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15 Essentials That Should Always Be In Your Bag

15 Essentials That Should Always Be In Your Bag

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They say that the best way to understand a person is to look inside her bag. The items we choose to carry can reveal who we are to the rest of the world. When it comes to packing your work bag, it’s all about maximizing utility. Bag space is limited, and you can’t carry everything.

That’s why we polled over one thousand of our customers to discover the most common objects that people keep in their work bag. They range from the sort of stuff you would expect (chargers) to less common items (favorite chocolate bars). If you’re having trouble deciding what to keep (laptop) and what to toss (assorted coins that don’t fit in your wallet) this insight into the psychology of the average professional might help. From the least commonly to most commonly carried items in a work bag, can you guess what's in the top 5?

15. Others - 5.1%

For all the objects that aren't big enough to have their own label and not small enough to be left out entirely. Here's to the 'Others,' from the Nintendo Switch to a Lucky Rabbit's Foot.

14. Shoes - 27%

Over one quarter of all respondents carry a pair of shoes in their work bag. Life hack for saving space (and time) - consider storing an extra pair of sneakers at your office or at the gym. You'll thank yourself when you forget them that one time.

13. Tablet - 30.8%

Tablets are an incredibly common and convenient alternative to the heavier laptop. If you’re looking to carry light, a professional tablet can provide you similar functionality at a fraction of the weight. Many of the respondents carry both a laptop and tablet in their bag as well.

12. Clothes - 31.5%

Whether it's an extra jacket for those windy days or a set of gym clothes, packing some extra clothes is popular with over 31% of our customers. The only downside? They can eat up space and add unnecessary weight. Consider limiting yourself to lighter clothing made of materials like jersey, or renting a locker at your gym.

11. Books - 39.5%

Reading a physical book can be a gem in this age where we're constantly addicted to screens. If you want to save space, also consider a kindle or e-reader. You can download a kindle app to your phone and it will sync with your desktop or tablet apps.

10. Papers - 46.5%

This is a work backpack, after all. Luckily, the workplace is becoming more and more digital, so a paperless future is entirely possible!

9. Pouches - 47.2%

Pouches are a great way to stay organized, especially when you're on the go. From your tech pouch to your coin purse to your makeup pouch. Make organizing work for you and prevent clawing around your bag when you need to find that one thing.

8. Food/Snacks - 56.4%

Lunch in the city can be expensive. Just ask anyone who's paid $15 for a sandwich on top of their $4 coffee. Packing lunch can be a great way to cut down some costs and some snacks throughout the day help satisfy those cravings too! Apples and oranges usually cost less than a dollar each, and they’re far lower in calories than the pseudo-healthy granola bars you might buy from a vending machine.

7. Notebooks - 62.5%

One of the best way to remember things is to write it down. You can save space by switching to an app like Notion, the “notes” function on some phones, or by using a Google Doc to jot down your thoughts. 

6. Headphones - 63%

Listening to music is a great way to make your commute more enjoyable. Airpods are the obvious space saver, but if you don’t want to skimp on sound, over the ear headphones might be worth their weight. Some people also carry a set of wireless and over the ear headphones for different use cases.

5. Phone Charger - 67.1%

You can’t listen to music without a charged phone. That’s probably why the majority of people carry their charger with them in their bag, like the ISM Leather Charger.

4. Computer Charger - 71.9% 

When you bring your own laptop, a charger is essential. If space in your bag is tight, consider purchasing an additional charger and leaving it at work. Labeling it is a simple move that saves the headache of finding your charger later.

3. Water Bottles - 73.8%

We're all probably dehydrated so it's important to drink enough water throughout the day. Not only are reusable water bottles convenient, but they are better for the environment. You can fit more into your bag with a compact model, like ISM’s flat water bottle.

2. Keys - 78.4%

The real question is - how is it possible that nearly one quarter of respondents don’t carry keys? How are they getting into their house?

1. Laptop - 90%

The vast majority of people carry a laptop in their workbag. After all, this is the early 21st century and these are the working tools of the trade.