Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag

Next: LG Electronics Tone Pro Bluetooth Headset ($44.99). I love this thing. I use it for hours every day with the iPhone when I'm talking, when I'm walking, and when I'm walking and talking.

Below the headset:

Vaultz Mesh Storage Bags ($6.34) for a set of four in various sizes. The yellow bag contains my Lightning cords and wallwarts for Apple devices. The orange bag contains micro-USB cords and chargers.

Pro-tip to my fellow iPhone and iPad users: Don't get a white micro-USB cable. You'll perpetually confuse them for your Lightning cables. Let me be a bad example to you about that.

To the right of the Vaultz bags: three external USB batteries: A little one that Cisco gave away at our Big Telecom Event this month, somewhat bigger one from Mophie ($75.50), and a huge Intocircuit brick ($22.99). The Intocircuit got me to Düsseldorf and back to California again. It's a locomotive.

Above the Vaultz bag: 2013 Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi ($77.69) with red Neoprene sleeve ($8.41), to read a little science fiction in my hotel room before turning out the light and going to sleep. Yeah, I could read the books on the iPhone or iPad but the Kindle only weighs a few ounces so why not bring it too?

To the left of the Kindle: Shout Portable Wipes ($9.90), because I am a sloppy eater and love foods with sauces.

Top right: Ziploc bag containing various granola and nutrition bars and snack bags of nuts. This is part of my desperate and doomed attempt to eat healthy when I travel.

Not shown here:

Trianium Atomic S iPhone 6 Battery Case ($49.95). I forgot to bring it on my last trip, so it's not in this photo. It does the job, roughly doubling my iPhone charge to get through a full day away from electrical sockets. It adds only a small amount to the weight and bulk of the phone so it remains comfortable in my hand or in my pocket.

But I do not recommend the Trianum; it's too hard to get the phone out. I liked the Lenmar Meridian case ($27.25) I previously used with my iPhone 5. The Lenmar Maven ($63.59) looks like the same model for the iPhone 6. I'm tempted.

I didn't bring international power adapters on this trip. It was a local trip so I didn't need them.

Also not shown Cabeau Evolution Pillow ($39.99); I only need that if the plane ride is long enough that I'll want to try to sleep on it (and fail -- I can't sleep on planes).

Also not shown: The iPhone. I use it for email, web, messaging, to jot down to-dos and ideas as they occur to me, to scan in receipts for my expense reports, and occasionally to record interviews and speeches. I also use it for all the photos I publish on Light Reading and on social media. And that's the reason it's not in this photo -- it's taking the photo.

And finally, two items that are shown here but which I'm jettisoning from the office-in-a-bag:

To the right of the MacBook Pro: The Samsonite Add A Bag Spinner attaches a second, small bag to the the vertical handles of a rolling suitcase. Sounds great in theory, but it's not very practical. I had to watch several YouTube videos just to figure out how to attach the thing. And the entire assembly keeps toppling over. I bought it on impulse at Denver Airport and paid $25 for it -- $10 more than the Amazon price. As my Aunt Shirley says in her gravelley Brooklyn accent whenever a business overcharges her: "They should ROT!"

I'll try a different add-a-bag strap next time, one that doesn't require a doctorate in mechanical engineering.

To the left of the Shout pads, covered partly by the blue microfiber cloth: AmazonBasics Adjustable Tablet Stand ($8.99). It's fine, but I never use it.

Yeah, that's a lot of junk but it all fits in my briefcase and rolls around easily. And I'm always prepared. I can work wherever I am, take notes and photos and write stories, even tapping out a few sentences in idle minutes between meetings or when presentations are slow. At our Big Telecom Event, one of my colleagues needed a notebook and pen, and I had a spare and handed it over. I used the 1' extension cords to help colleagues plug into the power sockets in the press room. Another colleague was concerned because she's a vegan and couldn't find anything to eat on the lunch buffet; I hit her with a bag of nuts. I was like a 21st-century Mr. Scott.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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