No. 19 | Seven objects that are almost always with me

A Baron Fig confidant and all the contents of my pen case laid out. Don't worry, I have a better pencil now.

1) A Kokuyo Neo Critz pen case

People ask about this thing all the time. It’s much easier to maintain a routine with my notebooks when I always have the same stuff with me — pens, pencil, 3M tabs, a little pencil sharpener, etc. It unzips to stand up as its own pencil cup. A very good travel companion. The little pockets are just about worthless, but nothing’s perfect.

2) A Baron Fig Confidant hardcover notebook

My daybook, as I’ve taken to calling it, is kept in a Baron Fig Confidant notebook, either dot grid or, when available, the Work/Play edition with dot grid on the left and blank on the right.

3) A Kindle Voyage e-reader

I get a lot more reading done with a Kindle. I’d owned one for a year or more before I got in the habit of taking it everywhere. Once I did start taking it everywhere, I realized how many opportunities there are in a day to get a bit of reading done. Mine fits perfectly in both of my bags and also slips into most jacket pockets.

4) A few Zeiss lens wipes

These are one of my vices. I can’t stand when my glasses are dirty, and I’m too clumsy to keep mine clean. I have lens wipes stashed away in nearly every bag and drawer. I recognize that these are more wasteful than a microfiber cloth and cleaning solution but I am only human, let me have this.

5) A “Nite Ize S-Biner Micro Lock, Polycarbonate S-Biner with Locking Lever, Black”

I am amazed at the kind of garbage people use to carry their keys. If I’m going to interact with an object several times a day, every day, for my entire life, I want it to be of good quality. Not to mention how critical your keys are and what an expensive pain in the ass it would be to lose them.

These little things keep my keys attached to whatever I need my keys attached to. Gym bag, a carabiner, briefcase, bike bag, whatever. An inexpensive little thing that puts my mind at ease and, I’d have to suspect, has kept me from losing my keys a dozen times over.

6) A Metro Transit Go-Card

If something like this is offered in your city, I highly recommend getting one, even if you only take transit once in a blue moon. I keep a bit of “cash” stored on mine as well as a few fares, purchased periodically in blocks of 10. They don’t expire. Transfers are a generous 2.5 hours in the Twin Cities so I can often run errands downtown or even grab dinner and get back home on one fare. Works for the light rail train, too. I carry it on the outer edge of cards in my wallet, and I don’t even have to take it out to tap it on the reader.

7) An iPhone SE

I daydream about not carrying a phone again but for now, my iPhone is a constant companion. I’m envious of the fancy camera on the newer iPhones but I like the classic form factor too much and anyway I don’t need more excuses to stare at a bright little anxiety rectangle all day.

Originally published as List No. 19 of the 7x77 newsletter project.
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