Tablets are often looked upon as devices built for entertainment purposes; unsurprising since popular platforms like iOS and Android feature extensive numbers of games and multimedia-centric apps. The end result is that tablets aren’t taken seriously as productivity tools. So how does one fully utilize the assets of an Android tablet in a productive manner? Here are some tips, as well as suggestions for apps essential to moulding your tablet into the ultimate tool for work.

Connecting to the Internet

First off, you need to get your tablet connected to the Internet If your tablet has built-in 3G connectivity, you’re good to go in most cases. Otherwise you’ll have to find a wireless hotspot to latch on to via WiFi, If you’re using an Android smartphone with Android 2.2 software at the very least, you could create a portable hotspot for your tablet to connect to.

Setting up your Email Account

One of the perks of having a tablet is the capability to work on-the-go and of course, that includes sifting through work emails and engaging in productive correspondence. Setting up your personal or work email account is simple on most tablets. Typically on an Android gadget, you can navigate to the Accounts and Sync option under Settings, and select accordingly.

Under Google, you can sync content tied to your Gmail account (Picasa Web Albums, Calendar, Contacts to your tablet. Similarly, you can set up an Exchange account here as well. Alternatively, if you are looking for more comprehensive and optimized Exchange-compatible features, you can download third-party apps like TouchDown.

Linking your Dropbox

A Dropbox account or any other cloud computing service is especially helpful if you are looking to sync, backup, or share files while mobile. For example, the Dropbox app for Android devices is free to download from the Android Market, requiring only your account credentials for access. You can easily share links to files in your Dropbox or email files to a colleague from your tablet after you are done — just choose the option to upload and share. Additionally, you can even stream movies from Dropbox to your tablet.

Getting Organized

All of us appreciate a neat desk, and likewise, an organized tablet makes for a more conducive working environment. In this case, most tablets come with preloaded but basic calendar and note-taking apps. Thankfully, there are other free alternatives that do a better job. The Evernote app (free and premium version available) is one such option, a note-taking tool that works just like a digital scrapbook. You can record audio clips and attach photos and text to a single note, which is then synced to your Evernote account, and can be easily accessed online via your Mac or Windows PC.

Utilizing & Creating Work Documents

Compared to typical smartphones, the tablet’s extra screen real estate allows for easier viewing of media, as well as for reading. It is also easier to share and pass around for demonstrative purposes. So now that you have downloaded a .pptx document from your colleague’s Dropbox account onto your tablet and want to view or edit it, what’s next? Fortunately, there are a few third party apps that help optimize the experience – for one, you can start off with a trial version of OfficeSuite Pro (full version: $10.08) or Documents To Go (full version: $18.90), both of which allow you to create Microsoft Office files, interestingly, both also come with support for Google Docs.