What's In My Workbag

For a title couldn’t decide between what’s in your bag (like what’s in your wallet) or what’s in a bag (like what’s in a name). Choose your own adventure, friends.

I wanted to share the essentials that you will find in my work bag. It isn’t always this curated…there are definitely days when there is a random pair of socks in there or a full outfit just because. But, in general there are the essentials that I keep in my workbag to ensure that I’m prepared for days on the go.

Here we go (explained in ‘rows’ from left to right):

BANDANA: This is a staple in my work bag. You never know when you will need one to throw on to complete your outfit, tie to your bag, or use in your hair.

HARD DRIVES: I always have 1-2 hard drives with me for photo and video storage. They’re super useful especially when it comes to large photo files clogging up my laptop’s hard drive. I recently got some simple holders for them off of Amazon to ensure they’re snug and protected.

NOTEBOOK ADDICT: It’s rare to find just one notebook in my bag…there’s usually at least two. They’re full of notes from meetings, random doodles, and my to-do lists (along with more random doodles of course).

ESSENTIALS BAG: I fell in love with the cute glasses pattern of this little bag when I found it in Chicago a few years ago. I think that it’s supposed to be for pens/pencils but I have used it for multiple things from receipts I need to keep to coupons I need to use. Currently, it’s my essentials bag which stocks random items that you might need if you are out working for the day: hair tie, glasses wipes, band aids, extra contacts, etc.

PEN CASE: This adorable zipper case (thanks Rebel Reclaimed) holds a few different pens, Sharpie, and usually a rogue lip gloss. It’s nice to be able to grab a pen when you need it vs. doing the frantic bottom of the bag search. Also, it keeps them a bit more contained to avoid random pen marks and ink stains.

SNICK SNACK: I like to keep a snack in my bag especially for long days when I’m out working with clients or cozied up in a coffeeshop. These need Coffee Almond Crunch Bites from The Gluten Free Bar and Ferris Coffee are perfect. Gluten free and a portion of their proceeds goes to Artists Creating Together which is a great organization in Grand Rapids.

NECKLACE: Without fail, there’s typically some kind of necklace floating in my bag. It’s either the leftover of an outfit that never made it back onto it’s hook at home or purposefully there (like the bandana) in case it’s needed. Silly, but it’s been helpful more than once.

POWER TRIP: This little holder is another staple in the bag. It holds a cord to charge my phone, back up hard drive cord, headphones, and an external power bank (see the little polka dotted square in the photo). It’s nice to have a place to house these pieces instead of having full out cord chaos throughout the bag.

BOOK: It’s different from week to week but there’s typically a book in my bag. If I need a mental break I will read a few pages to give my mind some freedom. My latest is A Little Princess but don’t worry, next week it will be a book on the study of workplace leadership development and the week after that it will be Amy Poehler’s memoir.

LIP STUFFS: Like a lot of people, I usually have a lip something roaming around my bag. Could be a balm could be a full on lipstick but it’s in there somewhere. I like this Dior Lip Pomade which is super hydrating (can’t find it anywhere right now?) and has a cap that stays on well in a bag.

BUSINESS CARDS: I found this little plastic holder at Office Max for .25-no joke. It’s perfect for business cards because it has a snap top and holds a lot. Even if you have a nicer card holder to whip out during business meetings, it’s nice to have a back up stack in this simple holder.

THE BAG ITSELF: My ride or die is the Madewell Transport Tote. Ever since Doug got this for me as a gift it’s been my go-to. It holds a lot, looks nicer than the average laptop bag, and can moonlight as a purse if you are heading somewhere fun at night. My other is the Mark & Graham Brooklyn Tote. My sister-in-law/brother-in-law/kiddos got this for me for my birthday this year. It’s a different shape than the Madewell bag which is nice for days that I have to carry more items and has a completely different look.

What are the essentials in your work bag? Would love to hear more about the items you love!


*I partnered with all the fun folks behind this new GFB product but all content and opinions are my own.