A few weeks ago the unfortunate happened.
My hard drive crashed.
For this blog’s entirety I have typed on our old gaming computer- the one with a basic writing program but no word and a sweet graphics card.
Before I had Wonder Boy and a bit after, I played myself a bit of World of Warcraft and some on Steam, stuff I miss compared to the community I usually see online on my husband’s Playstation. Wait, I’m getting off topic.
Anyway, it had chugged on over the years, filled to the brim with knowledge and old data, parts replaced to keep it running.
When it died this latest time I decided ‘no more’. We couldn’t afford a new computer, I didn’t want to keep putting new parts on a dying machine, so we retired it completely and I was stuck with a blog, obligations to fulfill, a camera full of pictures people wanted to see and – literally- I was I the middle of an article I was writing for my local paper.
Surprisingly, knowing me, I did not panic. I just tuned to my trusty old iPad and kept going.
Turns out, even though I passionately love working with a keyboard and in a separate room away from the squeaks of baby toys and crashing of Hot Wheels, I can still get it done with a tablet and my phone.
I’m back with a new (to me) computer, but I have the tools available to get a quick project done anywhere in the house on the iPad without having to run upstairs and reference something on my computer.
Want to know how I did it? Read on.
How to Work From Your iPad
Set aside a small space or contain everything in a bag when not I use - I was still taking notes on my notepad so everywhere the iPad went in the house the notebook did too. I also had to keep it out of my son’s hands while I was working on it exclusively. If you don’t obsessively monitor your child’s tablet use, this is a good time to do it or limit their play time on it.
There are a variety of ways- storing your pile of stuff somewhere little ones cannot reach, or make an office in a bag (what do you need to do your work? Throw it in! I also love this office bag featured at A Bowl Full of Lemons. (Maybe I need to get my bills organized like that…)
Note- the above technique is how I would make sure the iPad was on the same floor as me while I did errands so I could keep up on email from my editor. The iPad is not machine washable – do not attempt when tired from dealing with a teething baby.)
First- I had been backing up Everything I wrote into Evernote. I was literally typing my articles into it because, I had a two little ones, I could end up with my free time stuck at a table watching one eat and another asleep in my lap and I could finish editing something to send it in.
Yeah, sometimes I’m THAT good. Most of the time not.
I also have a document listing what articles I’ve done and when I sent the invoices that I can refer to from my computer, tablet or smart phone. It’s another way I can see what I have already written for follow-up interviews.
And another for work contacts. Because you will need to talk to that person again, someday.
I love planners, I really do. But I always forget to update, they’re never close when I want them… when I discovered Any.do my life got a lot more organized really quickly.
I spend time each morning running over my task list, adding on and pushing back what doesn’t need to be done that day.
I use Cal on my phone and adore it because it works with the Any.do app to show tasks on the calendar. I could set a time to remember for when to stop homemaking and turn a movie on so I had enough time to do my work, appointments, scheduled interviews… If you don’t have a set planner habit get an app like this to help you handle everything.
I definitely improved my typing skills on my tablet when I lost the computer, though I didn’t blog as much just because it was slower. However, I picked up some speed when I downloaded Blogsy.
I saw someone recommend the heck out of the Blogsy app, but I didn’t download it until I was desperate to work with something besides the WordPress app, which I hate.
It’s no 99-cent app, but this sucker is awesome in that it links up to your media accounts (like Flickr) and your Photos on your iPad and is really easy to work with visually.
This made photos for the blog SO much easier. I have it turned on the iPad and iPhone, and anything I shot was just a drag away from being on my blog post (thanks to the above Blogsy). I was already pulling photos from the Photostream for use on the computer (another rad thing if you don’t do already you need to).
So if you don’t send your pics from the cloud, now’s the time to consider.
The biggest setback for me was losing my way to upload pictures from my camera to my computer to edit in Photoshop.
Luckily, I already owned one of these camera adapters so I just grabbed my husband’s Nikon if I wanted to upload photos.
Do you work from home? Do you have any tips, tricks to working from home using a tablet?
EDIT: I totally forgot about Pages. I have it on the iPad and have for forever. It backs up to the cloud and has a word count and everything. For freelancing purposes I cut and paste directly into an email so I don’t need attachments.