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If you are wanting to leave your laptop behind for the more portable, convenient, and just pleasant experience that is iOS there is one way to make this transition stick, and it isn’t what you think. The best way is to remove all other options and only have an iPad available. It may sound simple, but when you limit yourself innovation takes over. This by no means is easy, but it is the best in my opinion. There is somewhat of a learning curve needed to acclimate yourself.

To help you decide if this is right for you, I have come up with 3 things you need to consider when making the conscious choice to leave Mac or PC behind and go iOS only.

  1. Are You Willing to Change Workflows?

Making this change in your workflows will create some hurdles you may not have had to get over before. But know this, it is possible to use iOS exclusively. To do this you need to know what to do to combat issues that may come up. For that I have a few posts that will help when getting started.

  • iCab Mobile - The Best Browser for iPad
  • Why iPad vs Mac
  • Learn How to Use Workflow

I have been using my iPad as my main computer for almost a year and it has become more fluid and second-nature to do nearly everything I could on my Mac. Some things are a little less intuitive but other things I used to do on my Mac seem like they were actually meant for iOS in the first place.

All in all, for me, iOS has made my workflows more intentional and effective than they were on the Mac.

  1. How Important is Automation to You?

Between Applescripts, applications like Hazel, and other automation options you may be using, iOS is a much more sandboxed experience. This may sound like a bad thing to you, it was for me when I started. But here’s how I think of it now: iOS makes you focus more on what is important.

Now, automation is available for iOS. There is an app called Workflow that Apple acquired last year. It provides the bridges to our apps that we needed, but doesn’t run in the background like Hazel or other software can.

Automation for iOS isn’t the same as Mac, not by a long shot, but it doesn’t need to be. I have found the limitations brought to me with iOS automation has actually improved my abilities to work on the things that matter and let the rest fall to the wayside without much hesitation. This is one of the biggest reasons I moved to iOS more and more over the years and why I keep coming back in times of doubt.

  1. Do You Enjoy Trying New Things?

When I made the switch to iOS, I made the decision to start right from the bottom and leave all my previous notions of computing at the virtual doorstep. I wanted a clear head and an open-mind when I took this plunge.

I am not going to lie, there were times when I went back to my Mac, but even when I caved a little I kept remembering all the things that were fun and delightful on my iPad over my Mac and I kept coming back because of it.

I have learned a ton about iOS and about myself through the last year when I started this journey. I feel like I know how I prefer my work done more than I did before, and I spend less time problem solving and more time actually doing. If I hadn’t made that switch to my iPad Air 2 when I did I don’t think I would be as confident in my work as I am now and definitely not as productive.

The iPad offered me what no other computer did: purpose.

So You Want to Use Your iPad More, What Now?

If you have considered the pros and cons for you and want to go all-in on iOS, then I have good news! You can join others in a Facebook Group called The iPad Only Club.

Here you will find me and other like-minded people in the iOS only community that will help you with your problems, encourage you when you are frustrated, and provide useful insight and value to help you make this switch as painless, and dare I say fun as possible.

If you want to join, head over to iPadOnly.club and join. It will redirect you to the Facebook group, from there request to join (the reason we require your request is to keep spammers out, don’t worry we will accept your request).

There may not be many users on there yet (this is the launch announcement after all), but I will be there every day to help you and encourage you throughout this change as the group grows over time. And if you want more people to join, share this with them. They say the best way to do anything life-changing is with a friend.

So, if you are looking to make the switch it iOS as your main operating system join The iPad Only Club over at iPadOnly.club.

See you there.

When I started this minimalism challenge I said that I was overwhelmed, and that was one of the main reasons I decided to make a change. After 2 weeks I can say that my overwhelm has subsided some, but not all.

I was expecting this to be like lifting all the weight I had on my shoulders off in one fell swoop but that was not the case. I think i was a little naive with that idea, of course there isn’t an easy way to reduce stress in your life. If there was, everyone would be doing it!

After some time in this challenge I noticed a few patterns that I want to share with you.

My iPhone seems to collect more apps than my iPad

Everyone reading this probably isn’t surprised by this statement, I wasn’t surprised either. It is obvious that the device I use the most would have a larger net to cast when fishing for apps. Plus, my iPhone is more of a technological Swiss Army Knife while my iPad is primarily for writing, editing, and other administration work for Tablet Habit and Getting Caught Up. I use the two devices differently and my phone is more convenient to track when my packages are going to arrive with Deliveries and handling my music and podcasts. To be honest, there really isn’t much overlap between my iPhone and iPad. They seem to be on their own islands.

In total, I would guess that I have downloaded twice as many apps in the past two weeks than my iPad. I wish I was more cognizant of keeping track of what apps I downloaded to which device, that way I could give you the nitty-gritty statistics. Sadly, that isn’t the case.

Safari Still Distracts Me

Another big reason I decided to removed everything from my devices was to have less distractions and allow myself to focus more. One of my biggest distractions is YouTube. I consume YouTube more than Netflix, Hulu, and Cable combined. YouTube is my sanctuary of video content and has been for years. However, I noticed several months ago that it began to be a place I went to when I was procrastinating from writing or hammering out a big project for one of my areas (Tablet Habit, Getting Caught Up, or freelance podcast editing). Something needed to change, so I deleted that app off my devices entirely.

My plan was that if I only watched YouTube within Safari I would be adding those extra steps to get to it that I would have time to rethink my choice and instead go back to working on something more productive, I was wrong. I almost immediately saved YouTube as a Favorite in Safari so it was just a tap away every time I opened the app. It was just there, staring me in the face begging for me to press it. Much like the sailors in the poem The Odyssey by Homer I was being lured by the Sirens towards shipwreck, or in this case opened a browser.

