What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — James Folta

What's in my bag? issue #77

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James Folta is a humor writer and the managing editor of Points in Case. He co-created two satirical projects: The Neu Jorker and Paul Ryan magazine. He co-writes a weekly newsletter, A Newsletter of Humorous Writing, tweets at @jamesfolta, and has a website, jamesfolta.com.


About the bag

Dance of Death Tote | The Met Store ($35)
I have a lot of totes, but this one is sentimental: every month my two best friends and I spend a day exploring a part of New York City where we don’t often go. I got this tote at The Cloisters in Washington Heights on one of these Boys Days last year, between a ramble through Fort Tryon and a snack of Liebman’s hot dogs.

What’s inside the bag

Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen ($22)
Despite my bad handwriting, I prefer to do my note-taking, brainstorming, planning, plotting, journaling, and first-drafting by hand. I use this little Kaweco fountain pen a lot – it writes well, and is light and portable enough to use every day. I found out recently though, that on Zoom calls it can easily be confused for a vape. Lesson learned: it’s important to announce what is and isn’t a vape when you log onto a call.

Paperang Thermal Printer ($84)
I got this little printer a few years ago, and I love it. It’s a thermal printer, like a cash register uses for receipts, so the quality and longevity of the prints are low, but with some sticker-backed paper, it’s great for quickly putting little images, charts, and labels on things.

Muji Schedule Notebook ($10)
This is “The Book” — everything’s in my little Muji planner. In quarantine, I’ve taken to singing to myself, to the tune of “Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: “My office is wherever I’m with my book.”

The Buddha Machine by FM3
This little speaker is a music loop player by electronic musicians FM3. And it’s the only thing in my bag that’s been reviewed by Pitchfork and the New York Times. It’s the perfect music to put on when I really need to get some writing done, and need to physically separate myself from my phone and computer.

Oxford® 3” x 5” Unruled White Index Cards ($3, 2pk)
As far as tech is concerned, you can’t beat the index card. Modular, portable, infinitely adaptable. I’m convinced that any problem, regardless of size, can be solved with enough index cards. Plus stacking them up into card towers is a great way to procrastinate.


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