What is in your work bag? There is nothing like the time frame of a business trip to making organizing your work bag a priority, this is always the case for me! Over the years, I have gone through a number of different styles of work bag’s from casual satchel to formal office tote. Each one has had its pros and cons but the one thing that remains constant is what I keep in bag. For me, I build my work life balance by being comfortable and confident with my work bag. Often times when I go on a business trip, I like to consolidate my work bag and my purse together, so it needs to be
- easy to access my items but not ‘steal easy’
- not super heavy or bulky that it feels like a diaper bag
- able to have strong straps that don’t flop around on my shoulder
- able to take it through airport security and, most importantly, look good.
With these work bag needs in mind, the perfect work bag not only consists of the actual bag, but the necessary items that you keep in it. Read more and check out my list of essential items for any working women’s work bag. Learn more about packing for a trip by reading: How to Pack for a Four Day Business Trip
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The Top 10 Essential Items For Your Work Bag
The perfect work bag
Let’s be honest, it’s all about the work bag. I have three to be exact. I am obviously drawn to a single style business tote and im envious of some of my colleagues that have branched out into business backpack, but that is just not my style. I like to keep it simple with a single large pocket with some slender side pockets for my tickets, notes, a few pens maybe. There needs to be room for my laptop, charger, wallet and at least 2 or 3 miscellaneous soft pouches of my personal items. Click below to see one of my favorite work bag totes!
Hand Sanitizer Spray
I may have an unhealthy obsession, but sanitizer is a must especially if you are traveling for work and a bathroom may not be near. I keep one hand for airports as well as after using a gas pump. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, a simple one that can fit in a pocket will make all the difference in your life. I love using the spray version- no worries about sanitizer bursting in your work bag!
Personal care pack
I keep a small pouch filled with Tylenol, a travel pack of wipes, floss, hair ties and a few bobby pins. This is a perfect pocket disguise feminine products in case you need some. After applying makeup, I often throw in some tweezers, lip balm and a pressed translucent powdered (here are my favorite items)
Laptop and charger
The perfect work bag always has room for your laptop, charger and iPad. I have a 13” laptop so I like to store it right in the middle of my bag (to keep it balanced), so I can get to work wherever I might be. Often when I travel, I will put my laptop charger in a ziplock bag so it’s compact but at least handy.
Set of Notebooks
I actually have 2 main notebooks in my bag. One full letter size bound with hard covers for formal note taking and one smaller leather ‘index card’ size for my ideas, doodles on the run. I love taking notes on my device, but sometimes you just have to write some things down. My small notebook can easily travel between my work bag and personal purse. I honestly record any of my random ideas and thoughts to look at later.
Mini Desk Calendar
If you have read my posts before, you would know that I live and die by Google. Especially Google calendar. I still use this everyday to organize myself and my family (with the invitation feature for my husbands calendar!), however I recently found this amazing laptop/desk mini calendar that I use for weekly goal setting and planning for my business. I love the small spaces to set actionable tasks and the ability to pull it out of my work bag and set it up next to my laptop wherever I might be. Read: 16 Gmail Hacks that Will Change Your Life
Phone Chargers and Portable Phone Charger
Until recently, my smart phone would die in just a few hours. I didn’t feel that I overused it but as time went on, my phone became less and less able to hold a charge that I would stress after an hour of work that it was going to die and I would miss an important call from my husband or child’s school. In one particularly annoying moment, I was at a work lunch and had to plug my phone in at the hostess stand to get at least a 45 minute charge (so embarrassing!). So I bought 2 items a plug-in phone charger to keep in my bag for any location that I might find a wall plug and a mini phone charging cell that would connect with a USB to my phone in case I couldn’t find that wall plug. I did recently upgrade and buy a new smart phone, but I still live in cell phone battery fail fear.
The Perfect Set of Pens
Only as I got older did I find my love for certain types of pens to write with, crazy I know. I hate the ones that have runny ink and smear because they don’t dry right away and I really love the ones that offer multiple colors with a smooth, non-bleed ink for writing in my notebooks. It may sound a little crazy, but the right pen can really make your day! These are my absolute favorite and I find them all over my house, not only in my work bag but my purse, office drawer, car…
Blue Light Blocking Non-Prescription Glasses
I have always been blessed with pretty amazing eyesight I have never need glasses and my family always jokingly called my Hawk Eyes. Over the last few year, I have spent so many hours for both work and business on my computer or phone that I do struggle with eye strain, headaches and sometimes a hard time going to sleep. After a little research, I found out about blue light that is comes from electronic devices and the symptoms that it can cause with your eyesight, so I decided to try these non-prescription blue light glasses for when I work on my laptop or phone to help reduce my eyestrain.
Easy Access Snacks & Water
I’m a girl who likes to eat, so if my day is going long without access to ‘meal type’ food, I often turn to a few snacks that I keep in my bag that will hold me over and keep me going. I always buy a water when I get coffee, but in my bag a keep an ongoing supply of dried fruits (pretend they are candy!), some mixed nuts or other mini snacks. Read: How to Beat Brain Fog At Work With Powerful Protein!
These ten items are my most essential items and more than once, has helped me mentally stay on task and feel organized and confident as a working woman. I find work life balance in my career by knowing that I have everything I need! Let me know your favorite items in your work bag in the comments.
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