I’ve always enjoyed reading about the tools and gear other people use. I stumbled on Matt Mullenweg’s “What’s in my bag” post in 2014 and I’ve followed his updates since. But it’s only in the past year or so—as I’ve been working more frequently from coffee shops, co-working spaces and client offices—that I’ve begun to invest in my own travel setup.
What follows is my everyday bag. I keep it permanently packed (minus the laptop), so it’s always ready to go when I head out.
Here’s a breakdown of what I carry:
- MacBook Pro 13”. My main machine is a rMBP early 2013 (which I plug into two Dell UltraSharp U2414H monitors on my desk). I’m probably due an upgrade, but this machine is still going strong and I’m hopeful it’ll last another year or two. I keep a Transcend JetDrive 128gb Expansion Card permanently in the SD card slot which gives me a little extra storage and is useful as a backup. It fits flush so I never notice it’s there.
- BAGSMART Cable Organiser Bag, which I use to store: 2x lightning cables, EarPods with lightning connector (spare headphones for Phone), EarPods with 3.5mm headphone plug (spare headphones for Mac), lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, micro USB cable, SD card, USB memory stick, MacBook Pro power adaptor extension cable and a lightning to SD Card card reader.
- Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse, which I keep in an RKM carrying case.
- Roost laptop stand, which also stays in the RKM carrying case above. The roost laptop stand is lightweight and portable. I’ve used this for several years now and I love it.
- Kindle Paperwhite. I pretty much exclusively read ebooks these days. The Kindle is rubbish at everything except displaying text, which makes it the perfect reading device.
- Zeiss Lens Wipes. Although designed for camera lenses, these work great on any screen. Handy for removing those grubby finger marks.
- A Rotring 600 Mechanical Pencil and a Uni-Ball Jetstream Pen (I keep a second Jetstream Pen in the Cable Organiser Bag). Both are good quality, comfortable and great to write or draw with.
- Field Notes. I mostly use Bear on my phone for taking notes, but these come in handy for quick sketches or times when I can’t use my phone for whatever reason.
- A cheap LED Torch. I don’t use this often as I’ll usually just use the light on my phone, but it’s small and light and doesn’t take up much space.
- Rucksack Rain Cover. Handy for the British weather.
- Business cards. I only hand out 2 or 3 per year, but still useful to have.
- AirPods. My favourite tech purchase last year. I love these things. I use these all the time, mostly for podcasts.
- MacBook Pro power adapter.
- Anker PowerCore 13000 Power Bank. Means I never have to worry about my phone running out of juice. In the pouch, I keep a micro-USB and lightning cable.
- Dash Slim Wallet 5.0. Backed this on Kickstarter and have used for a few years now. It has held up well, but I am due a replacement. Would only buy a minimal/slim wallet these days.
- A selection of microfibre lens cleaning cloths, including this microfibre cloth that comes with a little pouch that I keep fastened to my bag.
- Tablets (Ibuprofen and hayfever tablets).
- Prescription glasses and sunglasses (including cases, not pictured).
- iPhone 7. Works great and haven’t felt the need to upgrade yet.
- North Face Borealis (Urban Navy). I’m really enjoying this backpack. It’s big enough to fit all my gear (but not too big). The straps are well padded and sternum strap makes it comfortable carrying heavier loads. And there’s plenty of pockets to store things.
These are items that don’t always stay in my bag:
- Pack & Smooch iPad Pro 10.5″ Case Sleeve Cover. Really nice quality case. The only downside is the Apple Pencil loop doesn’t hold the Pencil particularly well.
- Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art Lens. A stunningly sharp lens.
- 10.5″ iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
- USB Charger Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger.
- Stanley Outdoor Bottle. If I’m travelling long distance or staying over, I’ll often take this awesome little hip flask filled with a good tipple.
- Canon 760D with Canon 24mm pancake lens. My usual walk-around setup. Decent lens and really small/light. Will swap the 24mm for the Sigma 35mm if I want something a little sharper.