Working without a computer: Update 3


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.

Tim Crawford is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Information Technology Officers (#4), Top 100 Most Social CIOs (#7), Top 20 People Most Retweeted by IT Leaders (#5) and Top 100 Cloud Experts and Influencers. Tim is a strategic CIO & advisor that works with large global enterprise organizations across a number of industries including financial services, healthcare, major airlines and high-tech. Tim’s work differentiates and catapults organizations in transformative ways through the use of technology as a strategic lever. Tim takes a provocative, but pragmatic approach to the intersection of business and technology. Tim is an internationally renowned CIO thought leader including Digital Transformation, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Tim has served as CIO and other senior IT roles with global organizations such as Konica Minolta/ All Covered, Stanford University, Knight-Ridder, Philips Electronics and National Semiconductor. Tim is also the host of the CIO In The Know (CIOitk) podcast. CIOitk is a weekly podcast that interviews CIOs on the top issues facing CIOs today. Tim holds an MBA in International Business with Honors from Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Golden Gate University.

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