Streamlining my backpack

This week, one of the summer clerks has been using my computer for video editing. So, I had to find another vacant office to “work” in. It’s actually been kind of slow – don’t tell Scot. No, don’t do it! Just kidding, he already knows. I found an office, and it’s been my home for the past three days (including today).

Unfortunately, I’ve had to bring my laptop to work. I’m not too happy because my computer at work is a Pentium 4 3.2GHz with 1GB of RAM. Comparing that to my laptop, it’s a powerhouse. My other problem is that I now I have two things I carry with me: my backpack and my laptop bag.

I definitely need to rethink the contents I carry with me.


  • 1″ Notebook
    • legal pad
    • Makeshift tickler folders (by month only)
    • Storage pockets for loose papers
  • 2 pens, 1 pencil
  • Collapsable IR keyboard for Palm Tungsten E
  • USB cable for Tungsten E
  • Proprietary firewire cable for 3G iPod
  • iPod charger
  • Palm Tungsten E
  • 3G iPod (10GB)
  • Earphones
  • USB Microsoft 2-button optical mouse
  • Car keys
  • Chapstick, contact rewetting drops, security badge for work


  • Dell Inspiron 1100 14.1″
  • Power cable, AC adapter
  • Wireless PC card
  • More pens (since there’s 4 spots for them)
  • USB cable for LG VX4400

Do I need everything? Is there a better way to go about it?

I think I’ll be getting another USB cable for my Tungsten E (I’ll explain in another post), so that’ll be one less thing to carry. I don’t have to use the keyboard for my PDA, because I can just use Palm Desktop to write stuff in. However, it’s totally awesome for the majority of the time when I’m not using my laptop.

For my iPod, I’m best inclined to buy a spare charger and cable for work. Since I have a PocketDock Combo (Firewire + USB), I could just get a charger and 6-pin to 6-pin firewire cable. However, it’s not a top priority. I should probably top my iPod off as much as I can the night before.

Instead of carrying my notebook, I should just create a mini Hipster PDA. It wouldn’t be full-fledged because I keep my calendar and contacts on my Tungsten E. I could just use it to carry blank To-do cards and blank note cards. This way, I could just keep the notebook in my car. I basically use it for the loose papers and fliers I get in my box at Kare, plus when I run errands I can keep letter-sized papers and other odd-sized papers if needed. At work, I rarely get any papers that I need to take action on elsewhere.

Cutting down on less cables in my backpack would mean I could just put my laptop in my backpack with all the accessories listed above (less the pens). Since my backpack is fairly roomy, I’d need a laptop sleeve. Any suggestions? If it’s available through Amazon, I’ll put it in my wishlist where hopefully someone can buy it for me.

Why did I write all this if I seem to already have a plan setup? Because I wanted my thoughts in print, that’s why! It’s in my face (sort of), and I’m more inclined to implement this, especially if you bug me about it in a day or two. Plus, if any of you are having similar thoughts on this, I’m hoping this will help you out.

Here’s a review of the questions I asked, if you could answer them for me:

  • Is there a better way to go about this?
  • Any suggestions on a laptop sleeve, preferably thru Amazon?
  • Do you have any other miscellaneous suggestions that I can use?

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

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