“What’s in Your Bag?” (idea2go #WIYB edition)

I have been essentially paperless for several years. I scan anything I need to refer back to, so I don’t need to carry a briefcase with any papers etc. I use the Apple Pen to notate and re-save any documents, and integrate it into my software outliners, to-do lists etc. I’ve been able to find ways when not at my office desk to pretty efficiently do almost all necessary work tasks without needing my desktop/laptop machine either through mobile access or VNC screen sharing back to my office.

Also, as personal preference I dislike attached keyboard/case combinations that turn your tablet into a laptop since the ergonomics are dictated by that attachment, since the keyboard typically can not be shared among your mobile devices, and since it adds carrying thickness and weight throughout the day not just while traveling from one site to another other.

So what do I carry with me throughout the day and even on longer trips? I try to keep to a minimalist philosophy, so for electronics my goal is to be able to handle just about any situation (maximum capability) with minimum carrying footprint.

(Photos 1&2) It’s hard to find a minimal case sized right for the iPad Pro. The BUBM case provides enough protection for a casual drop, casual weather exposure etc and has plenty of organization for little doodads and knick knacks I might need to carry. If I really need to carry a piece of paper it can be folded in two and carried in the case along with my iPad. You can carry it like a book or hold the handle, or you can even attach a thin shoulder strap to the handle for hands-free.

(Photo 3) Inside the case is everything I need electronically for long and short trips. My cell phone is an add on but it can fit in with the earbuds pocket when it’s not carried with me.

(Photos 4 & 5) Items included:

  • iPad Pro
  • iPhone
  • Apple Pencil
  • Earbuds
  • Textblade multi device full keyboard/stand with built in nano charger (review https://goo.gl/rEHW48)
  • Thin 2-port USB battery for all day power
  • Thin 2-port USB wall charger to charge 2 devices at a time
  • USB iOS cable (white)
  • Micro-USB & iOS dual purpose cable (orange, really)
  • Device Stand (Red)
  • 2x disposable lens wipe packets

Final photos 6&7 - in the wild!

Surprisingly, the Apple earbuds are the thickest and most inconvenient item in my entire setup. I like the no-tangle case they come in but now that I’ve thinned down I need a better alternative. Perhaps the wireless units but their charger adds bulk, so perhaps I can find some low profile earbuds that stow thinly.

I am posting here first, since although each item is enabling in it’s own way, the Textblade was the transformative item that makes this possible because (as discussed widely here on the Waytools forums) it is not simply portable, but an excellent keyboard per se that you happen to be able to take with you everywhere and pair with all your devices.

Take only memories, leave only footprints …
(so go paperless!)


Thanks for sharing. Always nice to see how people get organised. Can you please tell me the brand/model of the red iPad stand? I really like that! Also, what allows you to mark up PDFs with the Apple Pencil? What do you use as a note-taking application?

Hi @Rob. The stands are here from Amazon. Dirt cheap at 6 for $8, so you can have a few hanging around for the family to use!


For note taking and document editing I use GoodNotes. I’ve had it for a bunch of years so I can’t vouch for whether it’s currently the “best” but it’s quite good (as the name suggests) and plays well with the Apple Pencil, multitasking, etc.

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Brilliant! Thanks for your response. I’ll order some of those cheep cheep stands and check out Goodnotes. I’m currently using OneNote mostly because it syncs across all my iOS devices, my work Win 7 laptop and my home Mac OSX.

$8 ! Your being ripped off mate.

These are literally $1 each from your local dollar store. Dollerama here in Ontario, fill your boots!


Well Amazon refuses to ship these to Australia and I can’t find any other source in Australia. I doubt that Dollerama in Ontario ships to Australia.


Hey Rob—this is the sort of thing I’d expect to find at a Crazy Clark’s or Reject Shop if there’s one nearby. Maybe in with the photo frames. :slight_smile: Or Asian supermarkets often have a good range of tech-adjacent doo-dads (as does Aldi, to a lesser extent).

