Life with One Device

Life with One Device

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 staring at my 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.


Because I'm against bills.


How can you survive with only one device?


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 Talkatone, 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.


Then, it was just me and my iPad.


It came everywhere with me. I dropped it, carried it in pouring rain, wind, snow, hail, took it to mountains, rivers, and oceans, 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 - very minimalist me.


Here's how.

functions I use my ipad for

  1. calls
  2. texts
  3. iMessages
  4. emails
  5. Skype
  6. Facetime
  7. internet browser
  8. address book
  9. alarm clock
  10. calendar
  11. maps
  12. written note taker
  13. spoken note taker
  14. reminders
  15. weather forecaster 
  16. camera
  17. photo editor 
  18. photo storage
  19. social media manager
  20. spreadsheet management 
  21. document scanner
  22. document creater
  23. document storage
  24. document sharing
  25. software manager
  26. food finder
  27. bar finder
  28. hotel finder
  29. airfare finder
  30. activity finder
  31. tour finder
  32. rental car finder
  33. ride finder
  34. date finder
  35. language translator 
  36. budget manager
  37. banking manager
  38. calculator
  39. tip percentage calculator
  40. currency converter
  41. tv watcher
  42. movie watcher
  43. book reader
  44. magazine reader
  45. music listener
  46. podcast listener
  47. game player
  48. video player
  49. website creator
  50. art creator

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.


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

try the experiment

  • Get a tablet!