What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — John Bobo

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What's in my bag? issue #64

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John BoboI’m a motor sports executive, but I have a secret life as a writer. OK, it’s not secret — it’s inconspicuous. My novel “Three Degrees From Justice” was a Kindle #1 in Noir Crime (probably for a full 10 minutes), and my book for new prosecutors “The Best Story Wins” from Tower Publishing is used in many law schools and DA’s offices.

About the bag

TomToc Travel Messenger Bag: Lightweight but a lot of padding for the laptop and protection against elements. Some bags create compartment fatigue. You feel like you spent the entire day zipping and unzipping. Not this one. The folks at TomToc Goldilocked-it in. The amount of zipping/unzipping is “just right.”

What’s inside the bag

Bloc Rhodia No. 8 pad: Lined or graphed. I’ve always liked Rhodia pads/paper because they work so well with ink from fountain pens. When I saw this 3″ x 8 ¾’’ list, I gave it a try, and now it’s become a must carry for my daily To-Do list. Really helps me knock out the day.

Adjustable Tablet Stand: A super inexpensive and lightweight Amazon Basic. I first saw one in a Microsoft Store holding up Surface Tablets when they first came out. At about $8, you’re OK if you lose it on the road. This is my third. Also good for holding larger tablets and iPads.

Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard: My on-the-go writing rig is using the Bear App on my iphone, while it’s perched sideways on the stand and using this Bluetooth keyboard. Really works well on airplanes when you don’t have enough room to get out a laptop. Also good to have with you when you don’t want to carry a laptop. I’ve carried this for years because it has a crazy rechargeable battery life.

Lamy Scribble 0.7 mm mechanical pencil: The perfect pencil for drawing/sketching during conference calls (I’m a chronic doodler). It’s got a width and weight to it that’s incredibly comfortable in the hand. You go, “Oh, that’s German Design. Awesome!” I obsess over pens and pencils, but I find this one never leaves the bag because I can use it anywhere.

-- John Bobo 08/26/20

(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)