My tools on the road – what is in my backpack?

A lot of my work doesn’t rely on a fixed location and as with many of us required me to maximise productivity when on the road.  Here are the common things I carry around with me:

Technical bits

  • BlackBerry 8800, couldn’t be half as effective during travel without this – knocking emails, scheduling tasks and contacting people while waiting for trains, planes etc.
  • Standard wired headset and bluetooth headset for the Blackberry
  • X60 Tablet – I’m a real tablet fan as it gives me the widest choice of input types and is much more acceptable in physical meetings than having a screen open.
  • A spare battery (and if possible charged!) so as to last a day if at conferences.
  • Mobile data card (invaluable!)
  • A portable mouse, the Logitech VX Nano.  I would not be without this portable mouse now.  The only pain is that I have to unplug the receiver before standby otherwise it wakes the laptop up – not good if like me you prefer not to toast your laptop in your bag.
  • A standard telephone headset.  When away I still have to do many conference calls, and you can never find a desk with a headset so I now just take one.  Its really changed my comfort levels during calls and takes minimal room in my bag.
  • Logitech presentation wand.  This is worth every penny!  I even find myself using it when talking just using my screen.
  • Several USB memory sticks.

Tools I use to stay effective on the road

Corporate stuff (in no particular order):

  • Lotus Notes
  • Lotus Sametime (IM and presence and sometimes web meetings)
  • AT&T Connect for integrated audio and web meetings (my preferred virtual meeting tool)
  • CSC’s PC backup and restore service
  • Confluence Wiki
  • OneNote
  • Mindjet Mind Manager Pro
  • Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000
  • Our Office Communication Server lab environment for one-to-one video calls with team members.

Consumer stuff:

  • SkyDrive to share selected files with people
  • Twitter – more colleague focused updates
  • MSN Messenger and Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 for calls back to home (I find its really nice to see the family when away – especially when abroad).
  • Facebook to keep up-to date with friends (on both web and BlackBerry)
  • Googlemail to keep up with personal emails (again on both web and BlackBerry)
  • Newsgator Feeddemon
  • Twitterberry
  • Twhirl
  • Ultramon (for when I can find a monitor on travels)

Important non-techie stuff

  • Pencils
  • Hard backed notebook (even with a tablet I still need pencil and paper at times)
  • Travel sickness tablets (tilting express trains and flights sometimes set me off but the tablets control nausea and maintain my effectiveness)
  • Flyers about our services.

Desires for the future

  • A folding screen
  • Better bag storage (thats mainly down to me!)



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