Person.

iPad Only - Efficiency Over Sexiness

My iPad Pro is by far my favorite piece of technology that I own. It’s highly performant, functional, and sexy. Like many folks, I prefer to use it compared to other devices like my MacBook Pro. So, I tried to go iPad Only starting on December 5th. I didn’t set strict rules on this venture, but I knew that I was only going to grab my MacBook if I couldn’t find a reasonable workaround for a problem in a few minutes. Surprisingly, I only came across one item where I had to break out my MacBook, editing an existing video project in Camtasia.

I worked solely on my iPad Pro for 8 weeks and enjoyed every bit of it. I was nearly as productive as I usually am and ran into very few items that required a workaround. My workload is one that lends to working on an iPad without a lot of modifications, but there are just some scenarios where I needed more screen real estate. Split screen on an 11” iPad is just not sufficient to reference documentation and work in a terminal or write code at the same time. The Nutanix Prism interface works on an iPad, but it’s just not 100%. I write a lot of code and spend a TON of time working on Nutanix clusters, so I really need these two things to be seamless.

What I found was the daily consumption of Slack, email, documents, etc are best done on my iPad. Writing, both creative and technical, is so much better on the iPad. I was more focused because I didn’t have other items begging for my attention on another screen. I was able to power through my inbox in minutes instead of 30-60 minutes each day. Slack on the iPad is a delight because there’s no fan screaming like a jet engine and the magic keyboard doesn’t get warm because it’s just a dumb keyboard.

At the end of the experiment, I’ve decided that the iPad will stay an integral part of my daily workflow but I will only be using it where it is the most efficient tool for the task. It will be my consumption device in the mornings while drinking tea at the island. It will be my travel companion if this pandemic ever ends, because I can do everything in my job with it, just maybe not as quickly as usual, while remaining ultra portable. The battery life is incredible and perfect for those times away from my desk. The bluetooth stack on my iPad just works, unlike my MBP which leaves much to be desired.

I recommend you try a similar experiment. It takes commitment to trying to find alternatives to your workflows and sometimes it can be frustrating. As sexy as the iPad is, the siren song of only using one sleek device, there are still limitations to productivity when you’re limited to one small screen. If Apple ever releases a 20+ inch tablet like iMac running iPadOS, I’ll hop on that in an instant for my desk. I love working on iPadOS, all I need is more screen real estate.