What’s In My Bag — December 2015

Tom Maxwell
Dec 21, 2015 · 4 min read

I’ve succumb to the terrible end-of-year virus that is listitis! This past year I have traveled quite a lot, so you could say my Timbuk2 bag has gotten around. Perhaps consequently I have become one of those people who takes great care in meticulously planning what items to carry, and strategically, where to place them in the bag. The photo above is the best I could take right now. Below is a more detailed list on everything pictured. Worth noting that in my pocket goes an iPhone 6 Plus and on my wrist, an Apple Watch Sport.

1. Mid-2014 MacBook Pro with Retina display — I haven’t made the switch to a laptop-tablet hybrid just yet. When I need a particularly desktop app, I really need it, so I’m too scared to ditch a desktop OS for now. Fortunately the MacBook Pro with Retina display is a powerful computer with a beautifully crisp display in a body that doesn’t leave too much of a footprint.

2. Incase neoprene carrying case for MacBook Pro 13″ — My Timbuk2 has great weatherproofing with TPU that lines the whole of the inside, but the material is thin and there’s no padding. This sleeve is for peace of mind more than anything.

3. COULAX Bluetooth Headphones V4.1 — My first ever pair of wireless headphones. I’m no sound expert, but for $23 the lows were much better than I was expecting. I haven’t listened to many poppy high songs through them, though. The reviews on Amazon are overall positive.

4. Aukey 12000mAh Portable Power Bank Charger — I have an iPhone 6 Plus and I’m still perpetually worried about be caught with a dead phone. This is especially the case while traveling in new, unfamiliar places. This Aukey battery gets me about four additional full charges out of it. I’ve cycled it a lot and it has yet to explode on me, so that’s a good sign! The black slab of a battery was only $16 on Amazon, which is a far better deal than the pitiful battery case Apple has started selling, and that one isn’t even available for the jumbo-sized iPhone.

5. Beardbrand Lumber Yard Beard Oil — You never know when you’ll be out on the town for an extended period of time and need to give your beard some more shine. This is the first and only brand of beard oil I have tried, so can’t say how it compares to everything else out there. If you feel there’s a different brand I must try, tweet me.

6. Bose SoundTrue Headphones Around-Ear Style — This is the first generation of the SoundTrue’s; Bose recently came out with a new model that looks a lot more like the wide, thick stuff from Beats. As many people have said, the SoundTrue’s don’t seem tuned to any genre of music in particular. Not bass heavy, maybe even an uninspired response? That being said, and to the name of these things, they provide an astonishing clarity. I’ve noticed components in my music that I never before noticed with other headphones. I can throw these things around and not worry about them breaking, which is nice. The band bends easily and, unlike the two pairs of Beats Solo HD’s I’ve owned, has never snapped.

7. The Art and Craft of Feature Writing — This is a dense book but one that is packed full of knowledge on the process of creating feature stories from start to finish — from ideation to publication. As you may be able to tell I’ve annotated in it quite a bit. 99% of all the books I read I do so in the Kindle app on my iPhone, but this was only available in print.

8. Nexus 5 (discontinued) — I have this for playing around with new Android apps and system OS versions. It’s incredibly how snappy it still is several years after the phone’s release — a testament to how severely manufacturers and carriers muck it up with their own UI layers and bloatware.

7. ASUS ZenWatch (1st gen) — Again, just for keeping up to date with Google’s mobile OS ecosystem and being ready to test out new apps and updates as they’re released. I should probably upgrade to a newer Android Wear device soon.

8. Field Notes memo books (count 2) — Occasionally I’ll write notes by hand and transfer them to OneNote afterwards.

9. Moleskine Cahier Journal (count 2) — See previous.

10. Lexar JumpDrive TwistTurn 8GB USB Flash Drive — I think I only have this from a Bootcamp install of Windows 10 I did recently.

11. Seagate 500GB Expansion Portable Drive — I like to back up photos and other important files in multiple places in addition to Google Drive and OneDrive. That’s what this is for.

Tom Maxwell

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