What’s in my Bag in 2017

As part of a new yearly tradition, I am going to take inventory of what I carry around in my bag. I have my bag with me almost everywhere I go. As rare as it sounds for someone living in Los Angeles, I walk and bike a lot, and I am regularly working on-the-go, so I’m constantly optimizing and changing what I carry.

Here are the things I’ve found to be the best or most effective items to have with me all the time. With these things, I can be productive at pretty much any place on the planet with an internet connection.

  1. Patagonia Black Hole Packback - Confession: I have a thing with bags. I'm on a quest to find the right backpack for daily use and for travel. There's a lot I like about this bag, but it's not perfect. It's got good open space, but I'm often digging around trying to find things at the bottom. It has a good sleeve for my laptop, but there could be a few more compartments. It's comfortable for cycling and walking, and it easily has enough space to be an overnight bag. Most importantly, it looks cool. That said, I suspect I'll have a new bag in rotation in the near future.
  2. Tom Bihn Guardian Light - This waterproof light is helpful to see inside my bag or to guide my way when attached to the outside of the bag.
  3. MacBookPro, 13-inch, Space Grey and MacBookPro power adapter - It's sporting a Reaction Commerce sticker, of course.
  4. 9.7-inch iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard - It took me some time to find the right use cases for the iPad. It's now my go-to for note taking in meetings.
  5. Apple Pencil. I love taking notes with the Pencil.
  6. Amazon Basics Felt Laptop Sleeve - This is as simple as simple gets, and that's what I love about it. It looks good without any fuss. When I don't need my entire backpack, I can carry my laptop in this sleeve and take it into any meeting.
  7. Kindle Voyage with blue leather cover - I do love my Kindle, and it's a rare trip when I don't travel with it.
  8. iPhone 7 Plus, Jet Black with Brown Leather Case - "The best camera is the one you have with you."
  9. Apple Lightning EarPods - I mostly use these for calls.
  10. DONGLES! Sigh.
  11. iPhone wall charger + cable
  12. Five-Minute Journal - For me, daily journaling has been a life saver.
  13. Passport - Always prepared to go, go, go.
  14. Hustle bag - I can’t remember where I got this. Maybe Etsy? Love it
  15. Tom Bihn Snake Charmer Bag - This one is handy for cords and cables.
  16. USB C Charger,Tronsmart 30W Dual USB Wall Charger with Quick Charge - This is handy, especially in hotels, and it charges quickly.
  17. Sunshine-tipway Memory Card Reader
  18. Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank - ABC: Always Be Charging
  19. Kensington international plug adapter with dual USB charging ports - My carry-to-use ratio on this one is questionable, but when I've needed it, it's been a lifesaver.
  20. Aukey 4-port USB Car Charger - I can't tell you how many times I've been in a Lfyt/Uber, rental car, or friends car and needed desperately to be able to charge my phone.
  21. Cord taco
  22. Retractable HDMI cable
  23. Micro USB to USB cable
  24. Belkin multi-headphone splitter
  25. Various USB to Lightning cables
  26. Retractable HDMI cable with ethernet
  27. Kingston Digital 128GB Data Traveler SE9 G2 USB 3.0
  28. Earbuds - I've had these for a long time. I use them mostly for listening to music/podcasts when flying as they're more comfortable
  29. JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth Earbuds - These rock for running.
  30. Reaction Commerce Notebook
  31. Reaction Commerce Stickers - It's always good to have these on hand to be able to give them away.
  32. Tom Binh accessory bag pen/pencil, clear - Great for pens.
  33. Lamy Pico Ballpoint Pen - I have a minor obsession with pens. This just happens to be in rotation at the moment.
  34. Twin Tip Sharpie
  35. Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.5 Black Pen - This is an all-time favorite pen.
  36. Pocket Size Tape Measurer This comes in handy more than you can imagine.
  37. Garmin 735XT watch - I'm a big fan of Garmin gear and their software.
  38. Patagonia Ultra Light Down Vest - I often have an additional layer in my bag for temperature changes, cold conference rooms, cold planes, etc.
  39. Merino Wool Buff - This has multiple purposes. It pulls my hair back, it can be a scarf, and it keeps my head warm.
  40. LA Dodgers Baseball Cap - When bad hair day hits, this hat comes to the rescue. Go Dodgers!
  41. Muji business card holder
  42. Deck of cards - An old school game of solitaire is still a great way to unwind. Playing reminds me of my grandparents.
  43. Bucky Eye Mask - Comes in handy way more than you’d think.
  44. Earplugs - Loud hotels, loud planes, loud trains, loud coffee shops, loud airports, loud people, loud... be gone. For when I just want quiet and am not interested in music.
  45. Freitag Wallet - I have a few wallets that I rotate between. I’ve had this Freitag for many years, and it's simple and minimalist. When I carry a larger wallet, I tend to pile up unnecessary receipts, cards, and coins.
  46. Warby Parker eyeglass case & cleaning cloth
  47. Lindberg n.o.w. eyeglasses and case - These glasses are, by far, my most favorite and receive a lot of compliments. They are crazy lightweight and very comfortable.
  48. bkr Glass Water Bottle - I am one of those people who fills up their water bottle at the airport. This is a good size. Not too big. Not too small. I prefer glass over metal or plastic bottles. To me, the water tastes better in glass.
  49. Miscellaneous personal items
  50. Tom Binh accessory bag medium, clear - This pouch holds various personal items. Clear is key to easily be able to see at a glance what I'm looking for.
  51. Aveda Blue Oil - This stuff is super helpful when I need to relax and calm down on a stressful day.
  52. Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy - I also have some of this on my desk at the office.
  53. Aesop Rosehip Seed lip cream - I could write a small novel on lip balms. I won't, but I could.
  54. Advil and Aleve in small pill case from MoMA
  55. Burts Bees Lip Shimmer
  56. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment Skin Protectant
  57. Aquaphor Lip Repair - Life saving
  58. Pure Protein bar - For those hangry moments
  59. Five Rain Spearmint Gum - True confession: I’m kind of addicted.
  60. Refresh eye drops - I have an eye condition that makes my eyes dry which causes them to tear up all the time. Also, staring at a computer screen for too long makes my eyes tired and dry.
  61. Hotlix Toothpicks, mint and cinnamon- Promise me you’ll let me know if I have food in my teeth, okay?
  62. Glide Dental Floss - See above.
  63. Mirror - I got this at the MoMA store in NYC.
  64. Bandana - Never leave home without a bandana or handkerchief.
  65. Tissues Travel Pack
  66. Face and Hand Wipes
  67. Reflective, Neoprene Pant Strap for Biking - Having ruined a couple pairs of pants while biking, these are a lifesaver.

That's a lot of stuff! If you add it all up, there are about 67 items that I’m carrying around almost all the time. It will be fun to see how these numbers change over time.


Sara Hicks

Sara is the Co-Founder and CEO of Reaction Commerce. Her skills span product management, team building, user experience, operations and strategy in ecommerce, advertising, hosting and marketplaces.


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