How to work without a computer

I can barely remember my life without a computer. We bought our first one, a Franklin computer, approximately thirty years ago. It had an 80 column card so we could view a full line of text on the screen. All files were stored on 3 ¼ inch floppy disks – there was no hard drive space for document storage.

Fast forward to the 1990s. I finally bought my first laptop when I started traveling for work while at The Library of Congress. Eventually we stopped replacing our desktop computers and were down to one laptop in the house. Last spring I added an iPad to the mix so my assistant had something to use during an exhibit.

Last week I learned that there can be life without a laptop.

My laptop has a problem – hopefully a minor one – but a remote tune-up wasn’t enough to fully resolve the problem. The Geek Squad recommended a hardware diagnostic. The plan was to take it to them on Wednesday, and by Friday afternoon the problem would be diagnosed. I would then take the laptop home for a couple of days, and return it early this week for the actual repairs.

I learned that it was possible to function without a laptop. I backed up all of my files, I moved everything I might need to my Dropbox folders, and I tapped my friends for suggestions on apps for my iPad to use for my clients’ work, as well as finish up materials for a sponsorship.

Well, I was partially successful in getting along without my laptop. I downloaded the app pagListing for pages app in app for iPad and successfully edited chapters of a book and saved them into Word files for my client. I started work on the articles for this newsletter – writing drafts with pen and paper and then creating first drafts in pages.

But when it came to dealing with the larger quantity of text and graphic materials I needed to finish up for my sponsorship of Suzanne Evans and Larry Winget’s Hell Yeah Star event, I must admit I wasn’t up to the challenge. When I learned Friday afternoon that they hadn’t even started the diagnostic I ‘checked out my computer’ and brought it home to use this weekend.

It is back with the Geek Squad now in hopes that it will be completely fixed by this weekend.

So, how do you work without a computer? It helps to have a tablet — either iPad or Android – to make it easier to work on digital files. With the multitude of apps you can find word processing and spreadsheet apps for all types of equipment now. Just click on the app store icon on your paA screen shot of the app icon.d or smart phone. Then enter the type of app you are looking for in the search window.

A smart phone can do a lot these days in terms of reading things others send to you, but they are a real pain to create and edit on.

Storing some of your files in the cloud whether it is iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, or a similar service, is vital for working with larger files.

And there is always a pad of paper and a well-sharpened pencil for starting your work.

Want to learn about creating a powerful information product — with pen and paper, tablet, or computer? Schedule a complimentary Extraordinary Products, Extraordinary Results Exploratory Session.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
Isaac Asimov


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