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Sunday, November 20, 2011

How To Live a Synchronized Life (Electronically) - Part Two

Part Two - Three Years of Trying

It all started back in late 2008 when T-Mobile released the very first Android smartphone (The T-Mobile G1). This was a wonderful day for me. I'd been using a Blackberry phone for a couple of years, but the Android phone was several steps further forward. At last I had true web-browsing, email, alerts, music and more all on one phone. My life was complete! Or was it? I soon found out that the slide out keyboard really was a little bit of a pain and the Android phone was fairly slow at doing quite a few things. Add to that the relatively small screen size when viewing web pages and although the phone was a big step forward from my Blackberry, it wasn't the be all to end all that I had hoped for. I still needed my desktop and laptop PC.

Let's look back at my original list and see what was better:

  • Editing plot ideas and having them synchronized for when I got home? - NO
  • Write a page or two of my book? - NO
  • Check and respond to emails wherever I am? - YES
  • Sit in a hotel room and crank out a chapter? - NO
  • Do some reading / social media? - MAYBE
So, not such a huge success!

Wind forward 18 months or so and I decided to go the Apple iPhone route. This was about 3 months after getting myself an iPod and using it for all sorts of things. What impressed me the most were the apps - thousands of them that did just about everything.

Did the iPhone make a huge difference to me and do all the things I wanted? No. But I was getting closer.  And then when the iPad came out, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Surely this was the answer to all my dreams? With the iPad I was suddenly able to synchronize things across all sorts of platforms and do some really useful work wherever I happened to be. Specific iPad apps started to appear and I thought I was finally going to be able to cross everything off my list and retire to the ultimate device.

I have had an iPad for about 18 months now and it has made a huge difference to my productivity. But there is one area where it just doesn't quite cut it. The area of typing. For surfing, notes, apps and lots of other things besides, it is a brilliant tool. But for cranking out a few pages or a chapter of my book, it falls a long way short. I even bought myself a bluetooth keyboard that I take with me when I go to hotels, but this really defeats the purpose of an iPad. The extra bulk and weight cancel out the benefits.

So, that brings us to November 2011. What is the next step forward? How can I solve all my desires and find the ultimate technological helper? In part three of this article I'll tell you how I've compromised in order to be able to write wherever I travel, but still have everything else available to me.

Read Part Three HERE

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