How many hours each day do you spend in front of the computer or on your smartphone? Just how important to you is technology? These questions were in the back of my mind as I read two completely different blog posts – one about technology tools that graphic designers can’t live without and one about families that chucked their day-to-day lives and are now traveling the world.
Initially, I thought these were different concepts, but once I read deeper, I realized that “getting away from it all” doesn’t necessarily mean leaving technology behind. The first blog post, from Smashing Magazine, lists the 40 Web development tools that designers can’t do without. They include Fotografix, a portable graphics program that lets you both edit and create images, FileZilla Portable, a PortableApps.com application for FTP, and ToDoList, a portable project management and task list manager. Sense a theme there? The second blog, from AwayTogether, is subtitled “One Family, One Year, Many Places, No Regrets” and includes an interview with my friends, the Rehm family, about their decision to embark on a road trip in a ’71 VW bus. So many of us think they’re crazy. But they’re armed with a portable DVD player, a netbook and cell phones. They’re constantly on the lookout for Wi-Fi. And they manage to post about their adventures practically daily on their Web site, BodesWell. Maybe you’ll never be as extreme as those people, but it begs the question: What do you require to keep your business going? If you were stranded in a desert island, what would you need? My list: Cell phone (acts as an alarm clock and a camera, too) MacBook with Wi-Fi (let’s just pretend the island is a hotspot) Sunscreen (OK, it’s not technology, but still, it is a desert island) It’s at this point I realize I’m not prepared for my trip to the desert island. My computer isn’t tricked out with the applications I need to go portable. And I accept the inevitable – I’m pretty darn comfortable at a desk.