Over the past year, I’ve made an effort to cut down all the gear I carry in my bag on a regular basis. If I was headed somewhere to work, like the local coffee house, I had a whole backpack of gear that I felt was absolutely necessary. I began to realize that the majority of it was staying in the bag, and figured I had better rethink just what I needed with me on a daily basis. I’m actually pretty pleased with the results: I’ve found that I can get away with a pretty light load and still do my work.
The Bare Bones
I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking my laptop with me wherever I go since I got my iPhone (s aapl) last year. In part, that’s because I can do a surprising amount of my work on that little screen — I’ve written entire blog posts on it, and even can publish them to my blogs pretty easily, although the difficulty in adding pictures usually leads me to save the finishing touches for when I get back to a computer. I also use the camera on my iPhone for basic photography.
A Flip Ultra Camcorder handles all my video needs. I’ve been tempted to upgrade to an HD version several times, but so far video isn’t the biggest part of the work I do, so I stick to the cheaper model.
Despite entirely loving all the technology that makes my work much easier, I also keep paper and pen with me at all times. The notebook is a Moleskine cashiers journal. I like being able to take written notes. My pen is a Cross fountain pen. I prefer fountain pens over ball-points, especially if I’m writing anything longer than a quick note.
I always have a glasses wipe on me, which tends to get used on my iPhone, computer monitor and anything else that happens to be sitting around on a regular basis. I also keep a business card case on me, whether or not I’m headed to an event where I expect to trade cards. You never know who will sit down next to you.
The Bigger Bag
I don’t always rely on the absolute basics, though. I’ve got a MacBook Pro with a couple of years on it. About this point, you might be coming to the conclusion that I have a preference for Mac products. It’s a direct result of this laptop. I went through two cheap laptops in two years and decided I needed something that would hold together (and that I would have a reason to look after).
I also pack my SLR camera on a regular basis — it’s a Canon Rebel XTi (s caj). Not the newest camera, but it takes great quality pictures.
Lastly, I’ve got a whole box full of chargers, card readers, adapters and other necessary items for working on the web. I may be the only web worker who always packs stamps and notecards, though. However, the ability to drop a card in the mail from anywhere has saved me from forgetting birthdays and other embarrassing situations.
All of this goes into the same backpack I’ve been carrying since high school, though it’s probably reached the point where I should consider replacing it.
What’s in your bag?