Wednesday, March 8, 2017

✔️ A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

This post will be really geeky, but you'll love it - an updated list of my productivity iPad Apps! Here's the backstory: a few years back I co-wrote a book iPadOnly - How to use only your iPad to work, play and everything in between where I recommended a set of apps that help me get everything done on the iPad. In the meantime I got my iPad Pro and I kept updating this blog with my impressions of iPad Pros and iPadOnly work and I've also posted a list of apps I use on my iPhone but as lots of people keep asking me about this, here's a list of the iPad apps I use now to get things done and make it my main productivity workhorse.

A complete list of iPad apps that let me be #iPadOnly

Bonus: experiment with app layout

Before we move on to the list of apps, as you can see on the screenshot of my iPad above, I've decided to experiment a little with my app layout recently. I just hated it that I had apps on different screens and was very often tempted to get distracted when I wanted to write something but opened the Twitter app as it was just "on the way" to my writing app... so I started using folders as my "focused environments" and group my apps together. These groups give me a few benefits, like:

  • groups are focused on "jobs to be done" so I can concentrate on what I need to do, like writing, reading, etc.
  • groups create order so I don't install too many apps on my iPad and don't bloat it
  • groups fit on one screen, so at a glance I basically see all the apps I've got
  • groups leave some empty space so I can use a nice inspiring background - a photo of San Sebastián I took when I was on vacation with my family :-)

OK, here's the list of all of my apps from these groups:

Monday, November 28, 2016

✔ How “baby” iPad Pro became my computer of the year 2016

I’m writing this article just before Apple’s MacBook Pro event. It’s about time. Many of my colleagues can’t wait to replace their old MacBook Pros with the new models. I’m not that impatient, since I already picked my computer of the year. It's my 10-inch iPad Pro, which I call “baby Pro.” About a month ago I wrote about my hesitation about which iPad I should continue to use. I started having doubts about whether the large, 13-inch iPad Pro is doing a good job as my main computer. After more than three months of tests, I finally chose the winner. It’s the smaller iPad Pro, and in this article I’d like to tell you why. As a bonus, I’ll tell you how my #iPadOnly workflow looks right now with the example of writing this article... on my favorite iPad.

baby iPad

Note: The following article appeared first in the 6/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

✔ There are two iPads: a big one, and a small one. But which one is better for me?

Last fall Apple released the 13-inch iPad Pro. I bought it straight away. I also had to get a new bag because suddenly I needed to carry around a device the size of Macbook Air. Slowly, I began to get used to the large iPad. I even got used to the Smart Keyboard, which I wrote about in one of my previous articles. I figured that if I wanted to be #iPadOnly, I needed to have the best iPad available. But is it really the best?


Note: The following article appeared first in the 9/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

The two Pro iPads

In the spring, Apple made a very interesting move. It released the “baby Pro” – an iPad Pro the size of an iPad Air 2. It also came with the Smart Cover keyboard and pencil. Many people started saying that they found the 10-inch version more appealing. I started to wonder whether they were right... so as soon as the first beta of iOS 10 was released, I had the perfect excuse to buy the smaller iPad Pro to test Apple's new operating system. Suddenly, two iPads appeared in my home office. So, what now? Which iPad was better for work?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

✔ It’s been 4 years since I went #iPadOnly but the real era of iPads has just begun

When I went on vacation to the United States in 2012, only bringing my iPad 3 with Retina display with me, my colleagues from work and friends were astonished. They knew me well and knew that I didn’t go anywhere without my MacBook Air. And then, all of a sudden, I left it at home, bringing only my iPad for my two-week trip... saying I’d be trying to “work” on it from time to time. A few months later I was already #iPadOnly. The iPad 4 I got that fall officially became my main computer for work. That was also when I came up with the idea to write a book about using the iPad for work.

iPad and scrivener

Note: The following article appeared first in the 8/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Along with my friend Augusto Pinaud, I published the book “#iPadOnly” in summer 2013. Although we wrote it on our iPads, we put it together in Scrivener on the Mac. We were disappointed that we couldn’t complete the whole process on iPad. Well, not anymore:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

✔ My #NozbeOffice - what's my desk like? What helps me get things done?

On our Nozbe blog we started an action showing our offices. We also asked our users on Twitter with hashtag #NozbeOffice and it's amazing to see how and where people get their things done. So in the spirit of sharing my home office space I decided to write this blog post explaining why my home office in 2016 looks like this - because everything is here for a reason:

Michael's Nozbe Office

My 2016 home office setup in a nutshell:

Ikea height-adjustable desk, iMac 5K with Microsoft Sculpt keyboard and Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, iPad Pro with Logitech Ultrathin keyboard and Apple Pencil... and lastly my iPhone 6S Plus (taking the picture). And a mug with my hometown (Gdynia) name on it.

Now, why I use these devices? Here goes:

Monday, November 23, 2015

✔ Can the iPad Pro substitute a laptop? Well... Yes. And No.

