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15th September
written by LS Girl

Before – Freelance Tools Overload

I finally downsized my technology, and have successfully operated using an iPhone and an IBM ThinkPad for about six months now.  Previous to the freelance-tools shakedown, my day consisted of writing on an IBM Thinkpad (an old, 9 pound dinosaur), working out with my pink iPod mini, jumping on a conference call using my cell phone, and traveling to meetings with my Lenovo netbook.  The plate of spaghetti under my desk consisted of cords, zip-ties, and various dust balls.

My first step was to upgrade to an iPhone and move all of my iPod files to the phone. Shortly after that, I upgraded to a new 4 pound Lenovo Thinkpad laptop.  Whew!

Most of my work is done in a hosted environment.  I use Gmail and Google Calendar for my personal email and scheduling, and my blog is in WordPress.  Also in the mix are a couple of websites that I edit in WYSIWYG WebBuilder 9, an upload using Filezilla, which are programs installed on my laptop.  The work I do for clients uses the Outlook Web Access interface, and various hosted platforms like Salesforce, Hubspot, Google Analytics, MindMatrix, and various SEO analysis tools.  Data backup is handled through MOZY (the 125GB package) and I have SugarSync installed.  (a complete list of programs and apps is included at the end of this post)

And then, I got an iPad.

During – Freelance Tools Learning Curve

I observed my new iPad for a long time as it sat comfortably in the corner of my office, nestled in its shiny, white, draw-string bag, and I contemplated how to integrate this sexy little piece of art into my daily life. While making the purchase, it had taken me 45 minutes just to choose a Smart Cover.  The sales person Jon said, “this is very common, it takes people longer to choose the cover, than it does to choose the iPad.”  His attempt to make me feel “normal” was appreciated.

iPad in the box

A week passed, and the iPad remained in the bag. Just like Repo Man’s “plate of shrimp”, everywhere I looked, I saw people using iPads. Fancy women in clothes comparable to the vicious threads of “The Good Wife” (best wardrobe on television) were swiping and tapping away in coffee shops and in airports.  Dreadlocked hippies were taking panoramic videos via deadhead spiraling dance maneuvers, and children were completing mazes and learning to read.  I couldn’t throw a crouton without hitting an iPad.

After – Freelance Tools Success (eventually) 

Attempt #1:  iPad Fail. I failed.  The new iPad was lovely, but it was too large and heavy.  A couple of times, it slid out of my hands while I was reading in bed and it almost knocked me unconscious.  I was unable to hold it with one hand, while operating it with the other, due to the weight of the device and the scrawniness of my wrists.  Lastly, it did not fit inside my purse, nor did it slide into the padded sleeve of my backpack (originally designed for an e-reader). Am I a weirdo? Probably.  I returned the iPad, and got a refund.  A few days later, I returned to the Apple Store to look at the iPad mini.  This might be a better solution, I thought.  As soon as I cradled that mini in my hands, I knew this was the right device for me.  It fit easily inside my purse, and I knew it would slide securely into the padded sleeve of my backpack.  Home we went, arm in arm.


It’s been a few months now, and I love my new setup, which is as follows:

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge Laptop

External Acer LED 21.5” screen

iPhone 5

iPad mini with gray smart cover and adonit stylus

Freelance Tools – Productivity Programs:

Chrome Browser, Gmail and Calendar J

TweetDeck J

Bitly J

WYSIWYG WebBuilder 9  J

IrfanView J

PhotoScape J

FileZilla J

Microsoft Office Home J

SugarSync J

Mozy J

Freelance Tools – Productivity Apps:

Chrome J

iA Writer J

MyScript Memo J

SugarSync J

The beauty of technology is that there really is something for everyone.  For me, it took a couple of attempts to get it just right.  I tend to hang on to things.  I am not an “early adopter”, if anything I am a legacy hold-out.  Ten years from now, I’ll publish an update to this post, when I finally upgrade to a robot.


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  1. 16/09/2013

    Great blog, Lynn! I’m not an early adapter either. In fact, it pains me to think about upgrading. It seems there’s always SOMETHING that goes wrong.
    Glad to hear I’m not the only one…especially since I consider you to be MUCH more tech-savvy than me 🙂

  2. 16/09/2013

    Cara, I literally hate having to upgrade, and then after I do, I spend about six months kicking myself for waiting so long. When I went online to see the “value” of the laptop I was currently using before this upgrade, it was: Zero. $0.00 – That’s when I knew I had to do it. And, I’ve done it all: waited too long and lost my hard drive. Accidentally deleted 3,500 songs from my music library, “upgraded” to a version that wiped out my iPhone. Thank goodness I have friends in high places (tech angels) who can point me in the right direction when disaster strikes. So far, I’ve recovered 100%, every time. 100% of my data, my mind, however… not so much. LOL!

  3. Vandalay VanNostrand

    I have a Toshiba Laptop that I dont use online, and an iPhone to go on line, and make calls (that no one ever anwers or returns). I also use my iphone to watch tv programs on occassion, as I dont have a TV. I hope not to have to upgrade either in my lifetime, but as the iphone apps stop fuctioning as time goes by due to new ios’s, you are forced to either uograde or eventually just use your iphone as a phone- which, depending on your location and your carrier – quite often doesnt even function as that. As far as iPhone upgrading goes: To paraphrase Timothy Leary who said, “Tune in, Turn on, Drop out” – For me its more “Upgrade, Download, Then you can actually use your Chase Bank app to see your account balance, which you havent been able to do since Apple introduced the last new version of iOs and your Chase App stopped functioning, but you still had a year left on your iphone contract you couldnt get a new phone without spending a ton of money, but were afraid to install the new version of ios on your old phone because there was a good chance (as you know) that when you did, it would wipe out everything stored on your phone and you would never get it back. And you couldnt risk that. So every week you had to go to an actual Chase Bank and spend as much as $3.00 each time to print out your current statement from the ATM, just to make sure your pay check was really direct deposited and your rent check cleared. But of course, half the time the Chase ATM was ‘not in service, ‘ so you had to go to a rival bank’s ATM and pay a $3.50 service fee just to look at how much money you had in your own account. Damn you Steve Jobs. Damn you to Hell.

    Damn you Steve Jobs, Damn you to hell.

  4. Bill

    You should really just step over to the darkside and get a macbook air. Be done with MS!

  5. 19/09/2013

    I’m afraid. Long and short of it. Almost everyone in my Editors group has a mac. They all look so young, with their unfurrowed brows and unclenched fists. Their shoulders are square because they haven’t been pack mules carrying 15 pounds of gear for a decade. I say, “oh is that a piece of paper… oh that’s your laptop, I see.” Macs are the supermodels of laptops. Thin, light, flawless in almost any lighting situation.

    What would you say are the potential pit falls of moving from a PC to a Mac? I’m interested in a real person’s opinion. Akismet says you are a real person.