Why carrying a $1,000 iPad around is a good idea.

I have before me a sheet of glass, metal and silicon which cost me nearly $1,000.   As I purchased it, I had all kinds of doubts running through my mind:

  • Is this a bit much?
  • Do I really need this?
  • Could I not make do with something less expensive?
  • I already have a MacBook Pro, and an old iPad, what good will this thing do?

Due to its very high price and seemingly minor difference between other tools, this iPad felt like the most extravagant and ridiculous thing I had ever purchased.  But having used it now in my particular craft(s), all of those doubts now feel distant.


Benjamin Franklin wrote that the best investment a man can make is in the tools of his trade.  


I am a writer, a thinker, a man whose life is chained to a calendar but who also needs to read constantly.  My work involves study, brainstorming, recording audio, and preparing to present what I’ve learned over and over (and over) again.  


Many a man has mowed a lawn with a push mower.  A lucky few own their own riding mowers and fewer still have consumer zero turn mowers, but a professional doesn’t think twice about spending a king’s ransom on an X-mark or Bad Boy because as good as those other mowers are, he would quickly feel their limits and lose time and money every day.  In much the same way, I could (and many have) do all of this with a stack of notebooks and pens, my iPhone, or even with a cheaper iPad, but those tools would be inferior to this one in ways that would cost me minutes and frustration every day. 

You could cut grass with scissors, or with the rusty old mechanical push mower I remember from my grandfather’s shed, but I’m not begrudging you if you, as someone who makes his living cutting grass, owns one or several fifteen thousand dollar zero turn mowers.  I imagine I could do my job of writing with a stick and a soft patch of dirt somewhere, but as someone who does this stuff to keep food on his table, I ask for understanding about the thousand dollar slab of glass I’m carrying around.

I carry with me a nearly infinite number of notebooks and (through my Apple Pencil) a nearly infinite variety of pens, markers and brushes.  I carry with me a vast library of books including dozens and dozens of commentaries.  I carry with me the sermon manuscripts for nearly every sermon I have ever preached.  I carry with me the means to type more manuscripts should I feel inspired.  I carry with me…you get the idea.  I can take all of this with me wherever I go and have it always at the ready, and, because I also use a Mac, when I do open my computer to do other work, all of that information is magically in sync.  

So to sum it all up: I used to think iPad Pros were the height of pointless extravagance, I now think they should become standard equipment for anyone who reads, writes, thinks or communicates for a living.

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