I’m ready for: Working while traveling | Where: London, UK. Working mainly from coffee shops, hotel room and hotel lobby | Using: iPad Pro 9,7″ as my only computer
Since I started working for myself 7 years ago I have felt the need to be ready to work and to stay in the loop at all times, so I have always been carrying a laptop around. Laptops, always laptops, no matter where I went. But something has happened lately. As my daily work tasks has shifted away from mainly creating graphics, to writing, managing and communicating (very simply put), I have started working more and more from my iPad. This is my collection of essential devices and accessories to get work done while traveling without a traditional computer.
iPad Pro 9,7″
After a lot of experimenting with different iPad sizes, I recently settled with the new iPad Pro 9,7″, or the Baby Pro as it was nicknamed in a recent episode of Mac Power Users. What a brilliant little machine this is, especially when paired with the Apple Smart Keyboard. iOS has really matured in recent years and I can not wait to see what iOS 10 have in store for iPad productivity.
Apple Smart Keyboard
I have really tried to make a setup with an iPad and an external keyboard to work in the past, but most solutions with Bluetooth keyboards have failed. The main reason being the fact that you have a truly portable computer, the iPad, and then you start lugging around another device, often almost the same size as the iPad, and suddenly the whole setup isn’t as portable anymore. The best external keyboard I have tried is Logitech K810, which packs great, backlit keys in a fairly slim form factor. It is also available in a version that supports the Nordic keyboard layout, something that Apple has yet to release for the Smart Keyboard. This is less of a problem for me than I suspected since I write a lot in English. When I switch language to Swedish the muscle memory is impressive and I tend to mange to hit our strange keys Å, Ä and Ö most of the time even though my US keyboard is labeled [, ‘ and ; instead.
Jawbone Mini Jambox
There are many Bluetooth speakers out there these days, but I have always loved the mini Jambox by Jawbone. It delivers sound that is better than my iOS/devices, it looks great and it’s fairly slim when it comes to size and hardware design. It also has a solid feel to it, something that is nice when it spends most time bouncing around with other devices in a bag.
Apple UK Charger with folding pins
I like to keep things small, slim and very portable, and the design of UK power plugs, with those three gigantic pins sticking out, is everything but that. But Apple is here with the rescue: folding pins. I love this solution to a stupid “problem”.
Apple Lightning Cable 1 m
This is the standard length and it works well in most cases.
Apple Lightning Cable 50 cm
Another official Lightning cable from Apple, but only half the length, which I think is ideal in many hotel rooms, airports and airline lounges where the power outlet is placed just above a table. I also use it when charging devices in my bag while connected to the Mophie portable charger mentioned below.
Kero Lightning & Micro USB Nomad cables
The only third-party Lightning cable that I use, and they work just fine. The reason I use them is probably obvious; they’re incredibly short and can be thrown into any bag, pocket or case and be forgotten about. The Micro USB cable is used to charge the Mophie portable charger.
The most important device in my, and probably most peoples, life. It’s my most personal computer, my main camera, the communication central of my life and so much more.
Sena Slim Leather Case for iPhone 6
Sena have been doing high quality cases and sleeves for devices for a long time, and since the first time I tried this slim leather sleeve I have been using it regularly, and buying new ones whenever Apple have released a new iPhone with a new hardware design. It looks and feels great and it protects my phone from scratches, but it is also nice to get some peace of mind and not see the screen light up all the time in moments when you want to focus on something else. I use it when I want quality time with the family or when working on something that needs my uninterrupted attention.
99% of everything I write is done in digital form, but sometimes it’s nice to grab a pen and a notebook and scribble down some thoughts. Many swear by the excellent Moleskine brand, but I prefer Word notebooks. This camouflage edition was especially nice in my opinion.
Fjällräven Passport Wallet
This passport wallet by Swedish company Fjällräven is the latest addition to my travel setup. I have tried many cases to store my passport and travel documents, but most of them are big, clunky and not very functional. This one is slim but still easily holds two passports plus a lot of other stuff like documents (folded), cards and cash. The zip pocket is also very handy for storing a home key, spare SIM cards and some receipts.
Mophie Powerstation 2X
No matter what phone or tablet you pack it is useless without power, and that is something that can be a real problem when traveling. I always keep a portable battery in my case. I have a few sizes and types that I choose from depending on what kind of trip I have planned. The Powerstation series from Mophie are fantastic for the simple reason that they are they first ones I have every encountered that are actually slim and take up very little space in any bag. The 1x version is great to bring in your coat pocket on a night out, especially paired with a short Kero Lightning cable.
Rapha Essential Case
This stylish leather case is slim but holds the Mophine Powerstation, a few short cables, earphones and some other small items. It’s a nice solution for storing smaller items together, and even though these are not cheap I still think they’re worth it. Rapha make a version in a cheaper material that works just as well, it’s just not made of leather.
I’m no audiophile and even though I know that the EarPods are not brilliant by any means, I like how they work pretty well for everything from phone calls to listening to music and podcasts. I usually also pack a pair of simple in-ear earphones for the flight, but I really like that I can keep the EarPods in my ears at all times and still hear people I meet and want to talk to, with the music on pause of course.
If you like this travel setup, or have any questions, please let me know! I’m @raawmarkus on Twitter.