#iPadOnly book » Introduction [Draft]

Introduction

When Steve Jobs announced the iPad...

On January 27, 2010 Steve Jobs announced the iPad. He began the introduction with the following quote by the Wall Street Journal:

“Last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it.”

Everybody laughed and expected Steve to show off his new gadget right away. He kept the audience waiting and started asking them if there was room for a third category of devices, something between an iPhone and a Mac. According to Jobs for a device like that to make sense, it needed to be far better than a smartphone or a laptop at doing some key tasks. “Far better at doing some really important things”, he said. Like browsing the web, processing email, enjoying and sharing photographs, watching videos, listening to music, playing games or reading ebooks.

Apple didn’t stop there. They wanted the iPad to excel at many more tasks by making sure they had the software ready for this new category of devices as well. Together with the iPad, they introduced the iWork productivity suite (something similar to Microsoft Office) tailored especially for the touch screen of the iPad. Later, before the iPad shipped, they convinced the developers to build iPad-native apps - to convert their current iPhone apps and re-build them to take advantage of the bigger screen.

Going #iPadOnly

Both of us (Augusto and Michael) went #iPadOnly. Basically, this means we are now working on the iPad almost exclusively. By ‘going #iPadOnly’ we mean: ‘performing most of our key tasks on the iPad’. Not only the tasks Steve Jobs mentioned. Practically all of them - we’re working more than 80% on the iPad. We’re having a blast in the process.

The first iPad began paving the #iPadOnly road. Along with the iPad 2 and an ever-increasing amount of iPad-specific apps, working #iPadOnly started to make sense and become fun.

Later that same year, at the D8 Conference, Steve Jobs famously said: “PCs are going to be like trucks.”

What he meant was that the ‘mainstream computing’ as we know it is going to change. People will prefer to use tablets and smartphones as their ‘computers’ and only the skilled professionals will need ‘regular PC’s’ for their work. Not only do we share this point of view but we also know that many more professionals than Steve envisioned can use the iPad. We know, because we work on our iPads. We manage to fit all of our work into this machine and we love every minute working on it.

Why the ‘#’ (hash) in the name? Why ‘#iPadOnly’ and not just ‘iPad only’?

Our journey started with our blog posts about our gradual shift to the iPad. We both labeled them on Twitter with an #iPadOnly hash tag - this symbolizes a new category as well as a movement. We believe more and more people will be switching to their iPads as their ‘main machines’ in the future. We know it’s already happening. We see it happening with us and with many of our ‘online friends’. That’s why we believe in the #iPadOnly movement and we decided to add a ‘#’ (hash) symbol to the book title - to manifest this new movement and paradigm shift.

When Augusto got his iPad…

He got it in April 2010 and he never thought it would become his main machine so soon. He was in love with his iPhone (you may call him an ‘Apple’ or better yet a ‘Steve Jobs’ fan boy). Holding the iPad in his hands, he was sure that Steve Jobs’ vision was going to take us somewhere. He just wasn’t expecting that it was going to be so far. And so fast. Just a few months later he was performing most of his key tasks on the iPad.

When Michael got his iPad…

It was May 2010. Michael loved it as a ‘media consumption’ device and nothing more. However, just two years later, instead of upgrading his beloved MacBook Air, Michael decided to see if he could go #iPadOnly. He ordered the new iPad and never looked back.

We started writing about #iPadOnly on our blogs.

We loved our transition to the iPad so much that we started sharing it on our blogs independently. Michael had his ‘iPadOnly series’ and Augusto his ‘How I work on my iPad’ series. Once we discovered how much fun going #iPadOnly was, we wanted to share it with everyone.

Both of us are also productivity buffs. We share our passion for ‘Getting Things Done’ methodology (known as ‘GTD’) so we wanted to ensure we were working more productively on our iPads than we were on our regular computers. Suffice to say that once we got the hang of working #iPadOnly we were a lot more productive.

When Michael realized #iPadOnly was much more than he expected and that he wasn’t going back to his laptop anymore, he fired off an email to Augusto saying they were onto something and had to write a book together. Augusto agreed immediately.

So we wrote this book for you.

We decided to co-write this book to share our experiences working #iPadOnly. The good, the bad and the ugly. Not only has it been super fun to write, but we discovered much more in the process.

We stopped doing some things that we were doing before we began writing this book. We started simplifying and improving our processes even more. Some of our workflows changed and some had to evolve because of this book. Writing this book together has been an opportunity to see, evaluate, re-test and acquire new assumptions on why and how this idea of #iPadOnly is really cool and necessary. It’s been a great ride.

We questioned our assumptions.

All too often people fight change. They use the same tools for years without challenging themselves to try something new and re-evaluate what they are doing. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ they say. Maybe they are right, but maybe every once in a while we should break something or question an assumption in order to find a better and more fulfilling way to achieve the same goal.

Michael wanted a more portable machine and was sure that the MacBook Air 11” was a great device to migrate to from his MacBook Air 13”. Comparing the 10” iPad with the new 11” Air, he started questioning every aspect of his work and looking at new ways of accomplishing each task.

Augusto was always astounded by the fact that Michael was re-doing his home office every year. He thought Michael was wasting his time. He finally understood why when they began co-writing this book. By remodeling his home office Michael was forcing himself to see in minute detail what worked for him and what didn’t, and more importantly, what stopped working and should be removed. Augusto, in the spirit of not wasting time and playing instead of working, was avoiding change to things that were working. Now he decided to follow Michael’s lead and will schedule a regular yearly ‘reevaluation’ moment. For him, it’s coming right after publishing this book.

Now it’s time for you to remodel your work.

We believe most busy professionals, including you, can work #iPadOnly. We think you should question your old assumptions and see if you can work almost exclusively on this ‘magical’ device. Not just for the sake of it. Going #iPadOnly will force you to simplify your work, make it more rewarding, and in return, more fun. It’s a new paradigm shift and it’s simply amazing. This book will serve as your blueprint. In the coming chapters we’ll show you what our #iPadOnly transition looked like, what we changed and what we tweaked. We’ll also demonstrate which apps, services and accessories facilitated our transition to the #iPadOnly world. Hold tight - it’s going to be a great ride.

This is our 2nd revision of the book

We initially published this book years ago, in the summer of 2013, right after the iOS7 announcement. Today I’m editing this chapter on an iPad Pro 11” which is rocking iOS13… or better yet - iPadOS13. That’s right, so much has changed that the iPad got his official operating system!

And yet, even though our book was written more than 6 years ago and both the hardware and the software have come a long way since then… we still believe most parts of our book are as relevant now as they were then.

Most of the people still look at iPads as these inferior devices and claim you cannot get “real work” done there.

That’s why we both decided to open source our book - put it up on the Internet for everyone to read and enjoy - and keep updating parts of it to show you how liberating and exciting work and play on the iPad can be.

Let’s go!

Next Chapter: Dedication

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