What's In Your Bag, Will Kelly?


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 (s aapl) running OS X, Windows 7 RC1 (s msft) (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 (s rimm): 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?


Carl AM

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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