I have two modes of work. Every morning I head out to a local coffee shop and read then write. This is my mobile office and 90% of my writing happens in a coffee shop.

So let’s look at my mobile office1.

1. iPad Pro 9.7

This is my third iPad. My first was an iPad 2. Then I got an iPad Mini, which I ended up giving to my wife and not having any iPad for a few years. Even the initial introduction of the iPad Pro 9.7 didn’t get me to purchase it.

What finally kicked me over the edge and made the iPad compelling again in my workflow was the addition of Scrivener for iPad. I use this almost daily as I work on books that will be coming out in the future. Scrivener is an amazing writing tool, and the iPad version is nothing short of stellar.

I’m seriously tempted to get a large iPad as I use my current one more and more. Specifically, because the split view would be larger with a larger iPad. Sometimes with the 9.7, it feels like I just don’t have enough real estate to see what I want to see as I’m researching and writing.

2. 1ByOne Keyboard

I run to Starbucks and home at least once a week. That’s over 12km with my stuff on my back; I wanted to find a keyboard that was functional and small. I’m amazed at how nice the OnebyOne keyboard feels and how long the battery lasts.

As I head into the local electronics store and try out the MacBook Pro’s currently being sold, this little $35 keyboard feels much nicer, and it’s inexpensive.

The only caveat is that it took me a few weeks to get used to typing on it. The keyboard is small, and the right shift key, in particular, is where I usually trip up now. I end up hitting the up arrow instead at least a few times in the morning. It’s not a big enough problem to change keyboards though.

3. Hydro Flask Coffee Cup

First, I want my coffee to stay warm as I sip on it. Second, I want to throw out less stuff. For Christmas, my amazing wife got me this Hydro Flask. Funny story, I got her the same one in the same colour.

I take this with me every time I head out and reduce my waste, plus closing the lid means nothing spills. This is something my 1-year-old has tested many times.

4. Jaybird Freedom 2

I had an original pair of Jaybird BlueBud headphones for exercise, and after around five years they finally died. While I did try some much less expensive Bluetooth sport headphones, nothing lasted more than a few months.

This is my second pair of Jaybird Freedom 2 headphones because my first pair just wouldn’t stay connected to my devices. Lucky for me, Jaybird has a stellar warranty and sent me a replacement pair which have been trucking along for three months just fine.

It’s not uncommon for me to have these on and running from 6 am – 12 pm and then some days back out to a coffee shop in the afternoon for another few hours. This is possible because of the battery clip on the headphones. I can unclip it and charge it while using the headphones. Then, clip it back in, and it starts charging the internal headphone battery again.

5. Pen

What’s pictured is a Sharpie Pen, but I’m still looking a bit. I love the feel of the Sharpie on the page, but being a lefty, it smudges a bit.

6. Kindle Paperwhite

One of my best purchases a few years ago was a Kindle Paperwhite. This device is terrible at anything but reading. It’s way lighter than an iPad and much easier on the eyes to read for a number of hours.

This single device helped me increase my reading in 2017 to 80 books.

7. Leuchtturm Notebooks

I carry two notebooks pretty much anywhere I go. The one I use throughout the day is the one that’s open in the picture. It’s a Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal. I’ll be writing a bunch about how I use this later in the month.

The second one that’s almost always in my bag, but is always out with me in my mobile office is again a Leuchtturm1917 notebook. I take all my book notes in a physical notebook because I figure if it’s too much work to write a quote down, it’s not worth writing down. I’ve just started choosing the same colour for a year of notebooks.

Last year I used pink. This year its teal. I’m looking forward to the day a few years in the future when I have a shelf of notebooks that change in colour by the year of book reading.

Not pictured

There are a few items that are in my bag and may come out to inhabit my mobile office, but don’t always come out.

  • Battery
  • Apple Pencil

The spare battery is only used when I forget to charge something. I use the Apple Pencil to do sketching and annotate images, like the one you see above.

The Tools Don’t Matter

While I know people love these posts on people’s tools, it’s important to remember that the tools don’t matter. I could still write without an iPad. A larger keyboard would still mean that I can write and run, it would just make my bag heavier.

Don’t focus on the tools you have or don’t have. Focus on the process you use to get work done.

The best tools in the world, in the hands of someone that doesn’t ship work, are useless.

Have an awesome day


PS: If you’re looking for better process check out The 8 Week Business BootCamp.

Photo by: paulbhartzog 

  1. I was inspired to do this by my friend Ryan’s post about his desk. I’ll do my home office in a bit.