I can’t imagine heading into the shop without my work bag. I’m not really a purse person, so I also rely on my work bag to hold basic things like my wallet and car keys.
My work bag is usually packed for a day in the paint shop, but it’s also really easy to add on things like my laptop if I’m going to be doing some design work, or even a spare change of clothes if I’m going to the gym (okay, let’s be real, I don’t actually go to the gym regularly and the only clothes I may carry around are old ratty flannels and hoodies that are covered in paint).
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Before we get into it, I should mention the type of bag I like to use. I use the Egooo Men’s Travel Backpack Bag. I am struggling to understand why this backpack is marketed for men, but nonetheless, it’s a great backpack. I’m not particular to the brand, and I know there’s a million different types of rucksack type backpacks like this, so there’s probably something out there that’s a little better. I just wanted something affordable (so not a Herschel backpack). I bought this backpack in 2016 and it’s still doesn’t have any holes in it, so it went above my expectations for something seemingly random off of Amazon. I really like the pockets in this and the drawstring closure. It fits my giant 17.3″ laptop, and also has pockets with zippers on the inside that I can put my keys and wallet in without them going to the bottom of the bag. I also use this bag on weekend trips or as a carry-on when I’m flying.
I could (and am planning to) write an entire post about notebooks. I always carry my bullet journal when I’m out at work, at meetings, or traveling. The notebook I use for this is the BooQuool Dotted Grid Journal. It’s the first dotted notebook I found that I actually like enough to keep using. My second notebook shown above is the one I use specifically for work (to do lists, material lists, inventory tracking, etc). This one is from Brandless. I’m not super tied to the brand; I just liked that it was cheap, durable, and had a hard cover so I could use it to write on if I didn’t have a table. I typically go through 1-2 notebooks a year for work. In addition to these notebooks, I also have at least 4 writing utensils in my bag (both pencils and pens).
Deodorant. Oh man, I’m super thankful I keep this in my bag for days where I get super sweaty on the job and then have a meeting right afterwards.
Ibuprofen is a must have. I actually prefer to use Excedrin over Ibuprofen, but this is what I have in my bag currently and it still gets the job done. Especially when the cold cut saw is going full force and you already have a pounding headache.
Lip balms. Currently, I have Carmex and Glossier’s Balm Dot Com in my work bag. I also have lip balm in my car and my jacket pocket.
I also normally have a handful of hair ties in my work bag. Somewhere in there.
Ear protection! I like to carry my own in case the shop I’m at doesn’t supply ear plugs. Check out my post about PPE to learn more about my preferences.
I also always have some sort of snack in my work bag that’s not perishable. Normally it’s either peanuts, a Clif Bar, or a Luna bar. Something to tide me over if I’m super hungry (let’s be real – hangry). I also like to carry around snacks just in case someone I’m working with needs some extra fuel for their workday. You are only as strong as the people you work with (when you’re working in a paint shop specifically), so help each other out!
Bluetooth earphones have been such a game changer for me when it comes to working out or just painting alone in my studio. These are the TaoTronics Magnetic Bluetooth Earphones. I do not recommend wearing any headphones or earphones while working in the shop, but I still have these in my bag. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to a podcast over lunch break! These come with a little bag and charging cable.
Having an external battery charger has been incredible. I have the PowerAdd External Power Bank. I bought this one in 2016, so I’m sure there are better options available nowadays for external chargers.
In addition to an external battery charger, I also carry a normal micro USB charging cable and power adapter. I can’t work without playing music, which means my phone is perpetually dying, so this has been nice to have to plug in my phone and not worry about having to recharge an external charger later on.
I wanted to talk about my wallet in this post because I feel like I have finally found one that works for me. I don’t carry around a purse, nor do I like those large clutch style wallets. I wanted something I could put in my pockets or throw in my bag and not worry about. This is the MEKU Slim Leather Wallet. I have 11 cards in mine (yes, I just counted), plus some cash in the middle pocket.
Because I carry that large backpack around, I can actually fit my lunch and some thermoses in it if I ever wanted to. I normally carry around my coffee thermos in my bag, but lately, I’ve been carrying both a water thermos and a coffee thermos in an attempt to drink more water. The one I use for coffee is the Stanley 16oz Thermos. I got this at Field & Stream, but I think they also sell this at Walmart and stores like that. Anyone who’s worked with me in the past 2 years will know I’m attached to this thermos. The other thermos pictured is a Klean Kanteen from BMI Supply. I honestly have no idea where this came from, but it was probably free swag from something. I like that these are spill proof, easy to clean, and I won’t feel bad if I lose them somewhere in the shop.
Whatever I carry in my work bag fluctuates a lot, but this is what I currently have. What’s something you have to have in your work bag? Do you all even have a work bag? Let me know!