Your work bag is an essential part of your busy day — and it will serve you best if you stock and organize it well. As anyone who’s ever run to a drugstore for a midday Tide to Go pen knows, some prep work simply makes life easier. From items to help you freshen up to tech that can save you on your commute, here’s what you shouldn’t leave home without.
1. Phone Power
A portable charger or phone cover with a built-in power source will save you from a low-battery signal even when you’re far from an outlet. If you use a bigger portable charger with more power capacity, you don’t have to recharge it every night, and you can plug in multiple devices at once.
Tampons, tissues, ibuprofen, hand lotion: Make a list of the products you use frequently (or the products you constantly wish you had on you). Next time you hit up the drugstore, grab some travel-size versions.
3. Mini Makeup Bag
Think simple: lipstick, mini mascara, and items that do double duty, such as a multi-use liner and eye shadow pencil. Throw in a rollerball perfume to freshen up — and don’t forget a small mirror if you’re applying on the go or blotting papers to fix a shiny forehead fast.
4. Business Cards
You never know when you’re going to run into someone who could be a potential client or even employer. Make sure you have business cards on hand so you can quickly give your contact information to people you meet. Consider a card case to keep them crisp and easy to find.
Your office kitchen doesn’t have hot sauce? There’s no reason to get stuck with bland food. Stock up on mini packets of salt and pepper, sauces, stevia, or anything else you like to have when it’s time for a snack or lunch on the go.
6. Book or E-Reader
You’ll almost always need to take a break during your workday, or you may be waiting an extra half hour at your doctor’s office. Always have something to read to keep you occupied. It’s more productive, relaxing, and rewarding than being sucked into Facebook on your phone.
7. Snack Bar
Snack emergencies happen. Granola, protein, or fiber bars, or any type of snack bar that doesn’t spoil quickly, can save you when your stomach starts growling.
You know what helps calms you down, whether it’s a stress ball, lavender mist, or lozenges. Make sure that you carry something that will help take the edge off and that you can easily pull out in the office, while waiting in line, or on your commute.