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Oh My – Packing My Laptop Tote Takes Longer than Packing My Suitcase!

I’ve got packing my suitcase down to a science. I’ve got two fully-stocked cosmetic bags, two sets of hair brushes and multiple exercise bands and pairs of sneakers so that I can leave one set of everything in my suitcase while having my regular items left at home. My closet is color-coordinated for all tops and pants, so I can grab-n-go fairly quickly with the color(s) of the week. Within ten minutes, my suitcase is packed.

Getting my laptop tote ready for a trip is another story. I pack this bag as if I am leaving the country for parts unknown for the next 100 days. In addition to my laptop and power cord, I add:

1 or 2 organic Element Bars.

Herbal tea bags (several)

Small bags of nuts and apricots

An apple

Chewing gum

Lip balm

iPod (and now my iPhone)

Eyeglasses and sunglasses

Several magazines (which I read then donate to the flight attendants)

A book or two

Sticky notes for marking pages in the books

Various colored pens

My Franklin Covey planner, Yes, I still carry a paper Planner… I just can’t get used to going to a meeting without it.

File folders with work-related things

Receipt folder. Sometimes I also carry my NeatReceipts scanner, but my bag is usually too full.


Tiny umbrella

Are you wondering yet how big my laptop tote is?
I keep on cramming  . . .

USB thumb-drive for transferring data

USB mouse for working at my hotel desk

My Clear Card for speedy airport security line access

Copies of my passport and drivers license

Business cards

Mail to read and bills to pay and

Travel info I keep notes on.

Now you really must be wondering about the size (and
weight) of this bag!

If this inventory list was the same each week, the packing may not take long at all. Instead, each trip I try to decide:

· whether I bring more magazines or books;
· which files to bring;
· which flavored teabags I’m in the mood for;
· what snacks I have available;
· what music or audiobook is going to get added to my iPod;
· whether there will be room for the NeatReceipts scanner;
· how many business cards I may need (conferences usually need a stack);
· and on and on and on.

My dining room table is usually a mess after I’ve pulled out and crammed in what will fit, with the remains left on the table. My husband watches on, just shaking his head.

I know I could simplify my laptop tote and my packing stress if I could dump the Planner, switch to electronic magazines, load up an Amazon Kindle I think I could actually do all of the above EXCEPT leave my Planner at home.

Let’s hear what’s in your laptop tote. While I know I can’t have the longest list, I’m sure the majority of you have very compact totes. Open up your totes and divulge their contents! Post your comments below.  Help me reign in this craziness!


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