Mobile

Working without a computer: Update 3

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This is likely my final update in the series of working without a computer since the laptop has been repaired and returned.

So, the $64,000 question is: Can an iPad replace your regular desktop? The answer is not that straightforward and is tied to your specific workflow and work habits. In my case, I found that an iPad works just fine for most things over the short term. It especially excels when traveling and mostly consuming content. The combination of working offline, lightweight design while supporting multiple functions (email, writing, movies, books, podcasts, etc.) makes the iPad stand out.

Over the course of the past week, I put the iPad through its paces while my MacBook Pro was in for repairs. During that time, the iPad worked really well for most things. However, I found myself preferring to use a computer to perform some tasks. Those included scanning and expense report activities. Printing, signing and scanning contracts does work on the iPad, but using a digital edit and the Apple Pencil. Using the Pencil, you open the PDF document, sign with the Pencil and can reply with the signed copy. All of this done without the need to print or scan. Now that was clever. I also tried creating presentations using the iPad. Again, it can be done in a pinch. However, it is much quicker to use a laptop.

In the end, I found that my workflow does support using an iPad for shorter periods of time. However, it is easier to create content using a laptop. The experience was a great test to determine how best to use the different tools at my disposal. In the end, I suspect that the iPad will continue to serve as my travel companion while the laptop serves as my primary system.

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