This semester marked a venture into doing as much work as paperless as possible. This is a daunting task for an artist but thanks to technology, most notably the iPad, it is an achievable goal. It's only been slightly painful as I have used some paper to work out ideas and do some sketching on... but there's an app for that.
There are a few apps that have made this transition go really smooth and they are...
Note Taker HD
A few pieces of necessary kit would be...
Protective case with multiple display angles
6 ft. charging cord from Apple
Now to really capitalize on this a stylus has been a must. It allows me write and draw on a contact point much smaller than my finger tip for more accurate results. Any PDFs I can open on the iPad I can open directly into Note Taker to highlight and make notes on. If the iPad can't open it, no worries, I just open it at home and import it into the iPad via iTunes.
Pages, while not as powerful as Word, has a nice amount of features and allows any document you make to be sent as a Pages, Word, or PDF document. My final paper for Theory & Criticism last semester was written on my iPad. iDisk is a must for keeping important documents like my resumé, and pictures such as my portfolio always available. All the ebook readers are good to have, if your looking for a specific book chances are one will have it. I was able to find some textbooks in ebook format at a significant price reduction because there is no shipping, no ink, no paper.
Have I totally abandoned paper? No. Have I drastically cut back from what I was using before? Most definitely. I still use Post-it notes, but thats about it... I used 6 sheets of tracing paper to figure out my final form for the wire armature this semester.
Is it for everyone? No. Someone who is really into 2-D processes will hate it as an iPad does not have the strength of a laptop, at least not for 4-5 generations from now. Anyone who touch types will hate it, anyone who actually types at all will hate it. I hunt and peck when I type so no worries for me on the keyboard size.
The more I use it, the more I am impressed by it (and trust me, I was a heckler of it when it was first announced, I felt this video summed up all the hype it was getting) in terms of how it does everything I need it to quickly and efficiently. How it has merged into my life rather seamlessly after giving my wife my laptop after hers got broken. It can't do everything, but it's not supposed to. Anything I need to do on a more powerful machine, like blogging, I make a note of and do it at home after working in the studio.