The Perfect Pack WishList

There’s been a lot of comments about how users stow and carry their TextBlade along with all their other gear.

There are already some good threads on this topic, showing the different solutions users have found or improvised to meet their needs,

This is a subject of great interest to a lot of TextBlade customers, and to us as well.

We think there might be an opportunity to provide something better that can leverage the compact form of TextBlade. It seems like there’s quite bit of room for optimization for an accessory pack through better design.

While we’re preparing GR, we thought we’d give you all a thread where you could lobby for what you want most in an accessory pack or bag.

If you could have any type of pack to carry your gear, what would it be?

What features are important to you, and how would you rank them in priority?

Thanks all.

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Carrying the TextBlade with two NanoStands has been helpful.

The contacts are still a little exposed on the ends of the KeyBlades though. I have a TOPEAK bag I use on my cycle commute. I rode a different bike so didn’t have anywhere for my pump and popped it in the bag with everything else. The pump had some black bike gunk on it and somehow found its way to the KeyBlade contacts without me realising. The gunk caused connection peculiarities until I realised what it was and cleaned it up. A different carrying device would have prevented this. Cleaning my bike more than twice a year possibly would help too.

When I move around the office I can attach my SwiftPoint GT to the magnetic dongle plugged in to USB. Unfortunately the magnets of TextBlade are not quite strong enough for them to confidently hold on to my MacBook or Asus. I tried it once I thought I found the sweet spot of magnetism, didn’t last long and the TextBlade went tumbling. WayTools have made magnets do amazing things in the TextBlade… I wonder if they can extend that to carrying it.

My Blade lives in an Anker cable tidy. It is the perfect fit with the two stands over the blade for added protection.

This then drops into the key pouch of my Peak Design Messenger bag or BuBm cable bag depending on what I am doing.

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While I have no hands-on experience, I’d just say one of the most important and brilliant design attributes of the TB is the “one piece” approach. I despise gadgets that come with 2 or 3 different pieces to keep up with in order to keep them functioning. Examples of how elegantly WT has addressed this with the TB are found in both the way the nano-stand(s) fit around the TB and become one portable unit, and the built-in charing solution.

If WT’s was to develop a case/storage solution, my input would be to leverage this “one piece” philosophy to the max. So, instead of just a place to store my TB and one or two nano stands, a case that functioned as both a storage container and set of nano stands (or perhaps one wider nano-stand) with easy access/use of the existing charging solution (w/o having to remove the case) would be ideal. This way, I’m not carrying anything more than necessary and my case and TB would be one, integrated and cohesive unit.

In addition, the easy of putting the TB in one’s pocket seems pivotal. I suggest something very compact and on the level of a close fitting magnetic felt sleeve.

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I really like the concept of “travel jackets” i.e. having a jacket with some good pockets to stow away things. I am somewhat minimalistic to the extreme and don’t want to carry unnecessary stuff. I think that the nanostand might not really be needed as the three blades sit together anyway and I have a bullz-i ring on my phone that act as a stand.

The good thing with the jacket is that it is easy to put it all on the conveyor belt at the airport security check. Pants with similar pockets do not work as well for that purpose.

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When did you purchase that? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

Ah, wearing apparel made with magnetic thread that you just stick stuff too! :wink:

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As a bag fanatic I love this stuff.
Most important to me would be space effiency. Too many tech cases, organizers, earbud wraps, etc end up with a ton of wasted space. Think of a first aid kit. Having a hard case might be great to easily find the exact med fast, but having a plastic Ziploc bag is way more space efficient. Me, I’d rather have space efficient as I’ll be more likely to make room for it. The TB does a good job with this (no hands on experience ymmv), so more of that thinking in a bag. Also, peak design is a good example of excellent carry and flex organization.

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deckaddict - for pure efficiency, built-ins on a jacket is the most space-efficient and minimalist architecture. It’s totally hands-free.

That said, those willing to constrain their choice of clothing for pure utility are a small slice of the market, so there has to be an a la carte solution for the mainstream.

twoboxen - bags are totally underrated.