I thought maybe Shopping Square or OO (both .com.au) might have something, but not in their current listings, alas. (They’ve got some cheap stands, but not so low-profile.) Good luck!


My name is Danny, and I’m a parenthesis addict. Close parenthesis.

Hey Danny. Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll check them out. I’m near Chinatown in Melbourne so I’ll visit that area.


Hi (Danny)

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Hey Rob, I’ll ship you one to auz! Get in touch and lets sort it out, they’re pretty awesome.

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(Warning … slightly OT, and slightly OC!)

Here’s another add-on to the thin minimalist travel set - the Zenlet Wallet. It looks like it would fit in the BUBM bag and/or your pocket.


I’m not going to get one since I’m at an even further extreme, which is I carry a single @OnlyCoin along with one backup credit card. (and of course ID etc)


So which Thin 2-port USB wall charger do you have? Do you like it? I’ve always thought the Apple wall adapter was OK, but the plugs get in the way when packing…

Hi @Jdy98p I use Battry1Inc’s slim charger. It’s worked great for me since May.

Thought I was the only one who had a Coin!

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How is it as a product, Coin I mean?

I followed the link provided. Looks like it’s no longer possible to buy one. Concept is brilliant. The company appears to have been bought by Fitbit.

Another question is if it also handles places that require the chip in a card.

The Zenlet wallet looks very interesting, however it seems it costs about $50 on amazon and has very few reviews. The official website wants about $62. That seems fairly expensive for what it is. @idea2go, did you buy it during the Kickstarter and do you think it is worth the current price?

@ScottS I didn’t buy the zenlet wallet … as I mentioned I decided I didn’t need it after slimming down and ditching most of my cards in favor of just the @onlycoin.

(Straying even further OT!)

@black_jaquar, coin is a great product, but with some drawbacks that prevent it from being a game changer so I have a very mixed review.

Extremely well built, solid, at least as thin as a credit card, durable. You get a sliding card reader to scan as many credit, debit, ATM or affinity cards as you want into the app. The app is synced/paired with the @cLin, and you can define up to 8 cards to load onto it. It seems to work at about 98% of the places I try it, but anything less than 100% means you still need a credit card in reserve for when it doesn’t work.

The security is awesome. The card will lock up and not function if it’s not within range of your phone, although if that ever fails (it doesn’t) you can also tap in a morse code like password directly to the card and still use it. Once unlocked it is usable for about 7 minutes, plenty of time for the waiter to do his thing etc. For people who scream “but how can you trust him not to run a bunch of charges during those 7 minutes” that’s exactly the same as how every credit card in the world works. But if you leave your @coin behind or if it’s stolen, it’s locked and secure, so unlike a credit card I have no problem leaving it laying on a table, or sticking it in my BUBM, or whatever. As a business traveler with a sometimes complicated life it’s great to carry just one @coin but to be able to use my company’s card, or my wife’s, or a customer’s, or the one I like for rewards points etc in each different circumstance.

Some drawbacks:

This thing was delayed about two years before they shipped, and it came out just as changes were being implemented to make all the vendors require chip readers and also just when android, apple, and everyone else started coming out with exciting wireless payment solutions. It would have been revolutionary if it came out when promised, but by the time it came out the conversation had moved elsewhere. (Please hold the analogies to you know what - I think we still have more runway, perhaps even 2-3 years, before the input device conversation significantly moves elsewhere to for instance virtual reality, voice, gestures, or adaptable keys).

Even in the payment domain the @coin usefulness got extended because here in the USA the compliance with converting to chip terminals is still dismal. @coin added a wireless payment feature and gave everyone a free upgrade, but there are endless entanglements about which cards support NFC for which vendors etc so at least for me I can hardly ever use it.

Overall I love having it because it thins me down and I love the security features, but the actual functionality is defeated by the fact that on any given trip I’ll always end up with a couple of charges on a card I had not intended so it sort runs as a counter benefit. It’s massively fun that when needed I can “have with me” some obscure card that I didn’t expect to need while nobody around me brought one, but I usually pay back that karma the next day when in front of the same colleagues my card fails to swipe. :slight_smile:

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