I’m rarely without my shoulder bag, a habit that’s persisted since my school years.
Here’s a selection of what it contains, as a reminder/inventory for myself, for potential interest to others, and because I have an Amazon referral account.
I learnt the hard way the danger of leaks and spills inside my bag. These are light-weight and great for easy-access subdivisions - one for cables, one for laptop etc.
Incredibly bright (1k Lumens), small, lightweight and fairly cheap. My phone has a torch but I often want to conserve its battery, and have something less valuable I can throw around! This isn’t the model I own but the closest I could find.
Eye mask and earplugs and inflatable neck pillow
I don’t need these to sleep, but they really help when flying or in an early morning cab to the airport, where catching up on otherwise-missed sleep can really help with the rest of my day.
Fantastic little device - a single device to connect to a new WLAN so all my other devices can keep connecting to it. Particularly useful given how frustrating connecting a Kindle can be, or those various captive portals in hotels etc.! At some point I’ll get around to making it do smart VPN things…
I didn’t originally want a MacBook, but after my 13" Air took two pints of tea and it was the only thing available for next-day delivery, I grew to like it.
It’s incredibly light, and does nearly everything I need - builds code, runs Docker, runs VirtualBox / Vagrant - the only times I wish for something beefier are when I’m running Firefox!
I picked up a (relatively) cheap refurbished 2017 iPad and it’s been great. My MacBook is light and portable, but my iPad is even more so, especially when you factor in the power supplies - I don’t need to pack anything extra for my iPad as it runs off the same kit as my iPhone.
I particularly use it a lot for video chat (freeing up my MacBook) and Slack (keeping my MacBook more focussed).
I have an ESR folio case which keeps it nicely protected and serves as a convenient stand.
I thought I’d never give up on dead-tree books. I still haven’t, but when it comes to fiction, the ability to have the next book in the series right there, along with a week’s worth of reading in my coat pocket, was awesome.
For non-fiction where I want to scribble notes, flick between sections, and leave bookmarks scattered throughout, I doubt I’ll ever go Kindle - at least until Amazon MatchBook comes to the UK and I get free search and indexing.
Because sometimes the blood sugar needs a boost. These are resistant to temperature ranges and getting squashed!
I’ve started Bullet Journal-ing (ish) so pack personal and work notebooks
The cables always end up a tangled mess, whatever I try, but at least keeping them in their own bag minimises the impact on everything else
Essential kit given the MacBook’s general lack of ports, this provides HDMI and USB-A.
I’m a huge fan of Amazon Basics for cables, or Anker for what they don’t stock.
- USB A to C so I can charge my MacBook
- USB A to Micro-B so I can charge my Kindle or battery
- Lightning cable so I can charge my phone
A bag from an old set of headphones carrying what I generally need to Power Stuff - if I’m travelling somewhat light I’ll just take this and it provides a lot of what I really need
Invaluable for keeping my phone running, the odd occasion when my Kindle needs it, and I can run my MacBook from it.
Thanks to Meri Williams for the recommendation!
Small lightweight USB charger for the occasions when I actually have a wall to plug in to.
For my iPhone, iPad, and Magic Keyboard
For my Kindle and battery
Because I travel to Europe enough that it’s worth having a small bag of two-pin adaptors I can just grab as necessary
European USB Adaptor
Small and light and cheap, letting me save a more general two-to-three-pin adaptor for when I really need it
European Apple Adaptor
I don’t know if I’d bother buying one but I got this free from a friend who didn’t need it, and like the USB charger, it’s convenient to just plug in and go
Two European two-to-three-pin adaptors
Straightforward adaptors to convert things as needed. If I’m away for a while and have luggage space I’ll also pack a UK four-way for convenience, but two of these go a long way