There’s a lot of interest about the iPad only lifestyle since iOS 11 and the Pro came out, so I’m inclined to share experiences that you might like to read about on here and get a discussion going about whether or not you think it’s a good idea or maybe how it’s working for you too. Last year, at university <for studying accountancy and finance> I found that our note taking was all on paper or the odd person with a laptop (one had a Surface Pro!). I used to write them down on paper, neaten them up and then type them up on my Mac on Word in a neater, more space efficient way for revising them over the weeks. So Paper > Word > Print. I had a bag full of handouts, past exam papers, written notes, printed out Word notes and three colour coded folders for each module. It worked, and the fact I maintained it probably meant I was more organised than most of the others there! This year, I’m iPad only. And I decided, for all of the iPad’s strengths and weaknesses - note taking is it’s forte as much as anything else! So I’m going to use it to it’s full power. One of the reasons I didn’t take my 13” non-Retina MBP was it was heavy, and I didn’t like that if I set my backpack down too fast I might crack the screen, dent it or ruin it in some way. It was also noticeably heavy on the shoulders. I must add, I do NOT have a Pro model so pencil productivity doesn’t apply to me, however, I feel like the iPad with a keyboard is quite sufficient and I’ll explain more why as I write on. Perhaps not as ideal, but for a budget conscious student, I think the non Pro iPad will do the job just as well, if not as naturally, but still could do you much better than a cheap Windows laptop anyway! First off all, if you do a course like what, Architecture or Science that requires specialist programmes, then throw the idea of iPad only out the window. For accountancy, whilst specific software like Sage exists in the real world, you won’t be using it at university. And whilst Excel is an amazing programme with no limits on the full Windows desktop, you’ll find that many accounting practices don’t use more than basic formatting and mathematical formulas. Let alone the fact they wouldn’t let you take home client info on a personal device from home. But anyway, my point is, for Accounting I don’t need to use specialist Windows only software. But if I did, and if you do, then the iPad ONLY model won’t work. Because I know a lot of you will point that out, and right you are! In my backpack, I plan on carrying the iPad (2017), a Logitech K380 wireless keyboard and a battery charger (not that you’d need it on the iPad, but handy if you forget to charge it!). On top of this, a notepad, a pen, pencil, basic stationary and some graph paper. One big folder with compartments for each module - I’m done having a folder for each. Quite a slim and light backpack. ALL written notes when I can’t type on the iPad will eventually be typed up to Notability. For handouts, timetables and other documents that ‘pile up’ in your backpack, I plan on scanning them with Scanner Pro by Readdle. Then, I’ve got high quality copies on iCloud and on my iPad. I’ll export them into PDF format and annotate them with PDF Export by Readdle - for filling in forms and emailing them or printing them out. As for, say module information sheets, I’ll save them as PDFs in iCloud and keep it all paperless. I found that I didn’t look at this type of info much last year, but didn’t want to throw it out in case. iCloud is the perfect place for this to pile up and not in my backpack. In many cases, as paper is handed to me it’ll be recycled the same day after being scanned. Something I’m quite excited about. And I’ll be able to check and produce copies of it without leaving it at home etc which happened before. Taking Notes in Lectures is a huge part of university. Lots of apps exist for doing this, Apple’s Notes with table support and handwriting etc is actually now sufficient too! But there’s some great apps out there. You’ve got MS Office and the iWork suite at hand, but OneNote and Notability are two prime examples of great note taking for each of your modules. I’m going to go with Notability. It’s flexible, and it has a voice recording feature that tracks the place on the audio and your notes for listening to again. My personal choice, but there’s an abundance of options for you to choose on iOS. And of course they all link to iCloud or OneDrive too so if my iPad is stolen or broken I can login from a friends computer or even my phone to access important files. As I said, I’ll be carrying and using a keyboard with the iPad. And I’m using a supermarket rip of of Apple’s smart case at the minute which takes up little space on the narrow lecture hall desks providing a nice little way to quickly type notes - I’m a fast typed which helps and I enjoy typing whilst looking away too and challenging myself to stay accurate. I found with written notes, they were rushed and sometimes un readable even by me which was annoying. Typing eliminated this. I always wondered why the Apple Pencil would be a good idea as I found working with hand writing to be a PITA and time consuming! Except for diagrams and art. Hopefully the K380 isn’t too loud. Some people using cheap HP laptops had keys with what I assume was cheap build quality and even light typing made a loud, annoying noise. At least with the iPad, you can buy another keyboard to suit your typing comfort requirements if one doesn’t do the job. On a laptop, love it or leave it. It’s fixed on. For essays and written reports I’ll use Microsoft Word for ease of sharing with Windows users. It perfectly appears on other peoples screens as it appears on the iPad - and when you used advanced features on the desktop versions and work on them on iPad, it knows how to handle them too. Over time, Microsoft is adding more and more desktop features. And if you need something it doesn’t have, every university has library PCs with desktop Office and other apps so don’t feel like this is a reason to ditch the iPad! People often forget they have that option. Most of you will get Office 365 and 1000GB free of OneDrive space with your university around the world I think, so take advantage of it!!! Don’t worry about printing either, or owning a printer as your university library has a printer you can use. Log onto iCloud and press print and you’ve saved the headache of buying, filling and maintaining a printer. Between Scanner Pro, Notability, iCloud Drive, Microsoft Office 365, iWork, etc the iPad is a real productivity machine. For university, it is superb. It’s convenient. And it’s also got all my personal business there too - Apple Music, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks and more - on the one, beautifully crafted glass and gold aluminium machine. I seriously think more people could follow suit and have a much better experience than a cheap Windows PC. Or maybe even a less valuable computer vs. An expensive new Mac to work on and pocket the savings for other things. Hopefully this inspired or provided some value to you, and thanks for taking the time to read it. As always, interested to hear your thoughts. Have you decided to do the same? Any suggestions?