For any of you that have spotted from previous posts that I mainly work from home, it may seem a little odd that I have a work bag. But bearing in mind that I don’t always work from the same room, a work bag is necessary to avoid those tricky “stuff all over the stairs” incidents. In fact I work in three spaces: my study, where I’m typing this now, the sitting room sofa, where I sprawl while doing research or waiting for postie and deliveries, and on rare and lovely occasions at the garden table, where the wifi signal is stronger than on the top floor, and I can enjoy the company of the occasional cheeky squirrel.
Choosing The Bag
The work bag itself is a rather bright eBay find at a bargainous £5. It cheers me up, and there’s no danger of misplacing it. It’s also one of those totes that will stand upright without throwing its contents all over the floor, which is another reason in my book to love it. Inside there’s a zip pocket and two slip pockets , with a further slip pocket on the front. So far it’s standing up to a fairly substantial loading of books, notebooks and stationery without complaint.
So what do I tote around the house? It varies a little week to week, but currently it’s holding:
– an A4 Geekydori in a Parisian print, containing two A4 lined notebooks. These hold my blog records of posts written and published.
– an A4 concertina folder in black. Here I keep my monthly and weekly task lists from Charlie Gibley at Productive Flourishing, which help to keep me on track. I also use this file to trap ideas for writing: pictures and articles from magazines, products, offers, tickets and items for journaling, in fact all the paper debris that otherwise fills the bottom of my bag in a kind of anarchist’s origami.
A4 Geekydori in a Paris print
– three slim A5 monthly planners. Three sounds a bit excessive, right? But the system that works for me is one to task myself with my week’s work, and one to record what I actually did. The third is my record of articles written and blogs posted, in case I ever need to track down a post in the future to link to it.
– my Erin Condren notebook. My, the paper in this is swoonworthy! It’s here that I capture all the things I have learned from online research, so I can track them down again. It has a helpful layout with a bullet points note column at the far right of each two pages, meaning I can highlight the key issues.
– two Hema A5 notebooks. When I go out, one of them goes with me. It’s my capture notebook for all ideas that occur to me. It’s a mad mess of squiggles, mind mapping, pens and highlighters, but it gets the job done. The second is my brain dump, as in David Allen’s Getting Things Done. That gets decanted to my monthly planners, to ensure I actually Get All The Things Done.
Erin Condren and Hema notebooks
– two pencil cases. Did I mention I was a stationery geek? One has black pens – biro, ink gels – and the other holds colours. The excessive amount of black pens actually helps me when I need to do a lot of handwriting, as I have some wrist and finger issues. Changing to a different grip and ink texture seems to help.
Kate Spade personal planner and a couple of spotty pencil cases, one from Paperchase, and I think the second was from Asda
– a small stationery pouch. You never know when you’ll be needing a stapler, tape, paper clips, post its and other supplies. And binder clips. Particularly if you happen to be working at the garden table. There’s a limit to how many pages you can hold down by covering them with other books.
Mini office supplies in a purse from Pia
There’s space for my phone in one of the slip pockets, and I see I have some sneaky extra pens in the other, along with a stray glue stick. My Kindle Fire slips among the notebooks happily. My widescreen laptop does just fit in the bag, but I normally use my Kipling laptop bag to give it some extra padding. Memory sticks go into the back zip pocket as I’m sure I would cry if I lost one of these little beauties.
There’s room at the side for a water bottle. And a small picnic, if it’s one of those halcyon days when I get to work in the garden. So far this year (and it’s May now), it’s been open for a slightly chilly but sunny afternoon.