This is the sort of thing/organizer that I’ve been looking for for what seems like forever. I’m calling it my Writer’s Tool Kit (or Writer’s First Aid Kit), and it’s something that I’ve tried to put together for the last several years. I’ve gone through a plethora of messenger bags, re-purposed makeup bags, pencil cases, pouches, diaper bags, organizers, and all the other items you’d find in the accessory, stationery, and cosmetic departments at a Target or comparable big box store.
I’ve also tried LL Bean, Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer, Baggellini, and no-name brands on the internet and so far nothing has worked.
Oh, it works for a little while, but then I need something extra and the entire thing ends up in a mess on the floor with me wearing my frustration face. Even now, I’ve forgotten my earphones. They must have fallen off of my nightstand, and in my hurry to get out the door I forgot they weren’t in my purse where they usually live.
I have been using a small messenger bag that I found on Amazon, and I really love it. It’s the right size, has a decent number of organizational pockets (although the pencil slip could be longer) and it’s big enough to carry all my needs, whether I want to overstuff it, or to use it simply as an oversized pocketbook for my wallet, Kindle, and cell phone. At the moment, though I’m using a separate purse along with the messenger bag.
One problem with my bag is that there is no padding so consequently my keyboard is not protected. I’ve been using a padded tablet case to carry it and protect it, but it’s hard to get in and out of the center portion of the messenger bag; the zipper isn’t wide enough.
On Pinterest, they keep promoting a pin “just for me” from the Mocchi site. It is exactly what I wanted. Slender, large enough for my Kindle and possibly my keyboard, slip pockets for papers, perhaps a notepad, and zipper pockets for post-it notes and stamps. It even comes in my color: green. On the bad side, it costs around $60 before the tax and the shipping and handling.
That is way out of my league.
And it still wouldn’t be perfect.
That’s the way it’s been every time. Until now.
A couple of months ago, I was wandering through Target and they had an offer that they often have a few times throughout the year, especially around summer or in the fall for back to school. If you buy certain first aid items (I.e. band-aids, gauze, neosporin) you can get a hard backed, zip around first aid kit for free. This offer had the kits in the typical red and white but it also had a second one from the brand, Oh Joy in turquoise, salmon and a multi-colored abstract design. It was cute. We are also forever running out of band-aids so I grabbed two boxes and a spray container of neosporin for summertime scrapes, chose the colorful first aid kit and I was on my way.
As soon as I got home I began experimenting, and I can’t tell you how happy I am.
For one thing, my keyboard fits perfectly, and since the case has a hard back I don’t need any padding. On top of the keyboard for extra protection, I placed my notepad that I always carry around for a writing emergency. If I rearranged what I’m using it for right now, it would also fit my Kindle Fire, but since I always have the Fire with me, but not always the keyboard, my kindle will remain in my purse. The first aid kit also has a short carry handle, so I can carry it as a separate bag with my purse and nothing else or I can slip it into my messenger bag, which is what I usually do.
The “first-aid” kit also has a long zippered mesh pouch attached to the bottom, an open slip pocket on the opposite side and three smaller slip pockets that fit business cards, band-aids, stamps, and other small, flat items.
I slid my day planner into the slip pocket and behind that I have some notes for an essay I’m working on.
With the pens, post-its, planner, keyboard and notepad, this one kit has already saved me from keeping track of four separate pouches/holders!
And if it hadn’t been free and I had paid for it, it was only $5.99 without the first aid supplies.
Another thing I realized is that I can swap out the planner with my sketchbook and sketch at some of the sites I visit. It’s very adaptable.
New Rule: if it doesn’t fit in here, I don’t need it. Aside from my Kindle, of course. As I mentioned, that travels in my pocketbook.
My Personal List of Contents
Notes printed out for meta I’m currently working on
Church papers re: the Year of Mercy that I intend to read (and write about)
Church hand-outs and prayer cards that I like to carry and pray with
A pack of Band-aids (coincidentally they match the case)
Post-it Notes and Flags
Car Adapter (I also use this to tilt my Kindle while I’m typing)
Prayer cards from my last visit to the martyrs’ shrine
Post-it write-on page marker
2 post-it pads
a note from my daughter
Candy for coughing fits (I have an anxiety cough – anxious cough – I cough when I’m in quiet places)
I’m still going over what’s missing and still needed for my writing on the go needs, but for now, I’ve got it covered.
I’ve been writing my whole life, constantly on the lookout for notebooks with pen slips, fabric folders, pouches, things to make writing on the go easier, and this is the most perfect thing I’ve discovered in four decades. I even use it this way at home.