enough time in the day, week, or year to get all of the things done that absolutely MUST be done. The good news is that technology was invented for that very reason — to save us minutes and hours. But are you taking advantage of your iPad’s time-saving features? Here are two tips guaranteed to give you back at least a little of your life.

Repetitive Writing

Educators spend a lot of their day (and night!) writing the same things over and over. Maybe it’s your email address or the name of your campus or even the title of a particular unit of study. Gain a few minutes back and create a shortcut for the words and phrases you use most often.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Open General.
  3. Open Keyboard.
  4. Tap on “Text Replacement.”
  5. Tap the “+” icon in the top right-hand corner.
  6. Next to “Phrase,” type your email address (for example, lgracey@tcea.org).
  7. Next to the word “Shortcut,” type the three letters that will be the shortcut for your email address (lgr for my email address).
  8. Tap “Save.”

Now, when you go into ANY app, if you type your shortcut, your email address will appear and you can simply tap the Space key to drop it into place. There’s no limit to how many shortcuts you can have, so be sure to take full advantage of this time-saving feature.

Favorite Websites

We all spend a lot of time surfing the web these days. Having your most-used websites available for fast access is important. While Safari doesn’t offer a bookmarks bar by default, you can turn one on so that your favorite websites are always there for you.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Open Safari.
  3. Tap on “Show Favorites Bar” toward the bottom to turn it on (the button should be green for on and white for off).
  4. Open Safari. You’ll now see the Favorites Bar right below the address bar.

Apple tries to help you out by automatically putting a few suggested websites into the Favorites for you. But you can edit them easily.

  1. In Safari, tap on the Bookmarks button (to the right of the address bar).
  2. Tap on Favorites.
  3. Tap the Edit button at the bottom.
  4. Tap on the red “-” symbol to the left of any website name to remove that site from the Favorites list.
  5. You can tap, hold, and drag on the slider control to the right of any website name to move it up or down in the list.
  6. You can create a folder to be on your Favorites Bar by tapping “New Folder.”

You can add sites to your Favorites Bar by first going to the website you want to add.

  1. Tap the Share button (to the left of the address bar).
  2. Tap on the Bookmark button in the popup. You’ll see the Add Bookmark dialog. On the popup, you can edit the same of the website (it’s usually too long) and choose where you want the bookmark saved.
  3. Tap on “Location” at the bottom left of the popup and then “Favorites” to add the website to your Favorites Bar.

Of course, if it’s a website that you go to every single day, you can save even more time by simply making a shortcut to the site.

  1. In Safari, type in the address of the website and press Go.
  2. Tap the Share button (to the left of the address bar) to access the popup.
  3. Tap “Add to Home Screen.” You can then edit the name of the website (again, it’s usually too long) and then tap “Add.” What looks like an app will now be added to your iPad screen.

Every time you open this “app,” it will quickly and automatically take you to the website. Since it’s just a shortcut, it takes up almost no space at all on your device, so you can have as many of these as you need and even organize them into folders, if you want.

While these tricks may not seem like much, it’s surprising how much time they can actually save you. Give them a try today and then sit back and relax with the time you’ve gained!


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About the author

Lori Gracey

Lori Gracey has 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and is responsible for training technology directors, administrators, curriculum supervisors, and teachers across the country. During her eight years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building, and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members. She serves more than 17,000 members and oversees a staff of 21. Lori is also on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives and SXSWedu and recently served as the Regional Program Chair for the ISTE 2017 Convention in San Antonio.

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