I’m in Hawaii at Search & Social Woot!, and I keep losing stuff.
My cell phone’s USB cable. My tickets to special events. My wedding ring (thankfully found again on the floor in my hotel room). My mind.
I have no excuses, but the rash of absent-mindedness has me thinking about the stuff I always take with me or do when I travel. Turns out, a lot of it revolves around my blogging, so here’s a quick list of the stuff I consider essential for any blogger on the go:
- Something to write in/on/with. I’ve had very few real vacations in the last 8 years, so I usually have my laptop with me. Bit if I don’t, then I have my trusty Moleskine notebook. That way I can scribble down ideas as they occur to me. Writing is near-compulsive for me – it’s better if I can just write when I feel the need.
- A recording device. It’s so easy now I always bring something with me that can record audio. My cell phone does a decent job. If I have my laptop, then I bring my USB headset, too. I often end up babbling a new idea out that becomes a podcast or the beginnings of a post.
- My to-do list. This sounds pathetic, but I do bring my to-do list along. That way, if I suddenly realize there’s something I need to do when I get home, I can record it and forget about it. I can also jot down blog ideas. I use todo.txt and DropBox, so I have my to-do list any time I need it.
- Business cards. Just a couple. Without fail, the one time I forget is the time I discover I have a long-lost relative who has millions of dollars and wants to hire me (exaggeration, but you get it).
- A good book. ‘Good’ is relative. Could be trashy science fiction, or good science fiction, or a David Ogilvy tome. It’s nice to read and disengage now and then.
- My favorite podcasts. The latest from my favorite podcasts, which include Penny Arcade’s Dungeons & Dragons recordings (GEEK), Vanessa Fox’s Office Hours (GEEKIER) and SEO Rockstars (YES I AM A GEEK). I genuinely enjoy all of these, working or not. These come with me on my phone, now that I have a Droid.
- My favorite music. Led Zeppelin, Sting (Nothing Like the Sun), My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (I know, weird), etc.. If I really get on a roll writing something for work or fun, a good soundtrack helps a lot.
- Something random. OK, this isn’t essential, but I always bring something bizarre/random with me: A lego mini figure my son says is me; a sticker my daughter put on my laptop; a bicycle tire lever. Whatever it is, it ends up in front of me while I write. I don’t know why, but there you have it.
Not the typical list of tools you might expect, I guess. But if I have 90% of the above stuff, I’m good to go no matter where I am.