Everyday (well, almost everyday), I take the train into work. I’ve discovered that there are certain things that are key to the perfect bag for commuting. I want my laptop bag to have all the essentials, but not too many extras. Other than being heavy, bulky backpacks just get in the way when navigating crowds of other commuters.
When I first started commuting into work (in method other than driving), I simply reused my laptop bag that I had used for the past few years. I quickly realized that this wasn’t a good idea and that I really needed to use a backpack. On a trip to Portland, I went into REI to take a look at their backpack selection. I figured that they would have good water-resistant options (since, #Seattle) and I found a great purple backpack! I don’t see the same one available now, but it is still available in other colors.
I’ve discovered that a wallet on chain is the perfect purse option for commuting via public transportation. I want to be able to simply toss it in my backpack; however, if I head out to lunch, I can pull the chain out (it stores inside) and wear it like a cross-body purse. When I have the chain out of this wallet, it is also large enough to store my phone inside which is convenient when out at lunch with friends or coworkers.
A couple other items that I always have on me is a manicure kit, lip balm, and warm gloves during the winter months. The manicure kit is really only for emergencies (I’m not sitting on the train doing my nails), but if I break one during the day, it will drive me crazy to not be able to fix it.
The bright pink ear protection is probably an unusual item; however, I occasionally have to go into loud environments for an extended period of time. I wanted to put a bit of my personality into my ear protection so I was excited to find a pair of hot pink ones.
I also always make sure to have my Jabra earbuds. In the past, I was always losing my headphones, or was fighting with annoying cables. I first saw the Jabra Elite 65t (and 65t Active) at CES last year in Vegas. I was so impressed with them at the show that when they launched a few months later, I went out to buy a pair for myself.
These earbuds have a charging case, and feature 4 microphones to make sure that your voice goes through on calls rather than the background noise around you.
To round out my essentials, I always have my transit pass and work ID as well as a notebook and pens. Throughout the week there may be a item that gets added if I need it for the day, but I can tell when I start to get too many items in my backpack when it starts getting a bit wide.
Do you commute to work via public transportation? What items do you consider essential to carry along?