Back when I worked exclusively on my iPad, writing posts for Cult of Mac and everything related to that, I had a hell of a time getting some things done. It seemed like every tiny step needed to be researched before I could get anything done.
In the end, I quit and went back to a split iPad/iMac setup, but not for the reasons you might think.
As I never tire of telling people, I do all my work using an iPad. Research, communication, writing and photo editing – all of these are now second nature for me on both the iPad mini and the full-sized iPad 3. I love the portability, I love the stripped-down “workflow” which lets me get stuff done way faster than I can on the Mac, mostly due to lack of OS X’s inherent distractions.
In fact, I am so happy with the iPad as a work machine that I thought that I’d never buy another Mac. I figured that, by the time my iMac died, iOS would have caught up with most of the “truck” tasks I still need to do: keeping a big photo library, running a BitTorrent client.
So why am I writing this post on a brand-new MacBook Air? One thing: My arm is fucking killing me.
It might not look like much, but’s Writing Kit is as powerful as you need it to be.
Writing Kit is one of the best text editors on the iPad (and iPhone), but it can be a little confusing at first. It’s made for people who write for a living, and specifically for those who write for the web. To this end, Writing Kit contains not only a world-class Markdown-friendly text editor, but a web browser, quick-research tools and connections to an embarrassment of other web services.
Once you get used to it, Writing Kit will quickly become your writing app of choice. With that in mind, here’s a guide to help you make the most of it.
The Omni Group has been testing its new OmniFocus Mail Drop, a service which lets you forward emails to a secret address, whereupon they end up — moments later — in your OmniFocus inbox. This means that we can finally (finally!) add emails direct to our Omnifocus from our iPhones and iPads.
But with a little jiggery-pokery, you can finagle some automated internet services to do much more. In this post I’ll show you how I now collect news items from Google Reader and have them waiting for me in Omnifocus and Writing Kit, ready to be written up.
Writing Kit, the app with which I write each and every Cult of Mac post for your daily enjoyment, has received an update. And it’s a big one. If you never use the app much, it might at first appear to have changed very little. But if you’re a regular writer, then the changes are huge.
NaNoWriMo is the annual attempt by many tens of thousands of people to finally get that novel out of their head and into the cloud storage option of their choice. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight on the 30th November, and you can get there by fair means or foul. The rules? It has to be a novel, it has to be 50,000 words (or more) long, and it has to be written in November.
The tools you will need most to write your NaNoWriMo novel are inspiration and a lot of perseverance. Luckily, apps can help you with both. Here’s the definitive guide to NaNoWriMo apps on the Mac and iOS. If you can’t drag that novel kicking and screaming into the world with the help of these apps, you can’t do it at all.
This is pretty much all you need to write and publish to the web.
I do all my work these days on an iPad. From organizing reviews through gathering story ideas to actually writing posts and features, and even photographing and editing gadgets for those reviews, it’s all — every last bit — done on Apple’s tablet. I just spent two weeks away from home using the iPad’s 3G connection to work, only opening up my MacBook to sync my FitBit.
And they still say the iPad is just for consumption.
One of the biggest problems with the iPad has been writing blog posts. You really did need a Mac to take care of the multiple browser windows and — most of all — the image uploading. Now, though, while there isn’t quite a wealth of options, there are certainly several credible methods to do this all from the iPad. So make a coffee, sit back and enjoy this how-to:
Writing Kit, every iPad-toting bloggers’ best friend, just got a small but significant update to v3.3. In addition to bug fixes (although not all of them) and some nice interface tweaks (sharing destinations now have service icons to help identify them quickly), the app now has support for URL schemes, letting other apps interact with it.
I write a ton on my iPad these days, which lets me work wherever I like (usually in bed) and concentrate way better than I can working on my giant-screened iMac. Thanks to our complex blogging back end here at Cult of Mac, it’s still easier to add pictures and other bits and pieces with the Mac, but the writing part is so much better on the iPad that I try to do it as often as I can.
I figured I’d show you a few of the apps I used. Below you’ll find my favorite writing apps for the iPad.
My iPad blogging setup, including camera connection kit, emergency battery pack and pouch of spare SD cards. Photo Charlie Sorrel (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — This year I decided to cover the Mobile World Congress without a computer. Or at least, without my MacBook. I live in Barcelona, so I knocked out a couple of posts on my iMac when I was at home, but on the show floor and in the press lounge I relied solely on my iPad. And amazingly, it was up to the task. There are some annoyances, but with a combination of perseverance (or just stubbornness) and the right apps, I got a pretty easy system going.