This has been the goal that I have been working on ever since I started this blog. To be free of the limitations of a desktop computer. For anyone new to using a computer in past 2 or 3 years this has been an easy step to accomplish, because really it may still be possible to buy a desktop computer, there are almost no benfits to owning a desktop.
While I still own a desktop computer, it has been close to six months since I have turned it on to actually do anything serious with it. In fact last time I turned it on was for two reasons, the first was to download the emails from an old email account, just in case there was anything I needed. The second reason was to move awhole lot of the files from the computer to a portable hard drive.
One of my biggest challenges two years ago when I was using my desktop computer on a more daily basis, is that I would have multiple projects that would end up spread between the desktop and laptop computers. This was not just annoying but often times left me doing things twice because i would need one part and was not going to be in the right place to get home to grab the other half. Of course there are ways around these sort of problems both in physical products such as external harddrives or USB drives. However I never did get around to setting up a good system.
Where I Am Now
In the past year I have made some drastic changes to the way that I use more portable devices. The first step in this was purchasing a laptop that had a reasonable battery life. Now days unless I am actually going to be away from home overnight I do not even take the charger for my laptop, and depending how I use my laptop I can expect anywhere from 6-10 hours battery life.
Having such good battery life also encourages me to use my laptop more at home because I do not have to go digging for the charger and plug it in as soon as I get home. As long as I plug it in when going to work or when not using it for a couple of hours it will be fully charged and ready to go whenever I need it. Without haveing to pull the charger out from behind the desk.
The other aspect of the new laptop which I purchased was more processing power. While there was a lot of tasks such as graphics work and the like I would try to undertake on my laptop it just was not capabale for the most part of taking on these tasks. As such this was part of the reason that I would return to my desktop to do a lot of work.
The other purchase that I made was a tablet, or to be precise an Apple Ipad. This has in many ways made the way that I work portable smarter and easier. Firstly it makes it easier to take just one item that is small and light, that I am able to access the internet thorugh and also use for writing when a laptop is not so easy to use, for example on a tour bus.
Having an Ipad also makes things much easier at home as well. In the past I would often turn my desktop computer on in and morning and leave it running all day just in case i needed to use it. Becuase turning it on and off everytime I needed to use it was not really time effective. So of course my computer would sit turned on all day and getting used only a small portion of that time, wasting power.
The final addition to my portable office is a 3G wifi modem. This gives me access to reasonably good speed internet on both my Laptop and Ipad pretty much whereever I am. Compared to the USB option I was using before this works out to be a cheaper option for me, and actually provides a better service.
Really as things stand now for me, I would say that I am pretty 100% portable freedom. All I need is a power point maybe once a day and I can operate from anywhere. When travelling the portable freedom does drop a little bit as the internet access is not as flexible, however this is dependant on how I travel. If I was to be in the one country for an extended period it would really be a different story.
What does your portable freedom look like? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.