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.
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?