There’s some magical force field right now which keeps my MacBook Pro from creativity and which keeps my iPad from productivity.
There’s some magical force field right now which keeps my MacBook Pro from creativity and which keeps my iPad from productivity.

I intended to move as much of my work life as possible to one laptop over the last half year. I’m not so sure it was the right decision.

I spend a lot of time in front of the MacBook Pro right now. Office days begin before 7:00AM and end around 9:00PM (I take an hour or two break for supper with my girls). For 95% of that time, the MacBook Pro glows in front of me.

I can do everything from that MacBook Pro. Nearly 90% of colleagues, friends, and clients I work with communicate in some form of data-based messaging. Phone calls and video calls happen in most messaging apps. Blog posts and photo edits can happen in Ulysses and Lightroom. You know the drill.

Yet there’s some sort of psychological barrier to opening the MacBook Pro lid when it’s time to create.

If it’s time to write a blog post, the last place I want to write is on the MacBook Pro. There’s just some sort of mental block there.

I even prefer the MacBook Pro keyboard for long-form typing!

That mental block keeps the iPad pretty useful. I’ve long preferred the iPad for photography workflows. Now though, the iPad has taken over almost all my creative endeavours:

  • Writing for The Sweet Setup or this blog happens on iPad.
  • Editing and exporting photos happens on iPad.
  • Handwritten notes or scribbles or drawings happen on iPad.
  • Research, connective thinking, and study happens on iPad.

It’s almost like, in the same way I don’t ever tend to use Excel on iPad despite having a pretty sound feature set, I don’t tend to get much creative work completed on a Mac. I don’t know why. I just don’t.

This isn’t a perfect line in the sand. Throw the MacBook onto a stand and hookup the Planck EZ and the creative juices have a strong chance of flowing.

It’s just that creativity happens so much easier on iPad.

“Creative” is quite encompassing. Apple’s definition of “creative professionals” — especially in relation to the latest keynote — centered heavily on power users needing powerful Macs. Were I in their shoes, I am sure the Mac would be the (only) option.

As it stands, I’m grateful for the mental block between my MacBook Pro and the creative work I need to complete. It provides some separation between office-work and side-gig-work. It provides a transition from office to home. And, in a way, it provides the opportunity to have some sort of shutdown period each day.

I don’t think my earlier drive to move everything to the M1 Pro MacBook Pro was a good idea.