If I’m working at a coffee shop for the day (I like to do that 1-2 days/week, even though I work from home), or if I’m on a trip, I’ll likely bring some combination of the following.
- Backpack – My current favorite is the Bullet Ruck 15L. It fits a 15″ laptop quite comfortably, and since I carry my laptop in a sleeve I’m not as worried about it getting scratched up or bumped around.
- Laptop – 15″ 2018 MacBook Pro with a leather sleeve. I debated between the 13″ and 15″, but ultimately decided a more powerful computer and a larger screen would be a good thing, especially for more eyes. I’ve started getting tired of staring at small screens. So far (and it’s still quite new) I haven’t had any problems with the keyboard.
- Stand – For the past few years I’ve been using the Roost Laptop Stand. And, while it looks a bit funny, I’ve found it incredibly useful and compact. It helps me use my laptop with a mouse, and elevates it to where I’m not staring down at the table while I’m typing.
- Mouse – I use the Apple Magic Mouse 2 with side bumpers from elevation lab. It helps make the mouse feel a bit more wide in the hand, and might make it more ergonomic.
- Keyboard – Currently using the Magic Keyboard, I like that it has an on/off toggle finally! I can disable it in my backpack so it doesn’t try typing away on my laptop.
- Mousepad – I have a leather one I picked up a while back, and love it. I’ve started using this less and less, but sometimes I find the tables at coffee shops can feel sticky, and in those cases having a mousepad is a good thing.
- Power – Right now I have a bit of a problem. My iPad and laptop use USB-C for power, my phone uses Lightning, and my headphones use Micro USB. The way I solve this is by bringing 2-3 cords at a time, as well as power bricks. I also carry a small phone charger with a lightning cable built in. I also carry this power strip along wherever I go. It functions as an extension cord and lets me plug everything into one outlet if necessary. My only negative is that the outlet area is a bit bigger than I’d like.
- iPad – Wherever I go I typically bring my iPad Pro (2018 12.9″) with an Apple Pencil. I’ve been doing a lot more illustrations lately and love having it around.
- Timer – This is a new edition to my set. I’ve started using a physical timer to help me focus for 24-45 minute periods of time without distractions. The only negative with the one I picked up is the screen scratches VERY easily.
- Pencil and paper – My current favorite setup is a mechanical pencil with a Steno Field Notes. I really like having my notes lay flat, and steno pads do that the best.
- Headphones – For Christmas my wife bought me some refurbished noise canceling headphones. They work perfectly. I love them. I lost my AirPods around the same time, so I’m waiting to pickup some new ones. As a backup I carry some Apple Earpods as well.
- Jacket – Wherever I go I also bring my Patagonia Puffer Jacket. Never know if it will get cold, even in a coffee shop.
When I’m in town I like to visit my favorite coffee shop / coworking space a few days a week. Since I work for a distributed company, they offer a coworking allowance which covers what I might spend on coffee (decaf vanilla late with caramel and oat milk please), as well as the cost of using the adjoining coworking area.
It’s kind of a funny thing, but at home I’ve gotten in the habit of sitting in a likely unergonomic fashion. I don’t have my legs on the ground, instead I sit on one and adjust my legs throughout the day. When I’m at a coffee shop I keep my shoes on, and tend to sit in a way that’s better for my posture.
The only negative is most places outside of my house are loud, so taking calls can be a bit more challenging.
Working from home
At home there’s a few additional things that makeup my office. I have a standing/sitting desk (which I keep in the sitting position 95% of the time), and an IKEA Markus, chair, previously recommended on the Wirecutter. Planning to upgrade both of these this year, so I’ll post my findings when I do.
For a monitor I’m currently using the LG UltraFine 5K display. I like to have it facing directly in front of me, with the laptop off to the side on the Roost stand.