For my job, I tend to travel a lot to conferences. When I am away I like to get as much work done as I can, but sometimes it isn’t really appropriate to get my laptop out, for example on a smaller airplane, train or in a restaurant; but in those times I like to get some work done like answering emails or drafting blog posts. To make these times more efficient, I have developed my little wiring rig that uses my phone, a copy of the Ulysses Writing App and the excellent Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard which allows me to be productive, yet more discreet or in smaller spaces when traveling.

Mobile Writing Rig using the Ulysses Writing App and the Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard.

The keyboard itself is very thin, even when folded which means it takes up hardly any space when packed in my laptop bag. It’s not the best typing experience as it takes a little getting used too, but it is indeed very workable. You can pair the keyboard with Windows, Android and Apple IOS devices which gives you a lot of flexibility. I pair it with an iPhone and an iPad. I don’t usually take the Apple Keyboard with me for the iPad when I travel as it makes the device quite thick in my bag, so I think this is a better solution for occasional typing; this setup has helped me remain productive when using a laptop isn’t easy to do.

Coupled with the addition of this keyboard, I have also started using the Ulysses writing app for iOS which is a fantastic writing app that supports markdown. All of my writing syncs between my iPhone, iPad, and Macs using iCloud and if I am writing just using my iPhone and the keyboard, it is. A great experience. I have started using Ulysses for drafting blog posts on the go, but I may start using it also for preparing longer articles and books too.

It seems like such a simple idea to paid a small keyboard with my phone, but it never occurred to me before until I was traveling back to the UK from Minnesota earlier in the year where I was visiting with my friend and fellow speaker, Dylan Beattie. We were in a restaurant at the airport waiting for food to be delivered and he propped his phone up against his hat, pulled out a keyboard and got a little work done. I thought this was a great idea, so I decided to try it out, and I am hooked for simple productivity on the go.

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