Wednesday, July 30

✔ 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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Tuesday, March 25

✔ My favorite iPad keyboards & stands - Productive!Show #67

As one of the few productivity guys out there working almost exclusively on the iPad, I get asked a lot about my favorite iPad keyboards and stands. Here are my top accessories for the iPad: Logitech Ultrathin mini and K760 keyboards and the Slope and Trust iPad stands.

Question: Have you tried these? Which other accessories you use with your iPad?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:


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If you have enjoyed this episode of the Productive! Show, please subscribe:

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Thursday, February 6

✔ My slim iPad Air gadget bag - Productive!Show #64

As I work mostly on my iPad now I need to have a great bag for my #iPadOnly work to fit my iPad Air, Logitech iPad Mini keyboard, stylus, ballpen, Lightning charger with cable and Lightning-HDMI adapter. This bag is called "Lacoste Crossover Slim Bag" and it's a very nice, slim and handy bag - perfect to carry my iPad Air when I'm out and about.

Question: Which bag do you use to carry your iPad?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:


Watch and comment on YouTube

Video: Download VIDEO of this episode

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If you have enjoyed this episode of the Productive! Show, please subscribe:

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

✔ iPad is just a PC? A kinda PC without keyboard? Or is it?

A few days ago I received a very nice email from one of #iPadOnly book readers - Jean-Michel: "I just subscribed to #ipadOnly, but it is because I'm not convinced at all :)" and he said that basically computers are just generic tools, like swiss-army knives... and that iPad is just a mobile computer, and because it lacks keyboard it's actually even a little worse than the "traditional" computers.

Great points, good questions. Let me address these in this post (writing on my iPad Air with iPad mini keyboard attached to it :-)

iPad PC

As you can read in my intro to the #iPadOnly book I was involved with the computers for a very long time. I got my first IBM PC XT when I was 10 and now I'm 34 so it's been a long ride. I switched to Mac in late 2008 and to the iPad in early 2012. That's why I have some background and prior experience with various computing setups and that's why I really believe the iPad is DIFFERENT than a traditional computer and it's changing the way we're approaching computing. For three big reasons. Let me explain:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

✔ You don't need permission to change the world: how I co-authored, self-published and best-seller'ed my first book

It's been almost a month since the #iPadOnly book was published. It's the first book I wrote and published in my life... and it's the one I co-authored with Augusto Pinaud and it already became an international bestseller in only a few weeks on sale at a pretty "high" price for an eBook ($9.99). I already shared the story behind writing the book earlier on this blog but in this post I'd like to focus what happened after the book has been published and how I feel as a first-time, best-selling author. Hope it'll inspire you to write the book you've been meaning to write for a while now.

You don't need permission to change the world: how I co-authored, self-published and best-seller'ed my first book

Unique moment in time - you can choose yourself!

I've been a long-time Seth Godin fan and what he's always been preaching on his blog, through his books and in the interview he did with me is that we're in a unique moment in time and we can choose ourselves and not wait to be picked. We can self-publish, self-create, self-show... in other words: "there it is, I built it, hope it resonates with you"... and that's why I wrote a series of blog posts about the #iPadOnly way on this blog and later emailed Augusto and asked him to write the book with me. Now that the book is published, here's what happened and what happens next, and what you should do about it:

Friday, June 21, 2013

✔ How I wrote the #iPadOnly book with Augusto Pinaud

I just wrote my first book with my friend, Augusto Pinaud. It's called "#iPadOnly - how to only use your iPad to work, play and do everything in between" and it's going to hit virtual bookshelves in a little over a week. This post is a quick summary of how the book came to be, how we both wrote it (living on different continents) and why we had so much fun in the process. Here we go!

How I wrote the #iPadOnly book with Augusto Pinaud

I wrote a few blog posts on #iPadOnly

It all started when I decided to use my iPad as my main computer last April and blogged about it - I liked the process so much that I started blogging more and over the last year wrote ~20 blog posts on the topic. I thought this topic deserved a book. A first post-PC book that will show everyone that yes, you can use only your iPad to work and yes, after a few annoyances that come with a migration, you'll love it as much as I still do.

However, I knew I wouldn't be able to write the book myself. I have a successful company to run and don't have the time to write books, right? Then I saw the series of blog posts from Augusto on the same #iPadOnly topic. After a little thinking (like, 5 minutes) and a little analysis I realized that:

  • Augusto is a full-time writer (he has more expertise than I do, writing books)
  • He is working on his iPad longer than I am and he's also passionate about the whole iPad-only thing
  • He is also a GTD-guy as I am although he's using OmniFocus instead of Nozbe (well, not anymore he isn't :-)
  • We both speak Spanish and English, so we can communicate in either language (and we did, more on that later....)
  • We "met" several times online and we like each other...
  • With a co-author I might find the time to write this book... I think...

Well, after another 5 minutes I fired up an email his way that went like this:

"Hello Augusto, I'm not sure if you already realize this, but we're writing an #iPadOnly book togheter. What do you think?"