Now that the iPad Pro is out and I've been using it for the last week or so, many people have been asking if it can finally be a laptop replacement. If people can now finally ditch their Macbooks and embrace the new era of touch-devices for most of their computing needs. Well, it depends who you ask:

My iPad Pro

iPad Pro can surely substitute any other iPad

It has for me at least. I already see the benefits of the bigger screen. I already "get" the "split view" apps and I enjoy working like I used to in the era of "Norton Commander" (OK, many people who are younger than me won't get the joke - basically it was a two-pane file manager in the era of DOS... long time ago).

More screen estate, more power, two vertical iPad-size apps at once in the "split view" mode... and yes - this iPad has already replaced my iPad Air 2. But can it replace a Mac?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

★ Using my age-old Zagg keyboard with my iPad Pro

Sometimes things just have to run a full circle. Before I wrote the #iPadOnly book with my friend Augusto, I started a series on this blog... And it all began with me getting an iPad 3 and a ZaggKeys Flex Keyboard and a decision to make the iPad my main computing device. Now, today when I was working in a cafe, my setup looked like this:

ipad pro and zagg keys

I bought this keyboard 3,5 years ago for my iPad 3. I've gone through iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad Air2... up until I got my iPad pro.

I've had different keyboard throughout this time: Logitech Ultrathin for iPad4, Ultrathin for iPad Air... And I've given away my Zagg to my mom when I gave her my trusty iPad 3 (she still loves it!).

Last Christmas I noticed she wasn't using the external keyboard so I decided to get my Zagg back and try it again. It is very compact, very light and its cover transforms to an iPad stand that can even support the huge iPad pro (see above). And as I don't intend to buy this new Smart Cover with keyboard, my trusty Zagg keyboard will find its use once again. The very same keyboard that converted me to the #iPadOnly life...

A full circle...

Question: are you using a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad? Which one?

Sent from my iPhone 6S Plus

Thursday, October 22, 2015

★ Web browsing is dead on mobile? Or how I planned my vacation on my iPad without the web...

I'm a big fan of the open web. I built Nozbe initially only for the web. I blog here on my own domain. Before Nozbe I was a web developer. However the trend is changing and I experienced it first hand this week when I was planning my fall holidays with my family in the UK. I organized everything with the apps!

apps I used

A few weeks ago I booked my flights with Ryanair iPhone app. I will check in with this app tomorrow. I found our dream house on AirBnB with their iPad app. I booked a night in a hotel on our way to the house with app.

As to navigation I'll have my Navigon app ready with points of interest already planned in the app.

I even secured my car rental with Enterprise app - they offer very good rates there. I actually tried to rent my car by visiting a few web sites but they looked really bad on my iPad. So I just downloaded the app and then the booking took me only a few minutes.

Seriously, I was surprised how little I used the web in the process and how I depended on the apps for my iPad and how superior the app experience has been. The world is changing...

Question: do you use apps or the web?

Sent from my iPad Air 2

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

✔ Who is iPad Pro for? Me or you?

At the last keynote, Apple did not only show the new iPhones but also new iPads. It turns out that my Air 2 is still the best iPad in Apple's offer but only in its weight category. All because Apple introduced its big brother: iPad PRO. Let's explore today what is this new iPad all about, who it's for and if I'm getting one:

iPad Pro for whom

Note: The following article appeared first in the October'15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

What is iPad Pro?

For a start, iPad Pro will be really big. The rumors have been confirmed. It will have an almost 13-inch display and will weigh the same as the first iPad. In comparison to my Air 2 it will be gigantic... Especially for those who, like me, already became used to the ideal 10-inch display and feather-light weight - I can hold my current iPad easily with one hand.

But now on to some bigger (pun intended) questions:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

★ Hello, I'm Michael and I have 5 iPads...

We're about to publish the next episode of The Podcast where we talk about the latest Apple event and we discuss the newest iPad Pro... And then Radek asks me about my iPad. And it's not like I have only one:

my iPads

Let's start in order of appearance:

iPad 1 (64GB) - yes we still use a 5-year old iPad. Actually my daughters use it for watching movies and playing games. It's still a great device for both of these purposes.

iPad mini 1 (16GB cellular) I bought for testing iOS7 two years ago. It's running iOS9 today and I still keep it around for testing.

iPad mini 2 (64GB cellular) my wife's iPad of choice. Completely replaced her Kindle. She carries it in her purse and reads all her books on this.

iPad Air (64 GB cellular) my previous iPad. I haven't sold it last year and kept it around as our "household" iPad. Also gaming device for my daughters (when games require the latest iOS).

iPad Air 2 (64GB cellular) my "only" iPad. My main computer. This is where I get my job done.


My wife's iPad Air 2 provided by her employer. She very often brings it home when she's teleworking.


iPad Pro (128GB cellular) - so I wrote my letter to Santa and this device made spot no 1. I'm totally buying this. Why? More in this weeks's episode of The Podcast

Question: which iPad/iPads do you have?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Thursday, July 23, 2015

✔ Two apps on the iPad… How will iOS9 influence the "iPad Only" work?

