What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — Jane Friedman


What's in my bag? issue #65

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Jane Friedman is a publishing consultant and writer who (during non-pandemic times) regularly speaks at conferences around the world. Her goal is to help writers better understand the business of publishing and how to succeed in the industry on their own terms. As a writer and editor who works with all of her clients virtually, it’s hard to find her far from her work bag and laptop. You can learn more at janefriedman.com.


About the bag

TUMI Arrivé Hannover Laptop Slim Brief Briefcase: I bought this at the TUMI store while waiting for a connecting flight at the Charlotte airport. It was something of an impulse buy—I was so tired of the ill-shaped and uncomfortable bag I had at the time. This one is much smaller, minimalist in fact, and it’s comfortable to carry for long periods of time. Its small size prevents me from loading it up with more than I need or can reasonably haul around a conference. It fits my Macbook Air perfectly and has a scuff-resistant finish that keeps it looking sharp after years of wear. It’s absurdly expensive, but I’ve never loved a bag more.

What’s inside the bag

Dongles for every occasion: Because I speak and present so often from my own laptop, I have to be prepared for any situation. So I carry three dongles: one for HDMI and two for VGA, just in case one fails. They’re secured together with a Gear Tie rubber twist.

Moleskine’s Volant journal, XS: This is the smallest you can buy. I don’t use paper and pen that often, but this specific journal is useful for jotting down resources for people who ask me questions in conference hallways. Then I rip out the page and hand it over. Cheap and easy.

Chinese silk pouch: Others commonly use these pouches for jewelry, and while they’re great for that purpose, I love having them to store things like a Square credit card reader, or even cleaning cloths for my glasses. I prefer pouches with the zipper and snap closure. You can easily find them online in a variety of colors and styles.

Levenger business card holder: I’ve had this holder for 15 years now; it’s one of my favorite personal possessions. It’s monogrammed and the leather has become soft, pliable and loved. Levenger doesn’t offer this model any longer, but you can find similar options on Etsy.

-- Jane Friedman 09/2/20

(What's in YOUR bag? We want to hear about unusual and unusually useful items that you carry in your bag. We are especially interested in the specialized bags of doctors, athletes, repair techs, artists, gardeners, hikers, etc. Start by sending an email to claudia@cool-tools.org with a photo of the things in your bag (you can use your phone). If you get a reply from us, fill out the form. We’ll pay you $50 if we run your submission in our What’s in my bag? newsletter and blog. — editors)

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