This has been coming for some time now, me converting to just using an iPad for everything I do. I had a stint with the Microsoft Surface Pro's, and I liked them, but several issues came up. First, the apps are not great, and there aren't many of them when you compare to the iPad. Second, being one who uses all Apple products, getting the Surface Pro to play well with my devices and machines wasn't great either. The result was me wanting to use the Surface Pro for all the hand-writing tablet-ness of it. In the end, I would go back and forth between a laptop, Surface Pro, and iPad. Since I've introduced my staff at work to the Surface Pro, I see a lot of happy folks. Then again, they are all Windows folks.
When the iPad Pro came out, in usual Apple fan-girl fashion, I pre-ordered and waited. Loved it at first, then put it down. My excuse was it was too heavy and big to read books on. I have the bruises on my nose to prove it would flop down and crash into my face while reading in bed. So, back to the iPad Mini I went.
The thought still nagged at me, laptops are dying. Which is very hard to say as a photographer and one who extensively uses Lightroom, Photoshop, and various other RAW (not supposed to be capitalized but I like yelling "RAW!") converters. The recent revision to the MacBook Pro left me wanting. Yea, the touch bar is cool but I chew up RAM and need speed to work between memory hogging programs. I also sling large sized image files around like hot cakes.
The nag continued, laptops appear to be declining but tablets are increasing. I still felt a need to be all tablet all the time. But how? A few weeks ago I came across a blog post by[ Ben Brooks of the Brooks Review where he said something that hit me, "Ease has nothing to do with it, as I keep saying: there's a mental shift that needs to happen."](https://brooksreview.net/2016/10/convince-me-ipad-pro-is-better/)Ben's comments hit me like a mental shift. All this time I had been trying to apply years of mental pathways or personal workflows of how I work, to the iPad.
So, over the Thanksgiving holiday, I left the laptop at home and only had my iPad Pro and iPhone 7 in my bag. Honestly, there was some worry and stress. What if I want to play EVE Online?!? How will I edit photos I take? What if the office needs me, how will I find what I want?!?!? So I dove in and did nothing but setup the iPad as best I could as things came up. Several killer apps helped me rewire how I do things.
- Workflow (Duh, Auto-workflows)
- Scrivener (Writing, mostly technical papers)
- Newton (Mail, Since Mac Mail is a bit lacking)
- Google Docs/Drive (Forms and Reporting)
- Evernote (Elephant Brain)
- PDF Expert (PDF Markups)
- Screens (Or Back to My Mac - Screen Sharing)
- Lightroom Mobile (Photo Cataloging & Editing)
- Photoshop Fix (Fixing photo issues like dust spots)
- Documents & FileBrowser (Moving Files)
- Penultimate (Written Notes)
- Ulysses (Writing, blogging, etc.)
If folks reading this are interested, I'll go into more detail in later posts. However, I want to say a few more things in this one. First, as of now, I can't see how I can get away from needing my laptop for my photography workflow. The apps aren't there yet for how I catalog and edit photos. I need a full machine for that. But I can edit quick and get photos out if they don't require some fancy skills. Second, other than doing some fancy photo editing, I haven't picked up or worked on a full Mac in a few weeks now. Everything has been done via the iPad Pro. The results have already been quite interesting; my stress about using just a tablet vanished, issues in how I need things to work are fixed quickly in Workflow (Or IFTT & Zapier), writing has become a pleasure with Scrivener & Ulysses.
It indeed does take a mental shift. Many of us have been using desktop and laptop computers since we were kids and we have solid mental pathways built up on how we do things. This can be changed, and the change may be of greater benefit than you think.