My New Year’s Resolution, in one word, was to be COLLECTED. A big part of that, for me, was having my work stuff a lot more organized and together for the upcoming year. To me, that meant having traveling office supplies that both functioned beautifully and looked good. I’m not talking specifically about #VanLife office stuff—this is the gear that comes with me no matter where in the world I am, and I use it all pretty much daily. No special/fancy/extraneous stuff in this list (though a lot of it is beautiful!).
MacBook Air 11″: I remember having a huge debate with myself over the 11- or 13-inch MacBook Air, but I ultimately went for the 11-inch and I am so, so happy that I did. It fits in pretty much any purse (some better than others) and I’m going on three years of great use. It doesn’t have a ton of storage, but a big USB memory stick solves that issue, and I’ve been so happy with it. (The refurbed one on Amazon is now well under $700, so it’s actually a great price for a Mac computer!)
AWbyAndreaWong Ciabatta Bag: I just wrote in-depth about why I love this bag, but to reiterate, it is just the right size for a mobile office of a computer and a few other minor sundries. I cannot say enough good things.
Phone credit card sleeve: I was given one of these adhesive credit card sleeves by a friend this summer, just a freebie she’d gotten at a conference. I didn’t think much of it, but slapped it on my phone case. And holy crap, what a difference! I keep just one credit card and my license in it, and I’ve realized that 99 percent of the time, that’s all I need. It’s so helpful for always having my stuff on me, and I’m a lot less nervous about losing track of my stuff, since I always have my phone on me.
Rapha Essentials Case and Rapha Transfer Wallet: This, I admit, was a largely aesthetic choice, but it’s equally practical, and easy to distinguish as mine since I have the matching set now. The Essentials Case is one that I’ve owned, lost, and now, own again, and I’ve loved it the whole time. It doesn’t have a lot of separators, but it’s great if you just need to carry cash and a few cards. Then, I have the Transfer Wallet for my travel stuff—passport, other cards, etc.—and it has a great folder on the front to slip a plane ticket into so you’re good to go in airports and don’t end up fumbling for passes constantly. (If there’s one thing that immediately makes me feel not collected, it’s taking ages shuffling through stuff for my passport and boarding pass.)
Sony A6000 Camera: I get asked about cameras a lot, and I’ve had this for two years now and it’s still perfect. Small enough that it fits in my purse/jersey pocket, but good enough quality photos that it’s enough for any amateur photog. The wifi and accompanying phone app make it ideal for those of us who love Instagram and immediate results, and it’s super intuitive and easy to use. (I recommend an extra battery if you’re on the road a lot.)
Sugar Paper Document Envelope at Target: I’ve had tons of plastic and paper folders for things like printed tickets for RyanAir, or the random document that actually needs to be in hard copy. And I have ripped and wrecked them all. A couple months ago, I stumbled across this leather document envelope while browsing Target (as one does) and it was a game-changer. Sounds minor, but to not have all of my papers getting crumpled or ripped, and staying organized, has made me feel so much more collected in the last two months.
Texture app: I love magazines and it’s part of my job to stay current with what people are interested in, trends, etc. So, I’m a huge fan of Texture by Next Issue, which is like the Netflix of magazines. (I’ve talked about it on here a million times already!) It’s the best app I’ve found for magazines, and I’ve tried a few. If you travel a lot for work, I can’t recommend this enough.
Waterproof Backpack: Right now, I’m using a custom Timbuk2 backpack that I absolutely love, but I’ve been a huge fan of Ortlieb’s waterproof range for ages as well. Really, just having something that can handle rainy days going from the van to the coffee shop, or walking across town, is key.