Ditching the Laptop – Where Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Mobility. It’s what we all want as writers. I mean, we have to get up from the chair at some point right? Get out into the sunshine. Brush our hair/teeth, put on clean clothes. Interact with other humans. OK, maybe that last one goes a bit far, but now that we are digging out from under that seemingly endless winter, we want to go places!

Or I do, anyway. I like to go and do and drive and bask in the sun. And for me, that means that during the summer months, I either write long hand or drag my ancient laptop with three hours worth of battery life along for the ride. Or it did.

I have recently upgraded my game to include a new iPad. I am usually an Android/PC girl (because cheaper and easier), but my beloved Samsung Tab S met with a tragic accident that spiderwebed the screen. I had been planning to upgrade my laptop to probably a Surface Pro, but when my tablet died, I started thinking about other options.

What has kept me on a laptop for so long was Scrivener. It’s not available as an Android app, and while I don’t really need a lot of other things in a laptop, I need my writing program. It’s really the one essential. Literature and Latte, the company that created and maintains Scrivener introduced Scrivener for iOS a couple of years ago, and while I am usually patient for companies to do the cross platform thing, there is only so much you can expect in terms of timelines from a small developer.

I hit on a lucky sale the weekend after my tablet bit the dust, and walked out the a 6th Gen iPad for about $300 less than it normally costs. So far, I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty pleased. I only have to charge it every couple of days — even when I write all day long and play music. Scrivener, while not cheap in terms of app prices, is still cheaper to buy for iOS than it was for Windows. It syncs with Dropbox, which means that I can still use my ancient and no longer really mobile laptop to work on the same projects should I need to.

It takes a little while to get used to the gestures that Apple products use — there is only the one home button, so backing up and opening the recents view is a little different than I’m used to. That said, I did manage to figure it out with a little playing around. Which I would have had to do less of if I’d bothered to flip through the ‘What’s New in iOS 11’ thing that it wanted me to read in the beginning. What can I say? I am inexplicably drawn to the hard way.

I plan to be on the road a lot this summer. So far, my iPad and my little Logitech keyboard (his name is Kenny) have proved to be just about everything I need on a regular basis (outside of my phone, of course). I haven’t needed my laptop for anything other than that scanning project I mentioned a few days ago.

I’m pretty excited about this move all in all. While I don’t generally like to learn new devices, I do like less things, and being able to toss my writing into a purse rather than a backpack is definitely a plus in terms of productivity. Lighter, smaller, and can charge in the car — if this thing made coffee, I would be in heaven.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *