My iPad On The Go Setup

Anyone who has ever seen a scuba diver knows that diving is an activity that is intensely reliant on equipment. As a scuba instructor-trainer, I know that there is an important rule of thumb in how much gear to carry on any given dive – as much as you need and as little as you can get away with! I generally don’t need twin large tanks for a shallow reef dive, but these are a necessity when doing a “tec dive” to 50m.
When using a minimalist productivity solution – like iPad – this rule of thumb is equally important. It’s easy to forego a laptop computer, and then find yourself carrying around so much stuff that you lose most of the benefits of minimalism but you also need to make sure you’ve got what you need.

As part of my iPads of March challenge to test whether an iPad is a sufficient device for conducting my on-the-go activities, I thought it would be good for me to share my on-the-go setup.

Starting with the core, I use a iPad (3rd generation) with WiFi+Cellular and 64GB. I always max out the memory, as I store a lot of video content, and increasingly use my iPad for presentations. Although I could get away with a WiFi only model, and use Personal Hotspot on my iPhone or other available WiFi, I find that when traveling internationally not all carriers support personal hotspot, and WiFi in hotels and conference venues is often “spotty”.

When going with just the iPad, I use a Coocoon Gramercy messenger sling. This bag has room for my iPad, number of accessories organised with the included “GRID-IT” organisation system (pictured) and a small notepad (I generally carry a Moleskine for note taking). The size of this sling case prompts me to not carry unnecessary items around.

In the GRID-IT, I carry a number of accessories that I might need, including:

  • Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. I used to carry around an Apple Bluetooth keyboard in a Origami case, but the Logitech gives me a smaller profile option with overall less to carry around.
  • Mophie juice pack power station: although iPad generally gives me enough battery for a pretty intensive day of on-the-go work, you should always carry backup power. To be honest, I use this more often for my iPhone
  • Apple display connectors to connect to a screen or projector using HDMI or VGA
  • Apple camera connection kit (USB and SD)
  • Apple earPods
  • XtremeMac 2n1 stylus pen. Although I am not a big user of stylii, I love pens, and it’s occasionally handy to have a stylus at hand.
  • A small microfibre cloth

That’s pretty much it. I’ll be heading out shortly for a day of meetings and this is precisely the kit I’ll be carrying. Probably won’t use the display adapters or camera connection bits today, but they’re always handy to have on hand.

Now you know what I carry as an on-the-go setup for iPad for meetings, and general work out and about. I have additional items when traveling away from home, or when presenting or conducting training, and will cover these later in a separate post – remembering that we carry as much as we need, and as little as we can get away with.


Photography enthusiastic, writer, hiker and diving geek from Canberra (and Sydney), Australia. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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