Weekend Discussion: What Mobile Setup Gives You The Most Independence?

One of the biggest draws of mobile computing is the independence it offers: the ability to work wherever you like, however you like, and have access to everything you need.

In your opinion, what is the most optimal mobile set up to give you the most independence as possible?


My opinion: two devices with a few accessories and proper syncing setup, and a person is home free

  • a Tablet PC for access to handwritten, as well as typed, notes.
  • Synchronization using Windows Live Mesh, SugarSync, or BeInSync. This keeps an on-going back up, as well as access to files stored on desktops, home machines, etc. Seamless sync solutions allows you the freedom of using the best client apps without sacrificing features and usability.
  • In my opinion, installed client apps, coupled with seamless syncing, offers more independence than pure web based solutions because you are not dependent upon the web to get things done and have access to your files. If you choose to spend a week in a cabin, deep in the woods, you can. A person cannot depend on pervasive Internet connectivity. I’ve traveled more times in the past month to have my eyes opened to the problems with using web only solutions. Don’t let the web be your ball and chain. In my experience, I want to work with a full version of Outlook on my desktop and not Outlook For Web Access on my desktop. There is a clear difference in functionality. Solutions like hosted Exchange and Evernote, that seamlessly sync with dedicated clients and offer that same data up to the web when needed,  remove so much headache and offers a lot of freedom.
  • a small mobile device like a smartphone or iPhone when you don’t want to take a larger mobile device like a tablet pc around. This device must give a good web UI to notes and other data / services.
  • A 3G / EVDO WWAN solution for your tablet PC to widen your options in how you choose to work: offline or online. In my opinion, a USB based solution offers more independence, freeing you up to use it on a number of USB equipped mobile devices
  • Extended batteries, whether they be slices or portable power solutions – batteries give you freedom to work away from plugs.

Again, this is what works best for me and things I’ve learned over the years. Your experience and needs will certainly dictate your choices. What are your choices? What setup gives you the most mobile independence?