Friends: I am not handling our announced return to office plans well. I've long felt that I'm infinitely more productive at home when my commute is from my kitchen to the home office. The days that I do travel to the office, it's 28 miles one-way and can take up to an hour if traffic is gnarly. Coming home is the same story. 56 miles and up to two hours in the car is not easy, but hey - I can at least catch up on Podcasts and Audiobooks!
Having to go in to the office on average three days a week and surrender my assigned seat means that I needed to get creative with how I pack - and unpack - my mobile office kit.
eBags Pro Slim Laptop Backpack
$149.99 MSRP, Purchased for $89.99.
I love this backpack. I've used the larger eBags Pro Slim Weekender for work trips all over the U.S. and Europe. You can fit so much stuff in it! But, it's too big to take to/from work every day. I need something just like the Weekender, but smaller.
Enter the eBags Pro Slim Backpack: It has compartments for my chargers, laptop, tablet, mouse, keyboard, work phone, water bottle, and everything in between. It's perfect for what I need to keep my whole remote work kit together.
Logitech MX Anywhere 3 for Mac - White
$79.99 MSRP, Purchased for 20% off with Black Friday coupon.
I have a Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse with a USB-A dongle plugged into my docking station in my home office. I can switch between my work 16" M1 MacBook Pro and my personal 14" M1 MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt 4 cord. I can also toggle the pairing button on the MX Master and switch to the PC I have under the desk. Ah, technology - it's great when it works.
But here's where size matters: I don't want to haul around a 5 ounce bulky mouse. I wanted something compact, and there's no better manufacturer of productivity mice right now than Logitech, so I purchased a svelte, 3.5 ounce Logitech MX Anywhere 3 for Mac mouse in white (bonus: it will match my Keychron Q1 Pro in White Shell keyboard at home).
The purchase came with a free Logitech felt travel case, so I can stash my MacBook Pro charger & a high-quality USB-C charging cable as well to cut down on backpack clutter.
I mentioned I have a Keychron Q1 Pro mechanical keyboard, but sweet babby jeeber is that bulky and heavy. There's no way I'm taking that with me. I went tried and true here: the Apple Magic Keyboard that our employee productivity team bundled with the laptop. I'll have to carry an USB-C to Lightning cable with me to charge, but I'd have to do that anyway with my company-issued iPhone 12.
I'm not a huge fan of the Magic Keyboard, but it'll have to do (unless you know of a lightweight, ultra-portable mechanical, but I'm not entirely sure they exist).
Keeping my phone charged is important. I don't connect to our Employee Wi-Fi and try to keep a firewall between work and personal devices, so sitting on 5G or LTE all day can really do a number on my iPhone 15 Pro Max battery. I keep a small UGREEN 30W USB-C Charger in my bag with a UGREEN USB-C to USB-C 100W cable, which can also be used to charge my work 16" M1 MacBook Pro. It works like a charm and can get me from 40-80% quickly in a pinch.
Yo. You gotta stay hydrated and this Kleen Canteen stainless water bottle does the trick. It fits easily in the zip-out side pocket water bottle holder on the eBags Pro Slim Laptop Backpack and is just the right size to necessitate getting up from my desk almost every hour to refill.
If I add more items to my kit, I'll be sure to update this post. For now, though, it's the day after Christmas and I don't have to think about going back to the office for a week.