They have very high utility to us each day.

Bags are significant opportunities to design something way better.

Dramatic rescaling of professional-grade typing HW is a big stimulus for a superior new architecture.

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For me it’s about finding the smallest, lightest solution that still provides full utilisation while traveling. Having been on the road almost constantly for the past 9 years, typical problems are: having too many separate components, which makes it hard to stay organised; having to have multiple chargers and cables for different devices, compounded by needing universal power plugs to accommodate all the different sockets around the world; things quickly becoming heavy and bulky when you try to pack it all into a single box or bag; things going missing at crucial moments when you pack each item into the spare spaces across your various items of luggage, pockets, and bags; and - and this is remarkably consistent - not having a usable surface area handy when you all of a sudden feel the urge to write some serious prose (or take some notes, or jot down that one brilliant thought you don’t want to lose).

I have solved part of my problem by using ASAP’s magnetic adapter cables. They work by sticking an adapter plug into each device, that then becomes a standard magnetic socket for the USB cables they provide. That means I now have to carry only one type of USB cable, instead of the 4 different types I carried before.

But for me the ideal packing solution would be super light, helps to reduce the number of separate components (for instance by incorporating a charger with universal power plug), helps to neatly organise all the components I need to carry, without adding unnecessary bulk (I have a beautiful box at the moment, for instance, called the Bento Stack. It is great at helping me be organised, but it is rather bulky, which means I have to carry a full-size briefcase, just to have room for the box), and - and this would be the ‘killer’ feature - can double as a working area on which to place the TB and a tablet or smartphone, suitable to use anywhere there is place to sit (which is practically everywhere).

A foldout work area with pockets and straps (and a build-in battery or charger) that neatly folds up into an A4-size carry case (with shoulder strap) would be my idea of traveler’s heaven.

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I have two ideas for a perfect way to pack my TextBlade around, starting with the basic, and then I’ll get into the really out of the box.

So, for the basic idea, I think that a small pouch with organizer pockets would be a good choice. It should have enough room for a phone, external battery pack, a few cables, the TextBlade, and maybe a few other odds and ends. It should act as a lapdesk for the TextBlade, as well as a tablet/phone stand. So, for example, you open up the pouch, unfold a desk and put your TextBlade on that, and you have a mobile workstation with your phone, or toss a tablet on there if you want a bigger screen. Something like a Plinth or maybe an Elevated Tablet Stand so it gives that extra little bit of height to the device with the TextBlade underneath.
The pouch, when closed and folded, should be something that can convert between a belt pouch, hanging from a shoulder strap, or attached to a larger bag. I got one of These Little Beauties recently, and it’s a very compact pouch with lots of organizer space, and it can be attached to a belt or any bag thanks to the attachment straps on the back. The only thing between that little bag and complete perfection is that it doesn’t provide a phone stand or workspace, and it doesn’t have its own belt or shoulder strap. Maybe use a holster design of some sort, so that the wearer can put on a belt or shoulder strap, click their desk-in-a-pouch to the holster, and then when they get where they’re going, unholster, unfold, and bam, mobile workstation with phone and keyboard.

Now for the crazier, more out of the box idea; way back in the depths of history, I mentioned this idea for a Fast Deploy TextBlade Gauntlet. So, I think something like that would be one of the better ways to carry a TextBlade.

On one arm, a spring-loaded system that deploys into a magnetic desk for the TextBlade. Possibly have it so that the keyboard can always be on that desk, either shut off and fully assembled, or else taken apart just enough that when the desk snaps into place, the TextBlade boots up. (Left and Right blades connected to each other, but broken up from the SpaceBlade until the gauntlet unfolds and flattens out, letting all three blades reconnect). The other alternative would be to make a small slot for the TextBlade to stow into in its stacked configuration, so that you deploy the gauntlet desk, then pull the TextBlade out of its slot (attached by magnets and a small strap to make doubly sure the blades don’t fly off your arm), assemble the blades, and snap them to the magnetic desk.

