Life with One Device

Life with one device

Check out my minimalist experience of owning only one device. Could I do everything on it? How did it turn out? 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.

 

How can you survive with only one device? Easy. Use wifi. And get a 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 and voicemail. 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, me. Here's how.

iPad tasks

50 tasks 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 
  • tv watcher
  • movie watcher
  • book reader
  • magazine reader
  • music listener
  • podcast listener
  • game player
  • video player
  • website creator/editor
  • art creator
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 causes you to be aware of the apps and media you collect. It's pretty much a minimalist's dream and you can travel ultra-light. I absolutely loved that. And miss it.

the cons

Some websites can't be fully accessed/edited on a mobile device. It's a bit heavier/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).

 

And lastly, if something happens to your one thing, you're a bit screwed. True story: I dropped mine on the ground one day (in a so-called drop-proof case), it shattered into a million bits, and then I had to hunt down a store to get a new one, without a map.) It wasn't the funnest day ever.

the takeaway

Overall, it was not at all as hard as I thought, it was actually super easy and fun, and I absolutely loved not being tethered to a phone. 

try the experiment

Love this idea? Of course you do. It's (crazy) awesome! So...

  1. Get an iPad.
  2. Get these apps for to make your life easier.
  3. Get a global data SIM card. Check out knowroamingiroam, and keepgo.