Friday Favorite: Haiku Deck for iPad concocts instant presentations

If long-suffering Dunkin' Donuts franchise owner Fred the Baker had decided to get an office job, chances are his early morning grumble would have been "Time to make the PowerPoint." Doing decks is part of every organization, from the military to not-for-profits to businesses of all sizes; even if you make the chore easier with Keynote, it's still a chore.

Creating something that doesn't look like every other presentation is possible, but if you aren't gifted with design acumen it might not turn out like you hope. PowerPoint's automatic templating helps somewhat, but how about using your iPad to spice up a slide or two?

Giant Thinkwell's free iPad app Haiku Deck may prove to be the spice rack for your flavorless decks. The idea is straightforward: use one of Haiku Deck's provided two-line templates for your slides and the app will search Creative Commons-licensed photos to provide a fitting visual complement to your verbiage. You can swap in your own local photos from the iPad or ones from social services; to share, upload your deck to the Haiku Deck site or export it to a PowerPoint file.

The app is beautifully designed and easy to use; some of the free supplied templates are lovely, and there's a $14.99 optional pack of additional looks (or $1.99 per template, bought solo) if you're not thrilled with the built-in options.

Yes, you can only use two lines of text per slide, so it's not ideal for bullet-heavy fiscal briefings. Yes, the results have a tendency to wander into Demotivators territory. But you can certainly use Haiku Deck to inspire a theme for a longer presentation built in a desktop app, or pull one or two key concept slides into a presentation that's begging for some creative zing.

[hat tip AllThingsD]