Clockwise from left, starting with the bag:
Cote & Ciel Isar Rucksack – black melange, medium size for 13″ to 15″ laptops. It’s like a hobo bag for men – thin when you don’t need to carry much, but can balloon out to huge sizes to carry all kinds of stuff. Easily handles a couple of changes of clothes in addition to my laptop, iPad, and everything you see here. Review by Carryology.
40 Blinks Sleep Mask – the blue bra-looking thing is to be worn on your face during long flights. Yep, on your face. It blocks light while not forcing your eyes to stay closed. Sounds goofy, but I sleep better if I can open my eyes and it’s still dark.
Ziploc bag of Throat Coat tea – if I have to be onstage for more than an hour, I drink this stuff while presenting. It has slippery elm, long used by singers and speakers to soothe the throat. I like this better than throat lozenges, which usually have a lot of odd side effects.
Ziploc bag of Brent Ozar Unlimited stickers – we just got these in for this year’s conference season and they rock.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones – deep breath: yes, they’re $300, but they’re worth it. In theory, I want noise-canceling headphones, but in practice, they often emit weird hums and buzzes that drive me crazy. These are different – the ear cups are made of memory foam, so they hug your ears really well and make it much tougher for outside noises to get in. When I want to sleep, I just put these on without playing anything, or I’ll use the Ambiance app to play sleep machine noises. The P5’s sound quality is great, but it’s really neutral – not overly bright or heavy on the bass like a lot of “premium” headphones.
Business cards from 4by6 – still going through our first set from 4by6. Really nice print and paper quality.
Kind bars – When I’m on the run or at conferences, it’s hard to get healthy food at the right time and place. I try to keep a routine: full breakfast before the zoo starts, Kind bar as a midmorning snack, whatever I can scrape together for lunch, and then a Kind bar again in the afternoon. This way, I’m not prompted to overeat the crappy carb-loaded stuff at lunchtime, and I can take my time to find a somewhat healthier dinner instead of grabbing the first ugly thing I find.
MiniGorilla battery – small ruggedized 9000 mAh battery that can fully recharge an iPhone or iPad multiple times. I don’t need it often, but when I do, it’s awesome. I’ve had days where I forgot to charge my phone or my tablet, and it just doesn’t matter – I bring the MiniGorilla along and keep right on going. Full specs from manufacturer.
Apple power supply with red PlugBug – the PlugBug adds a high-powered USB port to the power adapter so you can charge more stuff faster. There’s an international travel version too.
Cables – short Belkin USB-to-Lightning cable, USB-to-Ethernet, Lightning-to-VGA, Thunderbolt-to-VGA. I understand Apple’s obsession with small cable formats, but man, I really want Ethernet and VGA ports included on the Retina.
Patriot 128GB USB3 flash drive – faster than most hard drives, and easy form factor. I back up my presentations and VMs onto here for emergencies. The 64GB is $85, 128GB is $125, and 256GB is $230.
Logitech R800 presenter clicker with laser and timer – It’s around $50, and there’s a cheaper R400 that doesn’t include a timer. Get the R800. I love being able to glance down at the clicker and see how much time I’ve got left in the presentation, and it vibrates as I start to approach the end.
Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries – for the R800, and for other peoples’ clickers.
Laptop and iPad Not Pictured
MacBook Pro 15″ Retina – a couple of years old now, but I still love it just as much as the day I got it. It’s my primary desktop and laptop – I just plug it into my monitor and USB3 hub when I get home. Apple’s probably releasing an updated one Tuesday, but I’ll stick with the one I’ve got. I don’t need more speed on this.
iPad Retina – the first generation of Retina ones. Absolutely no complaints here either, and I don’t know how they could persuade me to upgrade this.
Logitech iPad keyboard cover – probably the best $75 I’ve ever spent. Whoever designed this deserves a big prize.
A camera – I’m just using the one in my iPhone 5S for now. I’m a camera junkie, but it’s a time of incredible change in the camera market, so I’m sitting this round out for a few months. The cameras that excite me the most are the tiny M43 Lumix GM1 and the Sony RX1 with its larger body, sensor, and price tag.
Is there anything else that should be in my travel bag?
What about a notepad and 2 different colored pens? I have that in just about every bag I carry. You never know when you’re going to need it. Easy to toss them together into a ziplock bag, especially if you use an elastic hair band to keep the pens together.
One alternative to your MiniGorilla would be the Dual port batter pack & charger from Monoprice. Only 8000mHh but also only $28.48.
I haven’t tried the Logitech keyboard cover. Instead I bought a Zagg keyboard case a couple of years ago for my iPad3. It has served me incredibly well and the battery life is extraordinary.
As for laptop bags, I have the Ogio Squadron RSS II. It doesn’t look nearly as nice as your Rucksack but it did protect my laptop and iPad from total destruction when a BMW rear ended my rental car in Albuquerque. Also, props to the Kia Optima’s rear bumper that got the better of said BMW.
One honorable mention should go to the VMware lab that resides in my laundry room. I am running Horizon View on the lab and can access it from my iPad over an LTE connection. I have found it very useful for quickly updating documents, presentations, or spreadsheets without having to pull out my clunky (now three year old) HP laptop. I quickly share those files back to my iPad using VMware Horizon Workspace. This setup has saved my bacon a couple of times and makes for a great demo to my customers. You’d think HP would have something like this, but nooooooooo.
Because of my severe OCD ;), I also carry a Grid-It (mine’s 12×8) -http://www.cocooninnovations.com/grid.php. It stores all of those little items like cables and batteries (and Kind bars) in a nice flat package so that they never end up lost at the bottom of your bag. I guess they have one now that can work as a cover for an iPad.
+1 on Brian’s tip. I also have a notebook setup. I’m a little bit fancy on my analog notebook. I carry either a Moleskine or my Midori Traveler’s Notebook / Fieldnotes notebooks. I have an elastic velcro strap that I wrap around the Traveler’s Notebook and a couple of Fieldnotes with some pens. I can just throw the bundle in my Columbia Manifest II backpack or messenger bag. Here’s my Traveler’s Notebook + Fieldnotes + Pens setup http://instagram.com/p/eQQKXjAL78/
Great writeup here, love it man!
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Nice writeup. I own also a MBPr but find it a little bit sad to plug it into a non retina monitor 80% of my work time and use the gorgeous retina screen only 20% the time. What’s do you think?
John – well, I solve that by using a good monitor. 😉