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What’s In My Bag: 13 Business Tools I Can’t Live Without

what's in my bag

Try this. Remove your laptop or tablet from whatever bag you carry it in and turn that bag upside down – then shake.

All sorts of things may fall out of your computer bag when you turn it upside down. I wanted to find out what items, gadgets, and junk were in my daily carry. A spring cleaning, if you will.

Now, as a tech reviewer, I’m routinely changing out the contents of my bag so perhaps it isn’t a fair test. Nonetheless, let’s take a look.

Here’s What’s In My Bag

Spark Earbuds [1] From id America

I’ll be brutally honest. I never leave home without these because I can work in a wide variety of noisy environments, but some voices or noises simply penetrate through my physical “ignore filter.”

Slim Backup Battery

I have written about a lot of different battery backups and out of all the ones that I’ve tested the Anker Astro Slim2 [2] (4,500 mAh worth of juice it stores) is always in my bag. The other one that I keep topped up in the office is the Digital Treasures [3] flask style battery (13,000 mAh). I carry it when I need more juice for a tablet, iPad, or if I suspect a colleague might need it.

iPhone 5S

From Aio Wireless, now Cricket Wireless [4], (media loan) with a kevlar case on it from Evutec [5]. And no, I don’t think the case would stop a bullet.

Samsung S3

From Ting [6] (based on Sprint network) with a rubberized, Otter Box style case on it (my personal unit). If you want an a la carte cell phone plan, Ting is a serious contender for small business.

Dell Latitude Laptop

This is a total workhorse machine. (Remember, I said to remove your laptop before turning your bag upside down!)

Google Nexus 10

This is a tablet and I also carry a wireless keyboard from Kensington when I’m not carrying my laptop. I simply prop up the tablet and fire up this little keyboard.

Paper Notebook

Yes, I still carry a journal. I like to use a pen or pencil sometimes. But I will share that if I have an especially brilliant note, I take a photo of it with Evernote, which scans handwritten notes and makes them searchable. Bic pen. I gave up on fancy pens a long time ago.

Bracketron [7] Cigarette Lighter Adapter/Charger

For tablets and smartphones while driving. They are well known for having a wide variety of adapters.

Two Different USB to Micro-USB Cables

For charging obviously.

LED Flashlight

Just in case.

Swiss Army Knife

With my name on it, from a dear Swiss friend. Because you just never know when you might need to rip into a new box while on your travels.

Pocket Toddy

This is for cleaning screens on all devices. The company sent these to me around the holidays and they are eye-catching designs. I have a bunch of others from Walmart, too.

Device Stands

Mine is a rather elegant stand that holds my smartphone or tablet upright.

All of this is carried in my favorite LowePro bicycle messenger bag. They make great bags. I’m far from a minimalist, but I think my daily carry is pretty light. It does get a bit heavier when I have to travel by plane, but not much.

I mention specific brands in my posts to save you time searching and that have consistently worked for me and that I like. (If not noted as a media loan, it is something I have paid for.)

So what gadgets and gear do you absolutely have to have on you throughout the day?