2 surprising things happened when I used only my iPad for 15 days

Over two weeks ago I decided to try to only use my iPad (with a keyboard case) and not use a laptop. I did this because I surprisingly found myself interested in the upcoming iPad Pro. I wrote a few weeks back about why I’m interested in the iPad Pro.

And I did it! Over the last 15 days I have not used a laptop. Not once. There were times I had to figure out how to accomplish something on the iPad (signing a document, downloading a file, converting a Word doc to a pdf, to name a few.) But I always was able to figure it out. Turns out, there is now an app for just about everything.

For the foreseeable future I’m going to keep using the iPad and not switch to a laptop, and because I’ve enjoyed the experience so much I’m going to give the iPad Pro a try when it comes out in November. 

But there were two things that happened to me when I started using the iPad exclusively that I did not foresee.

#1 – I no longer need a laptop bag.

As my friends know, over five years ago at Engauge I swore off having my own office ever again. And when we moved into our new space at Dragon Army late last year as a part of our reboot, I decided I didn’t want to have my own desk. Sure, I wanted a desk I could sit at when I’m in the office, but I didn’t want to have “stuff” on it, designating it as mine. 

My goal was to be able to sit anywhere – at the Dragon Army office, on the Dragon Army deck, at a coffee shop, at home, on a plane – and have the exact same experience to get work done. I didn’t want to find myself wishing I was at my desk with my second monitor or my knick knacks. I just want to be uber portable.

Using the iPad instead of a laptop has allowed me to remove the final piece of the puzzle: the laptop bag! For the last 15 days, I’ve left my laptop bag, with my cords and notebook and connectors, in my car. I walk into the office – or coffee shop, or home, etc. – with nothing other than my iPad and my headphones. My iPad has a long battery life, to the point where if I have even a few meetings during the day (and I always do) then it lasts all day without needing a charge. I think my plan going forward will be to have a laptop bag in case I need anything, but leave it in my car 95% of the time. Freedom!

#2 – I no longer need to store files locally. Or in other words, no more desktop files!

We all love the cloud. We love Evernote, and Dropbox, and some (I think) love iCloud. And Google Drive. All of these cloud services are embraced by us with open arms…right? What I found when I switched to the iPad was that I was still saving quite a few things on the harddrive of my laptop, specifically on the desktop. And I’m guessing you do as well.

The iPad really doesn’t have a file system for you to store things locally. In using it as a laptop replacement, I quickly found myself thinking, “So where do I store this file?” And then I’d realize I could just store it “in the cloud.” Bam, now every single file I use is stored in the cloud (almost always Dropbox), making me more mobile than ever and my files more secure than ever. 

If/when I go back to a traditional notebook, I’m going to work hard not to store anything locally.

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