Single-purpose Machines

One of my goals in 2020 is to disconnect from daily smart phone usage.

My plan is to keep my current smart phone for Google Maps and emergencies in my car, and remove all other apps (even email!)

For calls and texts, I want to find the best “simple” phone. I’m drawn to the philosophy of the Mudita Pure, which has an e-ink display. But the Light Phone 2 looks pretty slick (despite having some bugs.)

The intent is to have dedicated devices that fulfill a limited set of purposes, rather than have one device that is always connected, always on, and able to do almost anything. Single-purpose machines.

A lot of this was discussed in Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. Phones are tools. They need to do more good than harm.


Tom Tate

I'm a suburban polymath living just outside Philadelphia with my wonderful wife and three kids. Digital marketing nerd for a SaaS company by day. Rabid movie, music, game, and book consumer by morning, noon, and night. I share life hacks and learnings via email at Weekly Coffee. I also host Power Time Podcast, a Nintendo retrospective. Sometimes I write stuff. Most of the time, it's on the internet.