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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MikeP688 7/4/2015 | 2:45:43 AM
On the "brief" Prowl... As I work away tonight, the first "fireworks" have begun--even though they happen to be illegal in my local City :-(   @Mitch underscored that OlloClip was not for him--Some of the latest products they have is quite interesting and enticing--which is part of parcel of the evolution we have to see and be witness to.    May we live in interesting times!!

Happy 4th of July to all...may it be a safe and joyous one!!

Mitch Wagner 7/1/2015 | 11:40:11 AM
Re: Keyboard addiction MikeP688 - Oh, I'm not dismissive. It's just not for me. 

I'd like a decent, inexpensive zoom lens for the iPhone. Haven't found one yet. 
MikeP688 6/30/2015 | 10:59:35 AM
Re: Keyboard addiction The "pano" feature of iphone is amazing--no question.   Yet, the supplemental capabilities of Olloclip (and others that operate within the iphone "Ecosystem") underscore a sense of transformation.   The need for "SLR's" will never really go away--they just need to innovate further and yes be an engaging part of the ecosystem and be even more smart than they have.     I would also humbly suggest not to be too dismissive of start-ups like "ollo clip" because they seem to have a specific niche that serves them well.

Mitch Wagner 6/29/2015 | 5:39:00 PM
Re: Keyboard addiction I've looked into the Olloclip and I'm afraid I don't see the point. I use the panorama setting on the iPhone and in Google Photos for the equivalent of wide-angle photos, and I don't see enough need for a fisheye or macro lens to warrant buying the extra equipment. 
MikeP688 6/29/2015 | 10:47:42 AM
Re: Keyboard addiction ..and to add to thoughts from @Susan, I use my iPhone  as a SLR utilizing Ollo Clip @ http://www.olloclip.com/ which has given me some  interesting shots.   I have also been using it to produce video clips using Animoto.    The possibilities are quite limitless aren't they?

MikeP688 6/29/2015 | 10:40:40 AM
Re: Keyboard addiction Hopefully we're see an "evolution" in exercise gear so that you all don't have to pack up so much as you are.   If it is not, it should be though--because we have to be "expansive" in our view of what an "Office' should be.  :-) 
Mitch Wagner 6/29/2015 | 10:23:29 AM
Re: Keyboard addiction I pack my exercise gear when I travel. It's not shown here because it's not part of my office kit. 

I never use it, but I pack it. 
Susan Fourtané 6/27/2015 | 5:58:04 AM
Re: Keyboard addiction Mitch, 

I have also thought at some point about getting a good camera, but I believe the iPhone 6 Plus does the job pretty well. Apple keeps on improving the camera on the iPhone, and I finally see no reason to add more stuff to my office-in-a-bag.

Speaking of the iPhone, I also carry with me my Yoga Studio, FitStar personal trainer, and iRunner for my walks. There is no need to stop one's exercise routine. You can also carry your gym-in-a-bag along with your office. :)

Now that I see you also carry snacks, sometimes I carry some snacks, a bottle of water, and a Design Museum cup to avoid getting those paper cups in places, or the minuscule cups at press rooms. :D 

Mitch Wagner 6/26/2015 | 10:31:07 AM
Re: privacy screen for laptop... mhhf1ve - Good tip. Seems like another complication in an already-too-complicated go-bag, though. 
Mitch Wagner 6/26/2015 | 10:30:25 AM
Re: Kenu Airframe for $24?! mhhf1ve - The phone holder works great. It SEEMS a little loose and that worried me when I started using it. But it has never lost its grip. 

If your $3 phone holder is as good as my $25 ones, I'm going to be frustrated. 
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