Everyone has a different setup for getting work done on the go. Some people are all Apple and some are all Google and Windows based. A little background on me, I used to work as a tech assistant at the Millersville University help desk. I started off answering phone calls for students and staff and helped answer their tech questions. Eventually I was asked by my boss if I would be willing to be an assistant to the Apple specialist and I jumped at the opportunity. She really took me under her wing and I learned so much about computers and how to get the most out of your tech.
I wanted to start with that background because I am honestly open to all brands of tech. Each one has their strength and each one has the weaknesses. For me, the following setup gives me the most flexibility while on the go. Things that I count on with my tech on the go:
- Battery lasting a whole day
- Easily sync data across devices
- Be able to hear my work alone
- Have the ability to hook up peripherals to my cell
- Have quick options to the right tool for the job
After using a Lenovo laptop at my school job, I can safely say I have experienced the windows side of traveling and while I can get by, I can create and consume so much easier with the Apple ecosystem which is what my bag is based around. Are their cheaper alternatives? Absolutely and I recommend you go with what’s in your budget. That being said you will notice that a lot of my gear is not brand new. These devices are several years old but still are providing me with the tools I need to be successful as a teacher, musician, and tech enthusiast.
Let’s break my setup down.
Eddie Bauer Backpack
Believe it or not this Eddie Bauer Backpack is actually a diaper bag. I know I know there goes my credibility right? Hear me out. We actually ended up getting two diaper bags and we only ever use one for going out and about, so we always had one just waiting to be used. As an added bonus the wipes compartment allows cables to come out, so I can charge my devices on the go from a portable battery pack. It has plenty of compartments for all the rest of the tech and it has an easy magnetic latch for quick access to everything.
Amazon has a no name backpack version of this for only $36.
I have been back and forth between Apple and Android at least twice now. Three things keep me coming back to apple. One, battery life is always superior over time. Two, it syncs easily between my laptop and tablet. Finally, iMessage is so much more friendly for talking between friends who have an iPhone, definitely a majority of my circle. I upgraded last year to the iPhone 11 when it was on sale, and I plan to use it for hopefully the next 3 years. I don’t see a reason to upgrade when this phone is very capable of doing all the things I need at a high level. 5G isn’t available in our area and the new iPhone 12 has an OLED screen which while looks nicer also tears down your battery faster. I cannot recommend this phone enough.
iPad – 6th Generation
The iPad is perfect for when you need a bigger screen but still don’t need the full power of a desktop. This is now 2 generations old but I originally picked this up BRAND NEW from Amazon for $250. That is an insane price for a tool I use daily as a musician. Again the battery life is amazing, it syncs with all my devices and it has Apple Pencil support so I can use it as a note taker and annotate my sheet music quickly and legibly. I went to New Orleans last February before everything in 2020 went nuts and it was all very nice to load a whole bunch of movies on it for the plane rides. The UAG case has kept it in immaculate shape despite it being at every gig I played in 2019. You don’t need the latest and greatest to have an awesome workflow and this is proof of it.
MacBook Air 2015
The MacBook is my go to when I need to do the heavy processing tasks like creating audio tracks in GarageBand or creating movies for our channel or my teaching videos in iMovie. All three of my devices can send huge files to each other instantly using AirDrop. This cuts down on the time it takes to make a solid video or audio file. In addition, those apps are free for a Mac user. Are there more powerful applications available? Yes. Do you need them in order to create quality content? No. Between all the Zoom teaching and creation of lessons, I would be lost without this tool.
Cables and Peripherals
From left to right: MacBook charger, iPad charger, Lightning cables for iPhone and iPad, wired headphones, AirPods and a USB to lightning adapter.
The chargers are self explanatory. The wired headphones come in hand more often than not. I have the wired headphones for if my AirPods run out of juice. The only time that’s an issue is when I am using my iPhone so definitely have a lighting to 3.5mm adapter on hand if you rely on them. The USB to lightning adapter comes in handy so much. I can hook up my Blue Yeti Nano to use a quality mic with my iPhone or iPad and can even hook up a midi controller and play a keyboard right into GarageBand on any of the devices.
Having a decent tripod is honestly a game changer. It takes your photos and videos and takes them to the next level. Being able to hold your phone still gives you a clearer image and video chatting using a tripod allows you to have your hands free. As a teacher it allows me to complete zoom calls while also playing an instrument and because the arms can bend you can have it grip literally any surface.
Side note they use the same kind of clips that a GoPro uses so if you happen to have that you can get creative with the mounts you already have for a GoPro and get some pretty incredible shots!
So this is my setup for creating end editing everything I do on the go. I do have a desktop system and believe it or not it is a Windows Desktop. I’m all about having the right tool for the right job and I hope that this post gives you some ideas on how to set yourself up to have everything you need to work on the go! Let us know what setups you use or your favorite tech gadget for on the go!