• Cloudway Partners

What's In Your Electronics Bag?

Most of us carry our laptops in a backpack or shoulder bag. The days of briefcases are long gone. And in our bags, we carry all sorts of cables, chargers, and gadgets. There is a limitless array of things to put in your bag to make your life easier and power all your stuff. You could spend hours on Amazon reviewing gadgets. And the gadgets change frequently and are improved continuously. And too many gadgets can get heavy. So, how to go about deciding what to put in your bag? Here is my approach:

I devised 4 use cases which encompass the situations I typically find myself in:

  1. On a plane: I will likely need to charge my iPhone and possibly iPad (I like to watch movies and series from Amazon and Netflix while flying). That requires a charger capable of charging both devices simultaneously, plus cables. The laptop should hold a charge for 8 hours, so no charging needed unless I drained it previously or am on an international flight (and I tend to try and sleep on overseas flights – I suggest you do too. More on that later).

  2. At a customer site: A good consultant is self-sufficient and can also support team members. All you need is a plug, and maybe not even that. When at a client site, I need to be able to work off my laptop, connect to the internet, present to a conference room TV, and charge devices.

  3. At a hotel: Hotels have gotten pretty good about providing power and USB outlets. Still, you need to recharge everything at night, including your Apple watch, Fitbit, phone, headphone, AirPods, etc.

  4. Driving: I seldom drive, but for those of you who spend a lot of time on the road, prepare for it.

The list below shows what is in my bag. The devices are optimized so most can cover more than one use case, and there is some redundancy built in, in case something gets lost (which will definitely happen). The goal here is to balance self-sufficiency and versatility with weight.

  1. DS-82 Passport Renewal Application (fill this out in advance – it will save you time when you need it) https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/forms.html

  2. DS-64 Lost or Stolen Passport Form

  3. A color copy of your passport, driver’s license, Global Entry card and any other federal and state ID you have.

  4. 2 color photographs for your passport on photo paper. This should be the same photo that is on your passport and the same size. Ever try to get a passport photo taken in a foreign country?

  5. Printed map of the location of the US embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting.

  6. Address, phone number, and operating hours of said embassy/consulate. Many require an appointment to replace a passport.

  7. Put all of this in a PDF and store it in the cloud and on your phone, so you can reprint it in case of a total catastrophe.

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No, you’re not. Many companies today like to refer to themselves as “technology companies.” I find this both quaint and puzzling. Just because you produce lots of revenue and pay lots of bills and hav