As a tech writer, I usually carry around with me a fair share of items I need to do my job, from my phone to other devices or gadgets I use for my workflow. My backpack setup isn't too complicated, but can easily get derailed, so I like to keep things simple and refined. With that in mind, I thought it'd be a cool exercise to breakdown exactly what is in my backpack. Some of the items will prove to be quite useful, like the phones I use, while others probably won't.
- Sleek, spacious and stylish: Bellroy Classic Backpack
- Apple's best: iPhone XS
- Wonderous little earphones: AirPods
- AirPod protection: Nomad AirPod Case
- Power on the go: MacBook Air
- Work hard, play hard: Nintendo Switch
- Smash this: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Forgotten flagship: OnePlus 6
- Power up: Anker PowerCore II 20000
- Universally useful: Nomad Universal Cable
- Take note: Field Notes Notebook
- High quality H20: Klean Kanteen
The backpack I've most recently been using is this Bellroy Classic and I absolutely love it. As I stated, I like to keep things as simple as possible and this backpack allows me to do just that. It's a classic design with one main pocket that houses big items like the laptop along with my chargers, notebooks, water bottle, and more. The material used for the finish is a mixture between what Bellory calls venture-wave polyester and dura nylon.
The phone I currently use is the iPhone XS and it offers about everything I'd want from a smartphone.. Apple still makes some of the most beautiful hardware around and the recent changes to gestures have made iOS fun to use again. Then there's all the little extras like iMessage, AirDrop, and cross-compatibility with Macs that let me really enjoy the iPhone XS.
I was late to the AirPods party because I have a fondness for wired headphones, but eventually I relented and bought some last year. They instantly won me over. It was super easy to connect them not only to my iPhone and Mac, but also the Apple TV, oddly enough. I use AirPods just about everyday and can't recommend them enough.
I've already raved about AirPods, but I didn't really talk about how fragile they are. One drop and you feel like you're breaking them. Which is why I use the Nomad AirPod Case to keep mine protected. The case is made out of a hard plastic shell outlined with Horween leather that gives my AirPods a real unique look.
I currently use a 2014 MacBook Pro and love it. This was the peak for MacBook design, coming with a slim body yet still featuring all the ports I need. Sadly, Apple doesn't make them anymore, so if I were to buy a current laptop from Apple, I'd go with the MacBook Air. I don't require a ton of power for my workflow and I put great importance on portability.
There's a time for work, and then there's a time for play. That's where my Nintendo Switch comes in. Unlike a lot of people, I love playing my Switch in handheld mode, which might explain why my right Joy-Con joystick is already wearing out. This thing has been a champ for me and I'll keep playing it whenever I have some free time. I've moved on from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I'm really into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
My go-to Nintendo Switch game right now is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There's just something very cathartic about completely evicerating someone with the right moves. My personal favorite characters are Link (from Breath of the Wild) and Samus, but I also have a soft spot for Kirby.
I actually carry around a OnePlus 6 as my secondary device to keep in touch with everything Android, but since they don't sell it anymore, the closest comparable is the OnePlus 6T. OnePlus has been making some amazing phones and they've become my favorite Android phones to use. From hardware to software, OnePlus makes the Android experience truly fantastic.
Given I carry around a lot of gadgets, I need to carry some extra juice to top me off from time to time and I do so with the Anker Powercore II 20000. It packs a gigantic 20,100mAh battery pack, enough to charge up my iPhone XS and other gadgets multiple times over.
Seeing as I use both iPhone and Android devices, instead of carrying two or three separate cables, I carry around the Nomad Universal Cable that has a connector for Lightning, USB-C, and even Micro-USB. It solves all of my cable issues in one neat package.
Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer to write down notes with pen and paper instead of a phone or tablet. It helps me remember things better. Field Notes notebooks are fairly inexpensive and provide a unique dot-graph paper outline that is perfect for my notes and doodles.
Another item I carry around wherever I go is my Klean Kanteen water bottle. Any water bottle is a good choice, but I went with this one by Klean Kanteen because it doesn't take up too much space. I'm not a big "save the environment" person but this is me doing my part and reducing the amount of plastic I use.
Which one of my favorites do you like?
There you have it. I have a pretty simple set up that's meant to streamline my work experience on the go. I just carry what I need and nothing else—that's the key to an uncluttered bag.
The base of my set-up is the backpack, and though I already raved about the Bellroy Classic Backpack, I must again sing its praises. I've used a few Bellroy products in the past, including its wallets, and its backpacks carry on that workmanship and attention to detail. If I'm going to pay top dollar for something, which you are for Bellroy products, you expect quality and you definitely get that. In details like the YKK zippers, metal buckles, leather accents, and high-grade materials, the quality is evident right away.
Besides my backpack, the piece of tech I cannot live without is my MacBook. This is the portal to my job; all I need is an internet connection and I'm in business. I currently use a 2014 MacBook Pro which has sadly been discontinued for newer, less refined models. Gone are its wide array of ports, glowing logo, and built-like-a-tank keyboard. I just wish it had Touch ID and then I'd never need a laptop ever again.
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