Monday, January 18, 2016

What's in my bag?

The contents of my travel bag serve as my office away from home.

Back in the days when I occasionally toured with a small contemporary Christian trio, I learned that I need to take everything with me that I might need. I hauled keyboard stands, amplifiers, keyboards, cables, and power strips. The only provided service that I expected was power. Once I played for a wedding out in the woods and had to wire up a small lawnmower battery in order to provide power.

I have applied the same lessons to my office travel bag. Over time I have accumulated the various items that I use in my home office. It is nice to just grab my travel bag and go.

A bag story

A few years ago I decided that I wanted a leather travel bag. I wrote out all of the requirements: leather, cost less than $200, plenty of pockets for cables, pens, and storage, a zip top instead of a messenger-style bag, and a few other specifications. I found a manufacturer in China that sells directly to consumers. I ordered my bag and thought I was fairly happy with it.

However, my wife didn't particularly care for it, so she gave me what was, admittedly, a much nicer Coach men's bag. It was smaller than my Chinese leather bag, but I really liked it.

After a while, though, I realized that I needed something with more storage. I sold the Coach bag on eBay and bought an Alpha Bravo Andersen Slim Commuter Brief from TUMI. Instead of leather, I selected the ballistic nylon.

This bag has worked well for me, and has accompanied me on trips across the United States.

The contents

The version of the bag that I have has two small pockets, a large pocket for papers, a second large pocket designed for a laptop, and a back pocket for flat items. Inside the bag, there is also space for a tablet and a series of pockets for pens and business cards.

I keep the following items in my bag:
  • Mac computer with small mouse and power cable
  • iPad with power cable
  • Adapters for both Mac and iPad for VGA and HDMI
  • Notepad for brainstorming
  • Moleskine journal as my planner
  • Watercolor pencils for my planner
  • A random collection of pens
  • Earbuds

Do you have an office travel bag? What are the essentials that you must take with you?

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