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My Response: How Many Devices Is Too Many?

While I may not be following the 100 Days To Offload, I am hoping to get back into writing on this blog a little bit more in the future. Luckily, Kev Quirk over at https://kevq.uk IS posting every day and one of his recent posts caught my attention: How Many Devices Is Too Many? This post is my own response to that topic.

I have been spending more time working from home recently and so I have also been splitting my work across an increasing number of devices. On a given day, when I both work from home and on campus, I may use any combination of the following devices:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T495
  • Apple 12″ MacBook
  • Apple 9.7″ iPad Pro
  • Apple iPhone 11
  • Apple Mac mini
  • Apple 13″ Retina MacBook Pro
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  • Intel NUC
  • Kindle Paperwhite

That does not include accessories and other smart devices (Apple HomePod) or any devices my wife or kids use during a given day either. Needless to say, I have a goodly number of devices sitting around and I move between any number of them fairly consistently.

I also have started to feel the weight of having all of these devices around. It is almost too much. Some tasks can only be done on certain devices and if I don’t have it nearby, then I need to go find it. In some cases the platform differences mean I spend more time thinking about how I might accomplish a task instead of doing it.

Recently I have started testing a Thunderbolt 3 docking station from Plugable with my ThinkPad Carbon X1 and it has worked pretty well. The hope is that in the future I can eliminate entire swaths of devices and consolidate down to just a few. However, which platform do I ultimately end up using? I am truly torn at the moment.

So … how many? I think I’m past that limit but I am unsure of exactly where I am going to fall in the near future. What I do know is that at the current number I am spending more time thinking about doing work and not the needed time actually getting down to do it. At this point, where the tools are getting in the way, it is time to start making some difficult decisions.

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