And he said yes. We got together on FaceTime and nailed the details and the rest, as they say, is history. Here's how we wrote this book:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

✔ Mini or Maxi? Which iPad is good for you?

This is an excerpt from my upcoming #iPadOnly book that I'm writing with my friend Augusto Pinaud. We're aiming at finishing our draft this week and we're aiming at publishing the book at the end of May, right before WWDC. Today I'll discuss the differences between the iPad Mini and the regular iPad. Which one to choose?

Mini or Maxi? Which iPad is good for you?

I started working #iPadOnly in April of 2012. Half a year before the iPad mini was introduced. Now half a year has passed after the Mini introduction and people ask me whether they should choose the "big" iPad or the "mini" one. In my household we have two iPads - the big one (mine) and the small one (my wife's). Here's what I think about both of them.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Part 18 - My life in the cloud thanks to the iPad

In this series of posts about working on the iPad I mentioned several times how clouds are very important and how I was forced to set up my "data in the cloud" because of the constraints of the iPad... well, after 9 months of working on the iPad it's even more so now.

ipad in the cloud

I run Nozbe - which is a cloud service as such, so I'd be the first person to use the cloud more extensively than the other guy. Well, not so fast. As I was mainly working on a "traditional laptop" I never had the time to move everything I had to the cloud. I always wanted to, but I was used to my "local" setup with "local" backup and such... to only realize this is not sustainable when you work on the iPad all day.

I was forced to go cloud only. Before I moved to the iPad, a free Dropbox account was enough for me. Now I pay for their premium plan to have all my data there. Same with Evernote. Here's why:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Who can do their day job effectively on the iPad?

8 months ago I made a decision to start working on my iPad as my main computer. Over these months I got to know the strengths and weaknesses of the iOS platforms and although I still need to work on my Mac Mini from time to time, most of my day to day job is now done on my iPad. Can you get your work done on the iPad as well? Let's find out.

ipad only jobs

I'm an entrepreneur running Nozbe so I wear many "hats" in my job. I write a lot... and then as the "product guy" I design my product, get and give feedback to my developers and designers... and as a CEO I do some spreadsheets, presentations, email, IM, calls... and I blog, do social media and more... and I travel a bit. If the iPad fits my lifestyle, it's probable that it will fit yours... let's dive a little deeper into this:

Some jobs that can be done on the iPad:

1. CEO of a company

You can use the built-in for email as well as the Google's Gmail. I use both (Gmail mainly for a quick search). Spreadsheets - I use QuickOffice HD for Excel (with Dropbox and Numbers (synced via iCloud with my Mac). For presentations I've always been using Keynote and thanks to iCloud I put all of my past presentations there as well.

For keeping in touch with my team I use Nozbe (we communicate through comments attached to our tasks), iMessage, Facetime, Socialcast and Skype. iPad is a very well communicated device.

2. Writer

I write using AI Writer (synced via iCloud) and Nebulous (synced via Dropbox). iPad is perfect for writers as you can put the screen vertically (perfect for typing with an external keyboard) and the one-app-open-at-a-time paradigm helps you focus on writing instead of checking other stuff.

3. Blogger

Most platforms like Wordpress, Tumblr and others have dedicated blogging apps for the iPad now. And great web interfaces. I blog on my own platform that syncs my Dropbox files to the web, so it's even easier. And I use Markdown. Both apps I mentioned above support it. Moreover iPad has some of the best social media apps out there. I use Tweetbot, Twitter, Hootsuite, Facebook and Facebook Pages and Google+. iPad is a great social-media-blogger type of machine.

4. Traveler

10 hours batter life, half a kg weight, fits any purse (or man-purse for that matter), iPad is a fantastic device for traveling. I should know, last year I went on a trip to the USA without my laptop for the first time and didn't miss my good old MacBook Air. With dedicated travel apps for flight tracking, hotel booking, navigation and maps, it's hard not to make it the best traveler's friend.

5. Programmer

This is a tricky part. I do some of the programming still (not as much as I used to - my developers are a lot better than me!) and while I love Textastic app and the vertical screen, to really effectively program you need at least two screens (or a wide 27" screen like I have). That's why I do occasional programming on the iPad but for a longer coding session I still choose my Mac.

6. Product guy

I spend my days designing new features for Nozbe, testing what my programmers and designers have developed and sending lots of feedback. Thanks to great apps like Paper (where I sketch ideas), Skitch (where I draw visual feedback)

7. Busy professional

Well, that's me and you - a mixture of the above points. My experiment with going " iPad only" has been a success and I'm not coming back. I love the fact that I can take my iPad anywhere I want in my small man-purse and nobody really knows I have a real working machine with me at all times. I don't need to search for a power plug as I have more battery than I need for a full day's work. My iPad syncs perfectly with my iPhone through many cloud apps so I'm on top of things at all times.

