January 9, 2013

The Air And The Mini

I’ve been away from home and office for about two weeks, my first trip after swapping my trusty iPad 3 for an iPad mini. I also brought my 11” MacBook Air for occasional work and necessary book editing.

This is my first longer trip in quite some time where I choose not to bring a bluetooth keyboard, for use with the iPad mini. My reasoning was that I wanted to travel light, and since I brought the Air I’d rely on that one for any unplanned writing.

That failed miserably. To me it is so much easier to get started writing on an iPad, it is more accessible. I’m even tapping this on my iPad mini, rather than pulling out my Air. Peculiar perhaps, but not really news to me.

The reason I thought this would be less of an issue with the iPad mini is that the screen is far from ideal for editing. I go through and edit everything I write, and I’ve found that selecting words, inserting the cursor on a specific place and similar actions are a lot more cumbersome on the iPad mini compared to the full-sized alternatives. With that in mind, I figured I’d consume on the iPad mini, and whatever I felt like creating would be destined for the Air.

I learned three things from this pseudo-experiment:

  1. I prefer to write on the iPad, which we’ve already covered. Even when it is as small as the iPad mini, it would seem.
  2. No matter how nice the MacBook Air is, it represents a less chaotic, more organized kind of content creation to me. That’s not the way I write, nor start something – order comes later in the process.
  3. I’m not going on a longer trip without my bluetooth keyboard for my iPad mini again.

So how did I do? Well, despite me not opening the Air for anything but client work and the necessary editing to meet my deadlines, I still managed to write a few blog posts, an essay, an article, and three short reports, all on the iPad mini. It would’ve gone a lot faster with a bluetooth keyboard, or using the Air, but the best tool is the one you’ve got with you, and want to use, so there you go.

On the plus side, I’ve gotten pretty good writing on this small bugger, getting close to the speeds I have on my iPad 3. At least that’s something.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere.