One of my favorite college professors said that you have be to prepared for anything – and I think I’ve taken that to heart. I wear a lot of hats with the various businesses my wife and I own, so I have to be prepared for a variety of situations and spur of the moment meetings. These days there are a ton of various laptop accessories that can make mobile working much easier.
Here’s what I usually keep in my bag to stay prepared:
Electronics + Accessories
13″ Macbook Pro w/16gb Ram
I have A LOT of browser tabs open due to the number of projects I’m working on, so a lot of RAM was a necessity.
This may be one of may favorite recent additions. I spend a lot of time at coffee shops, and I’ve become very accustomed to working with multiple monitors. This lets me work off two monitors wherever I go. I’ll also use it when presenting during meetings. I can pull up my presentation notes on my laptop while showing a Powerpoint on the travel monitor, which is perfect for coffee shop or client meetings.
It’s thin travel case fits in my bag and doubles as a stand. I even use it as a third monitor at home. The whole thing is powered via USB 3.0, so its very compact.
This allows me to plug my Macbook into other monitors when I’m traveling or TV’s for presentations.
I usually get enough of a charge from my car throughout the day, but I live off my phone, so keeping an additional charger on me is a must – plus it guarantees I won’t forget to pack one on my trips. The red one below is from SuperFly Cables.
I have a server at home I store a lot of the files I have on, but when I’m traveling or working downtown I need additional storage. I like Samsung’s T3 SSD’s, because they’ve been rated well when it comes to reliability, have really fast read/write speeds, are small, and run on USB 3.0 power.
I work out of coffee shop and co-working spots a lot, and they’re not always quiet. I like these because they are wireless and noise cancelling, so if it gets loud, I can pop on some music and cram out some work. They also sound great and I use them a lot when we’re creating videos. If you’re using a Samsung phone, there are a ton of other features you can check here.
I take a lot of phone calls and trying to hold your phone to your head all day becomes painful.
Square Swipe Fob
This allows me to take credit card payments on the spot.
You never know when you may need to transfer a large file or get something printed at your local print shop.
You always need a pen, and this is a step up from a standard BIC. It’s solid stainless steel, so it feels heavy in the hand and has a good grip.
I like to keep some paper around to draw diagrams or write notes that can’t be communicated by text alone. I know a lot of people that keep notebooks for this purpose as well, but I like to use Evernote to keep all my notes, because they’re backed up forever and easily searchable to find any notes I wrote years ago.
Once or twice a year, I’ll forget my wallet at home. This saves me the time running back home.
Extra Credit Card
Same as above, but you can’t use cash on many parking meters, so I keep an extra credit card as well.
With ride sharing services so common these days, I don’t use this often, but I keep it around.
Long hair and tall buildings don’t go so well together. We get high winds whipping through downtown and I would end showing up at my next meeting looking like I just came out of a clothes dryer.
Working out of coffee shops helps me to keep my productivity up, but ever so often, I get stuck next to some guy yelling into his cellphone. There aren’t always new tables to move to, so this lets me keep going without tackling him.
I inherited a lot of allergies – thanks dad – so during the changing seasons this becomes a god send. I bring my laptop bag with me on trips as well, so this ensures I won’t leave this behind.
Always need them when I least expect them.
I’ve missed enough meals and eaten enough fast food out of desperation that I now keep some extra food in my bag.
I always seem to need it when I don’t have it, so this solves that problem 🙂 It also has a fuzz removed build in to it, so I can clean up if need to before meetings.
My Laptop Bag
My current back is the “Modern Day Briefcase” by Breton. It’s a backpag/bag and has a ton of pockets to fit everything in an organized way. I have A LOT of stuff in it, and it still doesn’t get that overstuffed look you want to avoid. I’ve never really had people complement my past laptop bags, but had two people ask where I got this one on the first day I used it. I wasn’t sure how much I’d use the backpack carrying feature on this bag, but it comes in handy quite often.
Did I miss anything you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below.