The other hand would be a second gauntlet with a phone holder similar to the tragically ill-fated TUSK: Telephone Utility Support Kit and the rebooted and renamed (and also underfunded on Kickstarter) Wave! Phone Holder. Put a hook or magnet to connect the far end of the pop-out desk to the phone holder on the other side so that the desk is supported at both ends and won’t rock around when typing, and now you have your TextBlade and phone always at hand, ready to type anywhere even without a flat surface.

Throw in some other small slots on the gauntlets for other items–charger, cable organizer, key ring, Etc.–make it so the gauntlets can be put on either arm, possibly with a bit of easy disassembly and reassembly, and boom, techno-geek gauntlets worthy of Batman or Iron Man, just more meant for writing down ideas anywhere rather than fighting crime.

Oh and of course, if combined with some Pointing Device that works alongside the TextBlade, this might mean you wouldn’t have to touch your phone screen at all–unless you’re using an iPhone, since I don’t think they have mouse support in iOS. Can’t personally attest either way, since I only have the one iDevice (a secondhand iPad Mini 2) that I currently need to run the TextBlade app, and I’ve never tried using it with a mouse.

If I were to go minimalist, with just cell and TB, sometimes I wish my cellphone case had a sleeve where I could stow the TB. Almost like having a nanostand affixed to the back of the case, and somehow it could deployed/aligned so that it becomes a kickstand.

Having gone through tons of bags, I’m a big fan of the grid-it/bubm style straps organizer. With bags, I feel like my stuff can get misplaced or cluttered into a multiple of deep pockets. Having everything laid out on a strapped board, I feel is a lot more organized. Plus I can take a quick glance to determine if I’ve left something behind. On an airplane, I can easily just grab that board with all the stuff I need during a flight and leave my bag in the overhead without having to touch it once.
If there was something different I’d like to see with that, I wish there was a way I could somehow customize the strap arrangement to fit my particular accessories perfectly.

Excellent insights, thanks all.

Some takeaways so far -

  1. Ultra light and compact

  2. Lap writing surface

  3. Integral stand

  4. Simplify and de-clutter - less junk / fewer parts

  5. Power source options

  6. Smart strap options

  7. Configurable storage pockets

  8. Accommodates range of tablets / phones

  9. Superior impact protection

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.10. Magnets…?

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Just for the added fun of it…

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A small hard shell case just for the TextBlade would be great.

I found this one. It is a bit too long for the TextBlade, but it works for now.

I just put it in a pocket in my backpack . I typically don’t have the carabiner attached.

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As noted in my post linked at the top, the Textblade inspired me to rethink almost all of my work processes to be tablet centric, and come up with a minimalist work/life case that has everything I need for both long and short trips.

But of late it has inspired me in an unexpected direction. How often can I “get by” with just my phone and Textblade? A half day? A trip where I have only certain predefined text based tasks I expect to do? Times when I don’t expect to need it but might unexpectedly have to write a memo or reply with a long rant, er I mean informative response, to an unexpected work email?

I’ve thought about a combo phone+textblade case but why encumber my phone that way when it so easily slips into my pocket or is carried around so easily?

Gadget jacket is appealing to, but I only wear jackets some days throughout the year, and not always the same one.

I’d like a holster like band I can strap around my leg or arm, and around the band have grid or Bubm style slots to hold (but not encase) the Textblade securely, maybe with optional slots for phone and/or something else small. This would work for all seasons, could be worn outer or inner for instance under a winter jacket which would hide it and protect it from the elements (note to self: check local concealed carry laws).

In light of the low profile slimness of Textblade and Phones this does not have to be bulky or belt attached in any way.

Something like this…

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Very cool! I was thinking more along the lines of those tight to skin armbands that people sometimes carry iPhones in. Something like that for the leg or arm would keep the TextBlade flush against the straight part of a leg or arm with no bending or flopping around.

Have you looked at the phonster? They have several wearable options like the holster style and a belt and leg style. Just not sure if it looks like I’m wearing a gun, I live in Canada and that’s mostly frowned at. There’s a double model that would take the phone and on the other side a unique pouch.
I found it at age.com.ua.