Question: Is the iPad well suited for your job? Do you think iPad can work for you as the only device? Share your experiences below!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Part 16 - why I (still) need a Mac Mini - iPad as my main computer

I received lots of positive responses to my last blog post about my new 2012 home office where I highlighted how I had to redesign my home office to accommodate my two new working habits: working most of the time standing and going iPad-only. However there were a few questions about my setup - mainly why do I need a Mac Mini with a giant Thunderbolt Display when I'm usually working on my iPad... In this post you'll know why:


I work on my iPad 80% of the time so I still need a "normal computer"

I'm a computer geek and a founder of a software / productivity company so how can I test our Mac or Windows versions of Nozbe if I don't have a computer? How can I test other software and see where the industry is going if I don't have it? Even though I no longer need a "traditional computer" for day to day work so much, I still need it. But it goes beyond that, I use my Mac Mini in many different ways that compliment the iPad.

Why not to use my MacBook Air hooked to my display rather than a Mini?

Before we dive into my usage of Mini, let me explain this one - Mini is a desktop computer and it's ON all of the time. Like, 100% of the time. Like, 24 / 7 / 365 of the time. My MacBook Air is a "portable computer" that can be unplugged, moved, used somewhere else, put to sleep... etc. And I need a computer to be ON all of the time in my home office. I even bought a special UPS device to keep it powered up even if the electricity goes down at my home for a few minutes. My Mac Mini is ON all of the time and it's there waiting to be used... and being used... now let me tell you in how many ways I use it.

My Mac Mini compliments my iPad and does so much more

1. Mini syncs my "clouds" locally

My iPad only setup is a cloud setup where I use Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud and other cloud services. It's all nice and sweet, but call me paranoid and I like to have a local copy of my "clouds" in my home. My Mini is on all of the time and has all these services turned on and syncs everything locally all of the time. I add an Evernote note? It syncs to my Mini. I upload something to Dropbox? Box? Google Drive? It syncs there. This way I have a local copy of everything I do on my iPad right there on my Mini. And the Mini is being backed up to Time Capsule securely every few hours every day so I even have a second local copy of everything.

2. Mini runs "LogMeIn" with M$ Office for Mac and other apps

Because my Mini is running all of the time, it has a LogMeIn session open all of the time, as well. This way I can log in to my Mini and see its desktop from anywhere in the world. I can fire up a fully-working MS Office Word or Excel file if it renders so-so on my iPad and other apps that still are not working well (or do not exist) on the iPad. I have also access to all of the files I have so I can copy something to the "cloud" if I don't have it there yet for some reason.

3. GIT and Dropbox and Textasitc

Speaking of apps that still work poorly on the iPad, it's hard for me to get the latest versions of our source code on the iPad from GIT. I can access GitHub repositories but it's still not the same as getting all the source code locally. With my Mac Mini running GIT software I can pull the files from GIT to my Mini and they'll automatically sync with my Dropbox and later I can code on the iPad using Textastic and push them to the GIT later. It's a geeky setup and I don't code as much anymore, but it's useful to have my Mini as my "code management" computer.

4. Heavy Lifting and scanning... and printing

Although I try to edit all of my Productive Show videos on my iPhone or on my iPad directly, sometimes I need to edit them a little more on the Mac. My Mac Mini has 8GB of RAM and is powerful enough for such tasks. I use it for video editing, photo management and other tasks that still make it better than the iPad. I use it basically for all the "heavy lifting" tasks.

I have a multi-purpose printer and my Mini runs an "AirPrint" server on it so that I can print stuff directly from the iPad. The Mini is also connected to the scanner so that I can scan the documents using Image Capture app and put them in my Evernote or Dropbox (depending on the files). Mini is my "back-end" :-)

5. Background flows

Apart from syncing my clouds, the Mini can later do something with these files. I have set up a number of "Automator tasks" (Automator is an amazing "batch creation" tool that helps you create automated scripts on the Mac) that run in the background. This way when I upload a video file to the Mini, it uploads it to appropriate folders and web servers without me clicking anything. In the background. It does a lot more, but the flows I design for the Mini make my iPad even more powerful. It just works in the background and does all the magic there :-)

6. Mini is our "home computer"

It's a Mac, so I set up several accounts there and if someone from the family wants to use a computer, it's there for them to use. It has fast internet, Skype, Facetime camera and other goodies so anyone can use it. It's there if someone really needs it and they do sometimes.

7. Increasingly important in my transition period to the iPad

I'm working 70-80% of the time on the iPad. And I'm aiming at 90% for the 2013 and maybe even more than that. But for the time being I still need my Mini to help me make the transition smooth and painless. If I need to get something done quickly on a traditional computer, it's there for me. I expect to use it less and less each month but it's my backup computer and as I for the reason I mentioned above it gives me a piece of mind and the fact that it syncs all of the "cloud" work I do to my local file system is a nice bonus.

And my MacBook Air? I don't know. I still use it from time to time but now that my office is Mini and iPad based, it's starting to collect dust. We'll see what I do with it next year.

How do you use your "traditional computer"? What do you think I should (or shouldn't) use Mini for? Do you have your "Mini" in your home office?