Spyre Studios recently wrote “a post”:http://spyrestudios.com/how-to-overcome-common-mobile-office-problems/ about mobile office solutions, and upon reading it, I felt like writing about my own mobile office setup.
For me, a mobile office allows more productivity, as on the go there are way less distractions than at home. My location of choice is my local public library. It has power outlets, free wi-fi, water fountains, bathrooms, and is quite close to a commercial area with food. It’s almost perfect, except for the hard wooden seats. At least they keep me awake and focused, haha…
The library’s about a 25 minute walk from my house, which is nice. It’s a short enough walk to not be annoying, but long enough to wake me up from my morning sleepiness. I usually always go to the basement of it, which has a socially-enforced quiet room. Socially enforced meaning that if you’re loud, you’ll get glared at by other people until you shut up. I still get cell phone service down there, so I’m quite happy with it.
Here I’ll give a rundown of all the stuff I carry in my mobile office.
Obvious one is obvious. This is the most crucial part of my mobile office, what with me being a web designer and all. It’s an early 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro. It’s getting a bit old, but I recently upgraded its RAM to 4gb which keeps it chugging along pretty fast. The battery life is still quite good, and the hard drive still has plenty of room, so I don’t see myself replacing it any time soon. It’s survived quite a few falls as well, with nothing but cosmetic dents to show for it. I consider it $2000 very well spent.
Insert “pretentious artist comment”:http://www.theonion.com/articles/privileged-little-artiste-writing-something-ohsopr,6938/ right here. As cliche as it may be, I still love using my Moleskine, it’s really sturdy and compact, perfect for sketching down rough drafts of designs and such. Plus I didn’t even have to pay for mine since I got a $25 gift card from my high school upon graduating.
h4. Cell Phone/MP3 Player
I have my Blackberry Pearl and iPod Nano with me to keep me entertained while working. Both will soon be replaced by the T-Mobile G2. When I’m working, I usually find post-hardcore, popcore, and metalcore to be the most productive music for me. As much as I love death metal and the like, I can’t work to it as easily.
Now while the Spyre Studios article insists on expensive in-ears, my preferences are `different. Firstly, in-ears irritate my ears and I hate not being able to hear ambient noise, like cars coming towards me, or a mugger walking up to me. I like knowing what’s going on in the real world too. I have two pairs of headphones, a really cheap brand that I buy at a deli, and my Sennheisers. Neither are expensive at all, the deli ones costing $4 on average, and the Sennheisers costing around $25. I’ve tried more expensive headphones, but they all break just as quickly because I’m pretty rough with my stuff. I usually just use the cheap deli ones, as they’re light and don’t take much room. The Sennheisers I mostly use at home. The sound quality is average from the deli ones, and superb from the Sennheisers.
My main bag of choice is a Lowepro Camera/Laptop bag. I got it for Christmas in 2009, and it’s the most durable bag I’ve ever used, easily handling big loads and being thrown around carelessly. If you need a bag that can fit a laptop, a DSLR, and a ton of other stuff, this is your bag. It cost around $90, but it was well worth it. The straps are thick and well-padded, which makes carrying my usual 20+ pound load easy on my shoulders. I’ve gone on picnics with it, taken it on vacations, and I just generally never leave home without it. It has a water bottle holder, tons of pockets, a padded laptop compartment, a padded camera compartment with removable dividers, and a comfortable mesh back. I really cannot recommend this little guy enough, especially if you’re a pack-rat like me that needs to have *everything* at any given moment.
* Soda/Water Bottle: when I’m on my creative flow I don’t want to be interrupted to go get something to drink.
* Candy: I like to have a nice stock of it in my bag, to keep me going between meals. Plus, sugar is always great for designing.
* Several pens/pencils: because I cannot stand being that guy who doesn’t have a pen.
* Ibuprofen: For those annoying productivity-killing headaches. Pop two of these suckers and you’re good to go.
* Tissues: You never know when a mess might happen.
* Retractable iPod USB cable: For charging/syncing my iPod on the go.
* Microphone/Guitar Picks: For band practices. I used to leave them at home on the days I didn’t have practice, but I kept forgetting them, so I just leave them in all the time.
That’s the basic rundown of the stuff I carry with me every day. It’s not a very light load, but I like having all these things with me at all times. So yeah, that’s my mobile office.