As you know I'm a fan of working on iOS devices (currently these are mainly iPhone 6 Plus and, of course, my iPad Air 2), so when watching Apple's annual developers conference (WWDC) I was primarily interested in the future of these platforms. After several quarters of stagnating iPad sales, the company was facing an important question: how to breathe new life into the platform?

Note: The following article appeared first in the July'15 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

iOS9 iPad

Because iPad is not suitable for real work...

One of the key issues in the debate on working on the iPad is that you can only run one app at a time. On the one hand, it's a huge plus. Maintaining concentration, which is a challenge for many people in modern times, is very important. Therefore, the ability to focus on one thing at a time without being distracted by other blinking windows is very helpful.

On the other hand, sometimes we do need to have two apps open at the same time!

Exactly, that's why Apple decided to introduce three new solutions in iOS9. I'm eagerly waiting for them as they'll let me boost my productivity on the iPad even more:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

✔ This tablet "works" - why iPad is perfect for work, study and entertainment

Note: The following article appeared first in the September'14 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

This tablet works

Recently, I wrote about my love for my first MacBook Air and, as I said, despite that brief love affair, right now I mainly use my iPad Air 2 for work. Some people still find that "This Tablet doesn't work". As the author of the "#iPadOnly" book and someone who's spent the last 2,5 years working mainly on the iPad, I decided to write this article to convince readers that, especially now, the iPad can be very helpful for both work and study... and play!

For a start, iPad is not Mac (or PC)

It seems to me that many people perceive the iPad as a kind of small computer without a keyboard, which makes them believe that it should work like a computer. They think: if I've got all of my files on my Mac, where will I put them on the iPad? If I'm used to doing things in a particular way on my Mac, why can't I do them the same way on the iPad? After all, everything should be the same or even better, shouldn't it?

Well, no. That's why many people who begin their adventure with iPad feel disappointed. When writing about my first Mac in the previous issue of iMagazine, I mentioned that during my transition from a Windows PC to Mac I had to completely change my habits. I had to learn many things from scratch, and learn to operate new software for doing the same things. The transition from Mac or Windows to iPad is even more painful... but looking back - it's great... and so worth it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

✔ How I fell in love with my iPhone 6 Plus... and I wasn't supposed to enjoy it at all!

Back in September before Apple's presentation I wrote a blog post about a possibility of switching from #iPadOnly to #iPhone6plusOnly - meaning that the new big iPhone was going to be so huge that you could do everything there. I was trying to ridicule the concept. I couldn't imagine getting such a big iPhone and working solely on it. Later I wrote how I'm going to "sacrifice myself" and get the new iPhone although I wouldn't be able to use it one-handed. Then the day came I unpacked my new iPhone...

iPhone 6 plus iwallet

I got the iPhone 6 Plus a month ago when I was on our company's retreat. Along with it I unpacked my new iPad Air 2 and I wanted to make the iPad my main computing device for the whole week-long retreat. Well, it turned out I was using my iPhone 6 Plus all of the time and my iPad was collecting dust. Hm... I was surprised. Why was that?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

✔ Will a new 5,5" iPhone convert people to not only #iPadOnly, but more #iPhoneOnly?

I'm a big fan of working on iOS devices. I co-wrote a book about working ont the iPad and I'm actually writing this blog post on my iPad. I've gotten used to working on both the iPhone and the iPad - I really use these two "computers" all of the time. I carry my iPhone with me at all times... and my iPad most of the times. I hardly ever use my Mac. Now, tonight Apple will supposedly unvail two new iPhones. According to John Gruber, one will be 4.7" and the other 5.5" and the bigger one might have kinda iPad-like features. Will it mean people will use the iPhone even more for their every day computing?

Will a new 5,5" iPhone convert people to not only #iPadOnly, but more #iPhoneOnly?

I switched to using iPad and iPhone for most of my daily work tasks 2 years ago

Yes, the moment I got the 3rd generation iPad (with Retina display and 3G connection) I started migrating my work to the iPad. Started using my favorite apps and loved it. Later I upgraded to 4th gen iPad and now the iPad Air.

I've been hardly missing my PC anymore. I write all about it in my #iPadOnly book. However, recently I noticed I could get lots done on my iPhone as well. I've had all the generations of the iPhone, and my newest, iPhone 5s with the touch ID is really amazing. The screen is big (compared to the iPhone 4s) and the battery life is OK... and the touch ID is cool now that it works pretty reliably. Now, what happens if I get the iPhone 5.5"... is that I imagine using it even more for work. Here's why:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

✔ Why I'm working only on my iPad? Quick, pecha-kucha, 6min explanation by yours truly - Productive! Show #76

Why go iPadOnly? Three reasons and three benefits. As you know, I am the co-author of the "#iPadOnly" book where together with Augusto Pinaud I promote a new work-style. In this video I'd like to show you, in the simplest possible way, why, a couple years ago, I decided to switch my Mac Book Air to iPad and make it my number one working tool. See what are the consequences and benefits of that decision.

iPadOnly book

Question: What is stopping you from going #iPadOnly?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

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