2 min read

Forgetting lappy 486

I opened my bag and stared at the gaping hole where my computer should have been. The comforting sparkle of my aluminum machine was missing. I had left it in New York. I was on my way to Boston for 4 days.


The thought ”should I buy a new computer?” actually went through my head.

I didn’t. I tried in all honesty to be productive on my iPad. Here’s what I found:

1. Email : sorta success

I keep my inbox pretty empty. Have you ever tried to search for old email in apple mail? It is atrocious and as a result I found myself switching between apps to find email.

I also send all my customer.io email to my gmail account. Web gmail handles replies gracefully. If I reply and it’s a customer.io email, it correctly sets me as the ”from”. There is no app that replies based on the ”to” address.

I save links to specific email messages in my todo list. This works great on the web. The mobile web version of gmail fails to recognize those links.

Multitasking just doesn’t work. I was surprised by how much of my email workflow required something else in my view. Responding to a legal question from an investor. Reviewing submissions to an entrepreneurship contest. Sending a response to a new sign up to our site. All of these things are painful to do without a larger screen and displaying items side by side.

2. Coding : didn’t even attempt it

As a joke I opened up vim on the iPad and poked around. Maybe it is possible to create a workflow around developing on the iPad. I didn’t have time to figure it all out before forgetting my laptop.

3. Blogging : semi-fail

I use Jekyll + Spinto (which is awesome). Jekyll alone would not work on the iPad as far as I know. You’ve got to edit a text file, commit it to the git repo and then push it. Spinto is a brand new product and I didn’t expect it to work on the iPad. It kinda did. I was able to create a new post. But copying and pasting didn’t work in the JavaScript text area spinto uses. I was able to paste in another mode but then ran into issues with funny spacing in my bulleted list. Eventually in frustration I unpublished the post and then decided to wait until I got home.

4. Stuff that was a joy

  • watching YouTube videos
  • reading on the kindle app
  • browsing the web
  • sketching in ”Paper”
  • tweeting

Overall, using the iPad for what it’s designed to do is great. It’s a wonderful device with a flexible, non-tactile interface. Going on a trip, if my goal is to do anything work related, I would gladly forget my iPad and remember my computer. The other way around makes me frustrated at the limitations of the iPad rather than enjoying its strengths.

– written on my iPad, corrected on my Lappy

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