What To Do With No WiFi In The SkyImage via Lars Plougmann

Air travel is the final frontier of a world without wireless. Sure, it is quickly slipping through our fingers, but while we still have this flying Faraday Cage, it should be embraced.


Many people take to reading books, or watching movies on planes. I like to take some time to get work done.

What? Work without a web connection? Yes, it is possible. Sure, you can get your documents offline and prep briefings and the like, but I’m talking about personal “work.” The kind og things you should do on your computer but you constantly get distracted by emails, Facebook pings, and tweets.


When I fly I take the time to pull out my computer and do one of three things.

Write Original Content
Normal blog writing for me includes a lot of web citation. From wiki articles to links to other posts, to commenting on news stories, a lot of what I write requires a connection to source, credit, and research. When I’m in the air, however, I only have my thoughts. This post, for example, was written on a flight from Calgary to Toronto.

Organize Your Computer
Flying is the perfect time to go through the file structure on your notebook and get things organized. Sort the myriad of icons on your desktop and toss what you don’t want to keep. Go to your photo folders and organize, tag, and edit the photos you haven’t touched in months. This is a chance to do an uninterrupted “spring clean” of the documents, and files on your computer – take advantage of it.

Edit Home Movies
This flows from idea number 2. We take so many pictures, and so many little clips, that they often just sit in folders never to be seen again. Before a big trip, I will dump a lot of these video files into my iMovie editor and then spend a few hours in the air editing short clips of my kids camping, at their birthday, or Christmas. I save them to a folder on the notebook and then push them to the cloud upon landing.

There are many other ‘offline’ activities you can do in the sky, including catching up on RSS feeds, cleaning out your inbox, or just having a nap.

Whatever it is you do without wifi in the sky, embrace the lack of pinging, poking, and alerts – it won’t be like this forever.

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