Readdle Stories: How this family living 'off the grid' uses Documents to stay connected

We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Documents, our super app for file action, plus the milestone of 100m downloads.

We’ve come a long way since Documents’ predecessor, ReaddleDocs, was built for the new iPhone in 2007, and selected by Apple for the first-ever App Store.

Documents is designed to help you get on top of your paperwork and capture all your files in one secure place. Each year we’ve expanded its capabilities from quick sharing and smart suggestions for improved workflows, to VPN and PDF editing.

Over 4,000 of you reached out to congratulate us on Twitter, and dozens of you wrote to us from all over the world to share your individual user stories. 

These include Desiree Parkinson, 36, who has lived off grid in the savannas of Belize, Central America for eight years with her husband, Timothy and three children Somaiah, 12, Joshua, 9 and Heather 7.

Desiree Parkinson, a tour guide and fiber artist (a job which involves using natural materials to weave, knit and crochet) relies on Documents to keep her connected to creative tasks, fitness routines and home entertainment. 

Whenever she visits a location with wifi, she’ll use the app to download a multitude of files, which keep her productivity at its peak. 

"With limited data Documents is my go-to app for downloading patterns and plans for my crocheting, and it also means I can stream my fitness videos, which is really important to me. I also use it to stream films to enjoy, when I have five minutes to myself!"

“And it’s not just me who benefits. My two girls also use the app on their iPhones to store and download movies which they watch offline in addition to cartoons and music. It’s a product that’s suitable for any family member.”

Desiree and her brood live a unique life, miles from any urban hubs, but she says it’s a rich and rewarding life in its own way.

“We’ve got no nearby neighbors and there's lots of wildlife - even a Jaguar who comes to visit! We’re self-sufficient here. For the first five years we used kerosene lamps to lighten the house, now we run off solar power."

Adds Desiree: “We didn’t choose this way of life by choice, but we’ve grown to love it. Our wooden house got blown apart by a hurricane last year, but we’re rebuilding it with some wonderful volunteers."

“Overall, our off-the-grid life means we have less bills to pay, less stress, and get to spend more time together as a family."

Yet whilst Desiree and family obviously sing the virtues of living in a very scenic, remote habitat, having the right tech also helps complement their back to basics living. 

“I got my first iPhone in 2019 and loved it, but wondered whether I’d be able to download music for free to listen to offline, like I had with my Android phone,” explains Desiree, “I did some research and found a video on YouTube that told me all about Documents’ super powers, so I downloaded it. It was a game changer! Right away I was able to start enjoying my favorite songs, free of charge.”

Since then Desiree’s use of the app has mushroomed and she’s particularly enjoyed the product’s latest innovations. These include its all-new Action Menu, and Extensions which means when she’s saving files it's possible to pick from a list of actions specially tailored to each format, via one quick tap. 

“The new Documents interface is amazing,” says Desiree, “Thank you for making it accessible to people like me who wouldn’t be able to afford a dedicated app."

At Readdle, these are the kind of stories that get us up in the morning! Please get in touch if you’d like to share how our products help enhance your productivity via

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