The #nolaptoplife anxiety


“A decision is when you cut off any other possibility and you commit to something with everything you’ve got, and you take action”

– Anthony Robbins

Traveling without a laptop for the first time feels crazy.  There is that thought in the back of the mind that there might be ONE OR TWO things that need a laptop and this trip will be a failure.  In reality, you do not know what the tasks are, but you feel like there might be that ONE thing!  It is the same reason why people bring certain things in theory toiletry bag that never see the hotel counter… EVER , but you still bring it on every trip.  I still bring NyQuil , but have never used it on a trip.

Preparation and an open mind is key to taking the leap. A little preparation and planning can go a long way to a lighter carry on and true all day battery.  The hardest thing is letting go and trust that you can get real work accomplished whilst on a trip.

Here are simple steps:

Upload your frequently used documents to a cloud storage: It does not matter what service you use, but make sure they support the apps you want to use.  Microsoft Office for iOS (on the App Store) support many cloud storage solutions.   This way you can always get what you need.

Dongles: If you are presenting, bring a couple of dongles.  1) HDMI to lightning connector by Apple 2) VGA to lightning.connector by Apple.  These are for when you have to present.  If you need to plug into a projector, you are covered.  I also pack a cheap HDMI cable in my case and it also gets used for viewing movies in the hotel room on the room TV (more on that in a future blog).

Power Brick:  I have a few iDevices and only carry a multi-port USB brick to save space

Power Cell:  Find a great power cell battery like the Anker Power Cell I use and keep it for emergencies… Never see a laptop person that can do that 🙂

Keyboard or Keyboard Case:  I pack an Apple Bluetooth keyboard <link> in case I need to do some serious typing.  If I do not do that, I use a keyboard folio case like the Logitech Type + case…  So useful.

In the next blog: We will look at the experience of traveling without a laptop and see the possible pitfalls and what we do to overcome hurdles. This includes flight trays, delays, in-flight Wi-Fi, and VPN.


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Hello Again – The #nolaptoplife

This is the first post of my new blog (or as I call it: a dialogue).  In this blog, you will be engaged in a conversation about the mobile app world as well as using an iPad only for 90+ % of your work.  This is how I work and I love it.  For the price of a high-end laptop, I can outfit my “office” with multiple iPads of many sizes (so I bring the right on for the right job), any accessory I need, and a cool, slim bag as well. I started doing this in 2011 when the iPad 2 was launched.  Mainly it was an experiment, but soon my turned into the “way I work.: for many reasons.  Sure there are others that do this but they do not also contribute to the app ecosystem by running and developing apps like I do.  Of course working this way has a learning curve and there are certain apps that one has to use instead of another, but it is all doable.  I am typing this blog on an iPad Air 2 using Microsoft Word for iOS. I do my daily job in the same manner.  Over the last few years, I have guest blogged, been interviewed and spoken about the way I work, but there is a lot more information to share and I feel this blog will be able to relay my thoughts my way.

In the world of “apps” there are many, many, many mobile apps that are just as productive, or even more, than a desktop / laptop application.

Working from an iPad or other tablet is “doable” now more than any other time in technology history.  Let’s take a look at the evolution of personal and “work” computing over the last 20-something years. Keep in mind that all of the pundits are referring to the current area as the “Post-PC” era. This means that the old ideas of PS’s are just that…old.  Let’s see why.

Using some basic tools, the iPad is a real computer.  Microsoft Office is one of the main software bundles workers use the most to accomplish work.  IOS now has al of the Office apps as well in full functionality and with added support for the Apple Pencil. There are a multitude of amazing external keyboards out today made specifically for the iPads.  I use them when there is a lot of typing to do, but I am very proficient on the on-screen keyboard as well.  It takes some practice.  When I present, I use an HDMI adapter to present flawlessly.  When I travel, I use the same adapter and a cheap HDMI cable to bring my own movies (via Amazon Video and Netflix) to my hotel room.

Of course there are drawbacks sometimes, but those are far and few so I love with them because the advantages are so tremendous. In future posts, I will talk about the actual tools I use on the iPad, the accessories I love and hate, and give you some advice on how you too can achieve a light backpack and still be amazingly productive. I welcome your comments below and hope we can start a conversation about something I am passionate about. Until next time…

Links of interest:

The evolution of the “computer”

The desktop computer – This massive machine is packed with a large set of fans, CD/DVD ROM drive and usually needs a big monitor, keyboard, and a mouse.

Pros: Usually this setup is expandable, but many never take advantage of this capability.

Cons: Heavy, not movable, almost impossible to work from anywhere other than the room it is set up.

The laptop – This was a revolution of the 1990’s.  One could work almost anywhere that had a power outlet (because batteries do not usually last that long).  In the early 2000’s Wi-Fi made it even easier to work from anywhere.

  • Pros:Easy to put in a bag and work from almost any location
  • Cons:Expensive, needs a power outlet, need Ethernet or WiFi. Most models are heavy and have heavy charger and no backup battery is easily usable.

iPad, iPad Pro: In 2010 Apple introduced the iPad and started a new era of computing.  A person can do real work with a small, thin form factor and there is an easy option to run LTE if there is not a Wi-Fi connection available.

  • Pros:Light, thin, economical (compared to most laptops of similar power), Can use external battery to replenish 10-hour battery if needed.
  • Cons:Multi-tasking is hard to get used to, some apps are “watered-down” versions of their big brothers, learning curve.