What’s in my Work Bag?

Contents of my work bag.

Inspired by Xin and other bloggers, I wanted to share the contents of my work bag. All of this stuff gets stored in either this tote or this nylon backpack, and placed in a bike basket on my commute to work.

  • Laptop: What can I say, laptop = life! I carry the laptop back and forth between home and the office, so weight was key. This model is the 12″ Macbook, which I don’t recommend due the build quality, ugh (screen and trackpad are failing after 2 years).
  • Papers in sleeve: I use these colorful plastic sleeves to store papers I’m reading and other documents. The sleeve is light and prevents papers from getting crumpled.
  • Notebook: I got this notebook for free somewhere, and it’s pretty good quality. I use some variant of the bullet journal, which I started a few months ago and has worked well so far. Mostly because I feel that the act of writing something down and organizing it relieves stress.
  • Pen: This particular pen is red to mark up the papers I’m reviewing 👿
  • Earbuds: Useful for podcasts and talking to my partner on the phone. I prefer cheap ones that can get beat up or lost. I get super irritated if I can’t find these and actually have to use my arm muscles to hold the phone to my head. I guess I should hit the gym more often!
  • Sunglasses: Protect my eyes while outside. Again, I prefer cheap ones so that I don’t have to worry. Although it’s winter right now, southern California is so sunny! I get headaches if it’s too hot and sunny, so these sunglasses, plus a good hat, are essential.
  • Chapstick: I’m ADDICTED to chapstick. I feel naked if I accidentally leave the house without it. Carmex is the most moisturizing in my opinion, followed by the tinted Burt’s Bees. I don’t like Eos because they’re too bulky. I have chapsticks stashed everywhere – at home, at the office, in my bag, in the car. I shudder to think how much chapstick I’ve probably eaten over the years!
  • Eye drops: Since I wear contacts and stare at the screen all day, I use these eye drops to reduce dryness.
  • Bike multi-tool: I don’t usually carry this around, but I recently installed a bike mirror and need to adjust it on the road to get the perfect orientation.
  • Keys: I don’t have a keychain but I have this silver safety whistle, lol. Car keys, condo keys, house keys, and office keys. Too many keys!
  • Phone (not shown): I have Google Pixel which works fine.
  • Wallet: I use a Comme des Garcons half-zip wallet. Inside are my credit card, debit card, driver’s license, work ID, business card, cash, and coins. Also a Costco membership card because I over-shop there despite being living alone 😛

If I’m not going to work, I’ll take a subset of these items: phone, wallet, keys, and chapstick.

Blooper: Cat investigating the lay-flat.

What’s in your bag? Any must-have items, like my chapstick addiction?

4 thoughts on “What’s in my Work Bag?

  1. Laughed aloud at “laptop = life” because that is also so true for me.

    I used to wonder why people carried bike tools (couldn’t they wait?), and then had two bad experiences with my chain/brakes and a rack coming loose in quick succession. Since then, I’ve acquired a general multi-tool that I can rationalise carrying around all the time, but may still swap it out for a bike-specific one.


    • Haha, yeah. My sister asked me once if she should take her laptop on vacation, and I was thinking, is not taking it even an option? But I might just be an addict 🙂

      Oh, it sucks that you had some minor bike breakdowns on the road. The worst that’s happened to me is a flat, after which I resign myself to walking the rest of the way (since the distance is not that far). But I can imagine a bike multi-tool being handy! There are some minor adjustments like brake tightness or seat height that I find you get a better feel for on the road than when tweaking these things at home.


  2. Yay, I love “what’s in my bag” posts (and thank you for the link). And ugh, from you and Michelle/Dr. It Girl it seems like Mac laptops have a lot of quality problems these days! My first Macbook was from 2011 and it was awful, I took it in in for major repairs from Applecare four times in three years, and it died shortly after my three-year Applecare expired. My current one from mid-2014 is great, though, I haven’t had a single issue yet. It sounds like I’ll have to think carefully about whether to go back to PCs next time around.

    I tend to stick with super-cheap earbuds too! I keep them for as long as they work (which can be a surprisingly long time actually), and usually have an extra pair around at home and at the office in case my current pair breaks or gets lost.


    • Ugh, that sounds like way too frequent repairs! My old Macbook circa 2012 is actually quite good, and is actually in better shape than my 2015 current one. I feel like the quality of Apple products have gone down, and I am debating whether to repair mine or purchase a new one. The main reason I stick with overpriced Macs is their ability to run both the command line interface and commercial products like Powerpoint and Photoshop (the open-source equivalents are just not as good). I may go back to Linux after this (geek alert), but anyway, I could go on and on about this topic… 😛

      I have tons of headphones everywhere too! Including at multiple locations around the house 😛 I bought and promptly destroyed two pairs of $100 headphones in a row once, and vowed to stick to cheaper ones after that. They’ve held up pretty well, even after a trip through the washer and accidentally tossing them into a cup of yoghurt 😮


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