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Issue #114: I love starting from scratch (no, really)


Apple makes it easy for us to get the same thing – the same iPad, in this case – up and running without too much fuss. That means that we don’t have to waste time on configurations, but it also means that we never question what we have.

Well, I do, as you’ll see below, or in the member’s area if you prefer.


I love starting from scratch (no, really)

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I picked up a new M2 iPad Pro, the 2 TB 11″ model with cellular, as you might’ve read elsewhere. It was an upgrade from the (now) previous generation, with M1, which I have in both 11″ and 12.9″ configurations. I tend to pick up both models, blaming “my job” for the splurges, but this year I did not. I’ve yet to put the new M2 iPad Pro to the test, but I’ve got this feeling that this upgrade was pretty unnecessary. That’s why I didn’t get the 12.9″ model too, I’ll keep the M1 version for Big Design Things™️, and sell my M1 11″ iPad Pro down the road.

I’ll get back to the upgrade-worthiness of M1 to M2 at a later date. For now, I’m just enjoying starting from scratch. I don’t always do this, it depends on what I’ve got going on, but this time, I felt so conflicted about what’s what in my iPad setup, I decided to take the time and not restore or transfer data.

So, here I am – or were, at least – with an (almost) pristine iPad Pro. This is what I’ve done, thus far.

  • Downloaded apps I found immediate need for.
  • Changed the trackpad to accept taps, not just presses, for, well, tapping.
  • Added my email signatures.
  • Accepted numerous notification requests from apps, then tweaking these in settings.
  • Edited the share sheet in a couple of apps (I like to keep it minimal).
  • Started sync for various apps where I want my work standing by.

Things I’m holding off on doing:

  • Organizing the home-screens.
  • Setting up Focus.
  • Replacing default apps with my normal go-to’s.
  • In fact, deleting default apps at all – they all get another shot.

There are some apps that I always install, right away. 1Password’s the first one, I’m lost without it. I’ve installed Basecamp (we use that at D&C) and Telegram because I had an ongoing discussion there. I’m writing this in Ulysses, which also gets added right away, alongside iA Writer. GoodNotes, Testflight, GoodLinks, Yoink, YouTube, Day One, Focused Work (and Twitter, to mess with my focused work…), Darkroom, Pixelmator Photo, Inspect Browser, and Tot. That’s it, for now, all necessary (well, everything’s relative, right?) for my everyday work, alongside the default apps. Writing this list, and knowing what’s in store for me in the coming days, I know I’ll have to install some Affinity apps, and Pages, too.

Starting from scratch like this has its benefits. I had hundreds of apps on my previous iPad, some that I’d never launched. App creep is a thing, especially when you’re working with these things, and am a curious creature to begin with. I cherish the opportunity to question everything on my most favorite device. The more focused it is, the better, is what I’m thinking.

There’ll be more apps, sure, but anything I don’t miss, that gets left out. I’m going to get better at deleting apps, too, which brings me to everything that’s preloaded on an iPad these days. Like Photo Booth, an app I sincerely doubt I’ll put to good, if any, use. I will, however, take the time to give it a shot – maybe I’m wrong, perhaps I’ve missed having Photo Booth on my iPad all these years?

Well, okay, no. So, Photo Booth is the first app to get deleted from my new iPad. It won’t be the last, but I’m keeping an open mind.

Apple’s transition tools for when you get a new iPad are great, I recommend them. But, if you’ve got the time, and if you’re deep in app bloat, then consider taking the time to question everything, and just add the stuff you actually miss. It’s lovely feeling.

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

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