GEAR: My current portable writing rig
I just came back from a long, dusty trip, camping out in the wilds of Botswana, and did not want to take my normal writing computer—a Lenovo Yoga Book that is starting to feel a touch long in the tooth, but also has a hinge design that would never be the same after a week of dust and sand, instead I decided to take a setup of gear that I had around, I have to say the new writing rig impressed me and I might just be using it more often, stuff the Yoga Book off with the typewriters in my office or something.
Here are the main three components of my portable writing rig, Botswana Edition:
- An Apple iPad mini 2 (not the mini 1, it is not longer supported and is a dog)
- Microsoft Folding Bluetooth Keyboard (it is a bi-fold keyboard, that when folded up is smaller than a Kindle, but unfolded is almost a full sized keyboard, little squishy in the touch, but better than most keyboards, and lasts FOREVER on one charge)
- Scrivener iOS Edition (syncs through Dropbox and can open Scrivener 3 projects)
I had some concerns about going with a device only solution, not have a REAL computer with me, in case something went wrong. Though, that might be a strength of this solution, there was less futzing, tweaking, or any of the other thousand of things you can do on a computer that I would put under bike-shedding (bike-shedding is when a complex project is being reviewed, usually by high level managers who are not on the front lines of a project, and rather than delving into the complex issues that need to discussed, everyone gets caught up on a simple question that is easy to understand, like what color to paint a bike shed, rather than how to actually construct a bike shed with proper components). An iPad is enough of a computer to do real work on, but you can only tweak it so far, though looking at the amount of time my twelve-year-old spends on setting the lock screen and home screen photos, you can still waste time if you really work at it. Anyway, add a keyboard and some good software for writing and the iPad is a pretty great little setup., I have a case that hold the iPad up, and as long as I have a table to sit at, I am set.
That would be the only one down fall, is that I am reliant on there being a table to write at, which in the bush was not always true, but that is a restriction I can work with.