Every week I spend several days at coworking. I have been known to work in coffee shops, too, and I rarely travel without my laptop. It’s important to be comfortable wherever I happen to be working. Over the years I have collected a few small items that turn my laptop into a portable office.
The first thing I pack is my Griffin Elevator laptop stand. This elevates the display so I don’t hunch quite as much compared to using the laptop directly on the table. It also places a large empty space next to the bottom of the laptop, helping it stay cool with less fan noise.
The stand is made of three light-weight parts that fit in the front pocket of my backpack. The aluminum legs act as rigid compartments for other gear, like my power supply and mouse. Since I plug in at home most nights after coworking, I keep a second power supply at my desk to save time.
My favorite mouse is the Logitech VX Revolution laptop mouse, which I also use at home. I bought many mice before this one, and I haven’t tried a new one since.
I also carry an Apple USB Keyboard. It’s thin, durable, and reliable, and it goes everywhere with me. I chose USB instead of wireless because I like having a numeric keypad. It also has two USB ports. This lets me install the mouse dongle just inches from the mouse so I never have RF interference issues.
When my wrist hurts from repetitive strain, I also pack a Wacom Bamboo Fun pen tablet. It’s not as good as a mouse for most things, but it’s a capable and comfortable alternative for those bad wrist days. The Bamboo tablet is both inexpensive and slim, making it a fine travel companion.
My bag? It’s a Timbuk2 Hacker Daypack in ballistic nylon. I carry two laptops (a 15-inch Mac and a 9-inch netbook) everywhere in this bag, and I still have room for other gadgets and accessories. All I need is a table, a chair, and maybe a 24-inch monitor.