What kind of technology am I carrying around right now?
I’m just passing along the information because I was asked.
Keep in mind that what I’m using might not be right for you. I’m also not—I repeat not—jumping into the debate about “what’s best.” This is just the stuff that’s working for me.
This is the tech I carry with me as I wander around. We have some other stuff at the office (but not much anymore since we’ve moved to the cloud and distributed our workforce: you’ll only find two computers, some phone handsets, a scanner, a shredder, and a big Ricoh copier at the office. The office is getting pretty barren).
What Can’t I Live Without?
- Macbook Air. I’ve got the 11″ model with a maxed out processor and additional memory. The screen is kind of small, but it’s great not to have to worry about the guy in front of me crushing my laptop when he reclines his seat on the plane. Mine is about a year old, and I was going to upgrade when the new model came out a couple of months ago. I didn’t because I’m waiting for the Retina display to make it down to the Air—next year, I guess.
- iPhone. I’ve got the 4S and plan to buy a 5 when they’re released. I’m totally invested in the Apple ecosystem for now. I enjoy playing with gadgets, but I’ve got other priorities at the moment and like the iPhone because it requires so little attention. I’m on Verizon.
- Earbuds. I’ve tried a gazillion Bluetooth headsets and a dozen wired headphones. I’ve never found anything that met all my needs. I’ve settled on wired earbuds, and I use them constantly. I’m a fan of the Ultimate Ears MetroFi 220vi, but I think everyone has different ears and has to find his or her own perfect fit. The pair I use has a microphone and a button, making it easy to talk to Siri and ask her to place calls and send texts for me.
- Kindle. I’ve got one, but I’ll admit that I haven’t used it in months. It’s great for nonfiction, which I like to skim. I’m finding it more convenient to read fiction on my phone since it’s always in my pocket.
- Fujitsu S1100 Scanner. I recently replaced my Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 with this small, portable scanner. It works great for the low volume of scanning I do. I almost never receive paper anymore, so I use it mostly for things people hand me as I move through the world. Mostly I leave the scanner at home.
- USB Flash Drives. I’ve got a handful of these little guys lying around that I use occasionally. At this point, most of my file transfers happen via the Internet, but sometimes I walk into an office supply store and ask it to print something for me (usually when I’m on the road). This is a convenient way to hand over the file.
- Cables. The only cables I need to carry at this point are the charging cord for the Mac and a retractable USB cable for the iPhone. I’ve got the phone in a Mophie battery case so it uses the micro-USB rather than the iPhone cable.
- Brother printer. What about printing? I’m using an old Brother laser printer. It’s wireless and stuck in the back of our laundry room on a shelf. It’s great, and it only cost $99, but you’ll find a more current model in stores if you need a printer. The only thing I print on it anymore is concert tickets from TicketMaster. The thing doesn’t get much use and clearly, I don’t carry it around with me.
What Don’t I Use?
There are a few things I don’t have and don’t really want.
- I don’t have an iPad. I’ve had two in the past, and I can’t find a way to fit it into my life. I need the keyboard to write, and I need a real laptop for a few other things I do. The Air is small enough that I can easily carry it anywhere.
- I don’t have a phone handset. I ditched the handset and moved the softphone. Then I ditched the softphone and went exclusively to the cell phone.
- I also don’t have an extra computer monitor. My work has evolved to the point where I’m rarely looking at two screens at once. When I needed it, I had a 27″ Apple monitor that was great. I think most lawyers can get a tremendous amount of use out of a second (and even a third) monitor.
For me, now, it’s all about keeping it simple and portable. I’ve minimized my number of devices, and I’m spending far less time tweaking gadgets and figuring out how to get them to talk to one another.
By eliminating gadgets, I’ve got fewer things to fix and fewer things to divert my attention. That’s my priority for the moment.