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I take the train into work everyday and have done so for the last year and a half. Community on the train with the iPad has become a core part of my daily experience (to and from work) and I believe this is another example of where the iPad trumps other options.

Alternatives to the iPad

Of course, you could use a phone or laptop during your commute but a laptop can be unwieldy and a phone is always a smaller screen. When it comes to the tasks that I do on the iPad while commuting, that bigger screen and reduce space matter.


One of the tasks I enjoy doing while commuting (and am doing at the moment) is writing. I’m resting on the drop down desk from the chair in front but I have options if I couldn’t use the tray. I could rest it on my lap (no, it’s not perfect but for short periods of typing, it gets the job done) and I can even hold the iPad and thumb type or use the screen keyboard.

It’s simple to use, I can get started straight away.


This is one of those experiences where the iPad shines. ebooks and RSS feeds help bring in great content every morning. Sometimes it’s great to get on top of the news I missed last night or enjoy a good book. A phone is a worthy alternative, but the extra screen size is nicer.


In my opinion, trains are the most comfortable transport for commuting. But even with their comfort, there are still bumps along the way. Despite that I do sometimes sketchnote along the way. Listening to a podcast and taking notes on the key points and takeaways.

Basic Games

Occasionally, I’ll play games while traveling, usually Alto’s Odyssey or football manager touch. Pick up and put down games with a huge screen are good fun.

Journaling and weekly review

On Monday mornings I break open Omnifocus and DayOne in Split view. I do a weekly review where I recap the last week and look at the week ahead. This helps me be fully prepared for the week ahead and ready to get down to work as soon as I enter the office. Of course, sometimes this changes as soon as I enter the office.

Not on the iPad

There are a couple of other things I do on commutes that don’t involve the ipad even though I could in some cases. These include

  • listening to podcasts
  • taking analogue notes
  • thinking (I know, no device)

the iPad makes my commute better, sure I could do most of these tasks on an iPhone but the iPad is better for many of them.

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