How Much Technology Stuff is Enough?

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How Much Technology Stuff is Enough?

I’ve been battling with my love of technology. I want to trim the bills associated with my tools and toys. I love mobile tools and have little desire for maintaining a desktop system. I have an iMac downstairs that has been out of commission for several months and, with my MacBook Pro, I’ve not really missed it.

But lately, I’ve been reevaluating everything from my phone to my cables and external drives. I have too much stuff. I just do. I’ve decided I need to streamline things a bit.

Surprisingly, I will be keeping my iPad. I use that thing dozens of times per day. From a quick check on email, to IM alerts and social networking, to videos/hulu, music and reading ebooks. I probably spend more time with the iPad than I do with my computer. I even write on it when I’m out by porting my bluetooth keyboard. I sometimes wish it were a little smaller and easier to fit into a purse, but I’m not sure if I’d like it as much in miniature.

My smartphone may be on it’s way out. It’s a huge monthly expense and I use it most for texting. I use the office phone for most of my client calls. I’m investigating alternative texting options for the iPad, for when I’m out, but I’m usually at the cabin these days. I could do just fine with a simple cell phone — or perhaps no phone at all, if I can get a VOIP app that I like to work on the iPad for emergencies.

A pad and a laptop should be enough. Three external drives (one for backups locally, one for backups to be stored offsite, and one — that can stream stuff to the iPad — that has all the stuff I use constantly). I’d like to have all the hard drives from the same manufacturer so I don’t have a slew of different power cords. (I’d really prefer to have externals that don’t require a powercord… simplify, simplify!)

I’ll be investing in the wireless hard drive by Seagate soon (but am hoping to hold out until they offer one that’s at least a TB in size.) That will expand the use of my iPad and keep all my digital files conveniently portable. I’ve cleaned out and will continue to trim the duplicate files I have on the dozen or so external hard drives I have tucked in every corner of my office.

I’m a digital packrat and I’ve got to stop! Devices, drives, power cords, cables, thumb drives and other miscellany are littering my life. When I’m finished, I’ll be more streamlined. I’ll have less stuff to manage — less to organize, store and maintain. And even though digital “stuff” takes up less physical space than other types, it still clutters.

Step by step, I’m cleaning up my life and my environment. Baby-step by baby-step. How are you approaching the management and organization/streamlining of your digital life? What’s working and what’s not?


  1. Jennifer Adams says:

    I highly recommend Google Voice. They have an iApp that allows you to text others from your iDevices. Your Google Voice number can also be forwarded to a land line. All free!