Life with One Device

Life with one device

Check out my minimalist experience of owning only one device. Could I do everything on it? Read on!

the minimalist tech experiment

Recently, I went one year doing such an experiment: owning only one item of technology. An iPad mini. 


After a previous no-phone experiment, I concluded two things. One: I didn’t particularly enjoy the phone. I always felt really creeped out essentially being on-call to anyone who wants to talk to you at the exact second they want to talk to you. And, Two: that I could do everything on a pad that I could do on a phone, without a contract or a bill. I'm against bills.


How can you survive with only one device? Easy. Use wifi. And get a global data sim card so you can access cellular data when you don't have wifi access. You can call and text via FaceTime, Facebook, Skype and lots more apps will give you a phone number you can use for texting, calling, voicemail, and even two factor authentication. Easy breezy.


Then, it was just me and my pad. It came everywhere with me. I dropped it, carried it in pouring rain, wind, snow, hail, took it to mountains, rivers, and oceans... basically all dangerous places. But it was fearless, and it mostly survived them all. And, I figured out that it really can completely sustain a person. Or, more specifically, minimalist me. Here's how.

50+ functions an iPad can do

  • calls
  • texts
  • iMessages
  • emails
  • Skype
  • Facetime
  • internet browser
  • address book
  • alarm clock
  • calendar
  • maps
  • written note taker
  • spoken note taker
  • reminders
  • weather forecaster 
  • camera
  • photo editor 
  • photo storage
  • social media manager
  • spreadsheet management 

iPad tasks

50 things an iPad can do

the conclusion

the pros

It's so easy and simple to have only one thing. You don't feel overwhelmed by multiple devices. Or multiple cables and connectors. Or syncing multiple things. Or the burden of owning lots of expensive fragile things.


It forces you to be aware of the apps you collect. It's pretty much a minimalist's dream and you can travel ultra-light. I absolutely loved that.


The most unexpected benefit of not having a phone was actually not having a phone. Not being one of those people that gets their devices out all the time to endlessly check things online. Without the temptation, you can be more present. Overall, it was not as hard as I thought, it was actually easy and fun, and I loved not being glued to a phone

the cons

It can be a bit heavier or bulkier to carry than a phone (can't fit in your jeans pocket but maybe in your jacket pocket or in a small messenger bag).

try the experiment

  1. Get a tablet.
  2. Get these travel apps and food apps for to make your life easier.
  3. Get a global SIM card. Check out knowroamingiroam, and keepgo.