I haven’t been noticing a huge difference in my output

Finally, I thought that this experiment would relieve friction to allow me to produce more content and have less decisions to make. The complete opposite happened in this department. I did find myself with less friction from my devices thank to no apps to immediately shut my brain off, but I was still not producing more content. I was finding myself contemplating and battling with myself on decisions on where to go next. It got a bit existential for a bit, but the main bread and butter of what was bothering me was that even when I didn’t have any excuses to write more, I still found myself making excuses.

While this was all going on I took to Twitter to try and get my mind off things and that was when I saw this.

[twitter.com/BRIANMBEN...](https://twitter.com/BRIANMBENDIS/status/950123894022619136)

This is a tweet by the famous comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis. If you don’t know who he is, that’s fine (I will say if you want to get more into comics listen to the podcast I Read Comic Books). Just know he is an accomplished writer with decades of work and several awards to prove it. The message he says here saying that writing never gets any easier helped me realize that no matter how focused I am or how many apps I don’t have on my devices it is entirely up to me to make the words come on to a page. Not the app, not the writing gods, 100% unequivocally me. That is refreshing, incredibly daunting, but also refreshing. The mountains I plan to climb are tall and the terrain is less than ideal but I need to make the first step towards it, otherwise what’s the point?

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I know I have unpacked a lot of things that didn’t work or even just some personal things that might not necessarily be your experience, but even with these discoveries I think this is working in many ways. I will go into those more once I finish out the month but until then I will say that this looks like it was absolutely worth doing and it allows me to learn more about myself than before, which wasn’t necessarily my goal but it is something that can help me long-term.

What’s next?

At the end of the month I will have more to say about what worked and my overall thoughts on this challenge as well. I have noticed a lot in the last couple of weeks but I still there think there is more to uncover about myself and what I use my devices for. I plan to see this through the month of January at the very least and then completely assess where I stand on this. Until then though I do want to change one thing: being more intentional with my writing and making time to do it every single day.

Just after Christmas I always feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with packing my gifts away, overwhelmed with decompressing after being “on” throughout the holiday season, and overwhelmed with the amount of things I have to do to get the new year “started right.”

I always have the need to clean up my life towards the end of the year, both physically and mentally, so that I go into the new year with the right mindset and the best possible workstation I can make for myself.

The problem is I very quickly find that I am not able to keep track of everything I need to do and my desk seems more like a storage unit in an episode of Hoarders.

This month I want to change that, I want to stick to keeping my tasks and things I want to do in order. I want to have a space dedicated to my writing at my home. If you’re asking yourself why I suddenly have a fire lit under me about doing this, the answer is simple.

Why I am Doing this

The big reason I am doing this is because of a documentary called Minimalist: A Documentary About the Important Things that opened my eyes about minimalism and about compulsory shopping. The main message was that we simply don’t need as much stuff as we think we do.

I don’t think I will be as minimal as the two main subjects in the documentary but I do think a change is needed in my life because I simply feel overrun when I have too many things on my desk, in my closet, and in my living space.

So the documentary got me interested with minimalism but the message is what had me take action. And the action I’ve taken so far has been very uplifting.

I decided the first thing I wanted to do with my life to minimize the things I needed was with my desk. Before I started this I had a desk drawer filled to the brim with things I habitually threw in there when I thought I would need it someday but not today. The three drawers I had contained things like 4 pairs of nail clippers, keyboards I no longer used, and a small office worth of disposable pens to name a few. Shocker: I didn’t need any of them now.

So I decided to start emptying out the drawers and see with it was that I actually needed. The answer was none of it. I had a dedicated fountain pen on my Bullet Journal for journaling, I had a Smart Keyboard on my iPad for writing, and everything else I need was in my to-go bag I take with me everywhere. The drawers held items that did not need to stay with me. So I packed it away in storage and everything I need in my life day-to-day is either on my desk or in my bag at arms reach.

The feeling of serenity and the weight I felt lifting off my shoulders as I closed my storage closet was something I did not expect, and I wanted to continue this. Minimalism was working, and I began thinking about how I use my iPhone and iPad and the apps that cluttered them.

Which leads me to the challenge I am going to take in the month of January.

What I am doing

The challenge for this is simple: start with the stock apps you get when getting a new device and only download the apps you need and leave the rest behind. Now, there are some rules to this challenge I am setting myself as well to keep me on track and preventing myself from clutter on my devices

  1. Delete any app you don’t use after 48 hours of downloading.
  • If I need that app again for whatever reason I can always re-download it, but the point of this challenge is to have only the essentials. Apps I don’t use after 2 days its initial use are no longer considered essential for me.
  1. Have everything on one screen
  • the main reason for this is because if I limit myself to one screen it leaves me having to really think about what is worth the space on my screen.
  • There are a lot of stock apps I simply don’t need and they can be pushed back in a folder to stay out of sight and refrain from taking up my precious screen real estate.
  1. Document in a journal your feelings and changes every day for the next 3 weeks
  • Doing this challenge and not keeping track of the changes and my feelings on this is hardly a challenge at all. For every experiment there has to be documented analysis for this and daily journaling is something I think will provide that.

Now that these rules are set, all that is left is actually doing this.

What’s Next

With the challenge and the time frame set all that is left is action and analysis.

So for the next week I will be writing in my journal once a day about the feelings I have and the changes that happens with it. Once the week is over I will report back on January 8th to check in. I will do this every week and come back at the end of the month with my thoughts, information on how things went, and anything I would do differently if I did this again.

So for now I am left with an empty desk, an iPhone and iPad reset, and nothing but 21 days of essential apps to use.