#TeamSpectacle is headed to ArtPrize On Screen this week with the Grand Rapids Film Society. To honor that, our own Tamaryn has compiled some helpful tips on how to create your mobile office. Having a well stocked mobile office can save you time and help shred stress.
PR pros, especially Film PR pros, are required to be professional, be prepared, and be portable. We can go from the office to client meetings, to life on set, to hosting an event any given day. And we’re not the only ones. More people are choosing to work a mobile life. If you’re new to this work style, here’s some ideas to get you started.
Step 1: Choose the right bag or briefcase.
Finding the right bag or briefcase is a process and you need to channel your inner Mary Poppins. It’s hard to find one that compliments your professional style and is robust. I’m tough on my bags. I know from experience that those sexy or cool laptop bags from trendy designer brands aren’t meant to be used day-after-day and will likely fall apart within a few months.
Now when people I’m meeting with see my bag for the first time they all have the same joke, “Are you moving in?” or “It looks like you brought a suitcase to this meeting.” I’m not moving in but my bag is from the luggage department of a department store.
I went with luggage because it’s built sturdy and designed for travel. Where a traditional laptop briefcase would only last me six months to a year, my luggage laptop bag is still going strong after a year and a half of client meetings, events, plane rides, trips to set, and volunteering. I need a bag that not only holds all my office supplies but one that can hold a change of clothes, shoes, makeup, and backup supplies. And when I’m traveling to a film festival or will be on set for weeks at a time, I need my bag to do double or triple duty.
And don’t overlook layout. For me, I’ve found that having two large pockets on the sides with one giant pocket in the middle is the perfect bag layout.
Step 2: Techie Gear
We live in a tech world—cellphones, laptops, tablets, and a whole bunch of other stuff that needs charging on the regular. We’ve all been there when you’re meeting with a client and you realize you forgot your charger and your laptop is about to die. Or you forgot your phone charger. Or you don’t have the right A/V hookup for your presentation. That still happens to me occasionally, but it’s rare. For the big stuff like laptop and phone, I buy a second charger. One that stays in my bag and one that stays at home at my desk. Here’s a look at some of the items I typically keep with me.
- Macbook Pro (w/ charger)
- iPhone (w/charger)
- travel mouse
- Wrist rests (for those endless nights of typing at an uncomfortable hotel desk)
- Rechargeable battery packs. (Just try to get through SXSW without one. I dare you.)
- Cords (any and all cords that you may need, including charging cords)
- Flash Drive (because you can’t always email to printers)
- USB hub
- Dongles (you never know what the A/V hookup will be)
Step 3: Build an Office Supply Armory
I #$%@! love office supplies. And I’m really big on buying supplies with a little flair because work shouldn’t be boring. These are the items I keep in my bag and that have come in handy while on set, in the office, in a meeting, or even while eating take-out in my hotel room. Like my tech accessories above,I also recommend keeping these items grouped in their own pouch so they don’t end up at the bottom of your bag.
- Pens (I’m a big fan of Pilot Precise Grip in extra fine)
- Mini Sharpie highlighters
- Mini Sharpie permanent markers
- Mechanical pencils
- Expo marker (any glass surface can be turned into a whiteboard)
- Whiteout (for those pesky spelling errors)
- Binder clips
- Paper clips
- Rubber bands
- Mechanical eraser
- Mini stapler (w/ extra staples!)
- Calculator (travel size recommended)
- Measuring tape (might need to hang items at events)
- Sticky notes
- Notebooks/legal pads (these will come in handy for list making)
- Pretty project folders
- Extra business cards
Step 4: Boy & Girl Scout Items
For me, these are must-haves. These are the everyday items that keep me one step ahead of disasters. I also keep these grouped together in their own pouch or pouches.
- Band-aids (Try walking around a film festival for 11 hours in cute shoes. Blisters)
- Nail clippers (hangnails are the worst!)
- Hand Sanitizer (I shake a lot of hands. Can also be used to sterilize those blisters—but it burns.)
- Sanitizing wipes (airplane seats, carts, tables, toilet seats. You just never know.)
- Stain removing wipes (meeting a client with a chili stain on your shirt isn’t the best first impression)
- Compact mirror (You think it’s just for makeup. But you’d be wrong.)
- Mini lint brush
- Change of shoes (client meeting → dinner party → comfort)
- Water bottle
- Gum or mints
- Snacks e.g., granola bars (because hangry isn’t a good look)
- Glasses wipe and spray (these can be used to clean glasses, phone screen, and computer screen. Can also be used to sanitize!)
- Couple of thank-you cards and stamps (more personal than an email)
- Medication (headache meds, vitamins, etc.)
Staying accessible to my clients and being ready for the situations they throw at me is important. So is being able to juggle multiple clients and projects on-the-go. At Spectacle Creative, we get sh*t done whether we’re on a bus, a plane, or even a train. (We love trains.) This is my version of a well packed mobile office but creating your mobile office isn’t one-size fits all. What do you keep in your mobile office? Tell us on Twitter use #InMyMobileOffice
Disclaimer: We are not receiving compensation for this post from any of the brands or products listed. I just happen to love them.