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Summary:

Recently, Nancy Nally suggested that the newer members of the WWD team should share the gear that they take with them when they’re out on the road. I carry my gear in a Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag. The Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area can seem a little […]

Recently, Nancy Nally suggested that the newer members of the WWD team should share the gear that they take with them when they’re out on the road.

I carry my gear in a Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag. The Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area can seem a little sterile, so I wanted a distinctive and durable bag to haul my gear. While I am seeing more folks sporting Timbuk2 bags out and about, they are still outnumbered by those carrying the typical dull employer- or client-issue laptop bags.

Wills_bag

Inside my bag, you’ll find:

  • 15″ MacBook Pro running OS X, Windows 7 RC1 (soon to be upgraded to Windows 7 RTM), and Windows XP. The Windows 7 RC1 virtual machine is just for tinkering at this point. On the Windows XP virtual machine, I am running Microsoft Visio Professional 2007 and Project Standard 2007. Mozy is always there for backup when I am online. Depending on the project I’m working on at the time, my MacBook Pro might stay home in lieu of a client’s standard notebook PC that is on loan to me.
  • 80 GB iPod that is a couple of years old because I like to work to music or podcasts. My newer 120 GB iPod serves up tunes for my gym workouts.
  • Bose ear buds.
  • Charger for my iPod.
  • Ethernet cable for those times Mr. Murphy prevents me from finding WiFi.
  • XtremeMac microphone for my iPod to record meetings as needed.
  • BlackBerry 8820: this goes with me everywhere. The phone is due for an upgrade this fall. My plan is to go for one of the newer Android phones or (gulp) an iPhone.
  • Charger for my BlackBerry.
  • Plantronics Virtual Phone Booth for Skype and Gizmo5 calls.
  • A leather folio with an old school yellow legal pad. True, this is not a lightweight addition to my load but they’re typical in many of the meetings I attend on client sites in my local area. The legal pad and folio stay at home if I am going on a long trip. While I am a big Evernote and OneNote user, I still like to take handwritten notes and draw diagrams and charts during meetings and then transcribe them later. One of these days, I will get better at taking notes on my laptop during client meetings.
  • Moleskine notebook for capturing WWD post and other article ideas.
  • Pocket change in case I am on a client site and need a caffeine fix.
  • Pens because there is nothing more embarrassing than a technical writer without a pen.
  • 4GB thumb drive that includes PortableApps and MojoPac.

My Other Gear

While many of the WebWorkerDaily crew pack along a camera, mine only comes along on special occasions and isn’t part of my regular kit.  I also don’t use a mouse when I am using a laptop.

My D-Link DWL-G730AP AirPlus G Wireless Pocket Router/Access Point jumps into my bag when I know I am going to be spending time in a hotel that has only wired broadband in its rooms.

How I Roll

My technical writing career has been a mix of onsite and offsite work with periods of intermittent travel. This means I try to stay flexible with the gear I carry including swapping out my MacBook Pro for my MacBook Air and messenger bag for a backpack for my (now rare) long trips.

What’s in your bag?

  1. I don’t see a loyalty card for a chiropractor in there.

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  2. My bag is pretty light compared to the one from the post… fortunately a chiropractor is not required in my case ;)

    I usually go with just a backpack contining the following:

    - the laptop, an acer 4810T running win7. very light, less than 2kg. i love it.

    - my mobile phone, a samsung sgh-z170, it has not got many features, it is just a phone… but it is extremely thin and light and the best of it: the battery lasts five days aprox.

    - An A5 sized moleskine and a pen. This is the clipboard of my mind. to do list, sketches, diagrams and ideas go here.

    - A charger for the notebook, headphones and a 3G usb dongle.

    That’s it. I am somewhat minimalist.

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  3. An 80GB AND 120 GB iPod? Are they both filled with music?

    I just have my 16 GB iTouch (filled) and iPhone.

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