As freelancers, we carry the world in our bag. By that, I mean we literally have everything we need in there. Since we work remotely, it’s essential for us to carry all of the things that we might need with us. We never know when opportunities will strike or when we’ll have downtime so it’s important for us to always be prepared.

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Here are the 4 essential things that I carry and that every freelancer must have.

Tip: I would recommend carrying a backpack. They are much bigger than regular bags and are very comfortable to carry. Since I carry my laptop or my tablet at all given times, having a backpack is easier because the weight is evenly distributed on my shoulders. When I wore a cross body bag, I used to have shoulder aches since I would carry it on one side. 

-My Business Cards

This is the one thing that all freelancers should have in their bag regardless of the area of the work they are in. Wherever I go, I always have my business cards. You never know when opportunities will strike so it’s better to be prepared. It’s also a  great way to get yourself noticed especially at networking events. Say you’re a graphic designer, if your business cards are original and innovative, recruiters are more likely to reach out to you because they can already tell that you are a very creative person. Consider your business card as the first impression you’ll give somene. My classmate once got a graphic design internship simply because the recruiter was absolutely impressed with her business cards.

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Tip: When it comes to business cards, be concise. You need to present all of the necessary information on there such as your name, the service that you render, your email or phone number, your logo and your social media links. Remember that your business card is not your resume. Some really great websites that I use to design my business cards are : Canva -an easy graphic design website especially if you’re starting out and Moo – a great choice for more advanced professionals.  If you’re looking to do something more creative, you can use Photoshop.

-A Notebook or Journal

Whenever I go to workshops I always make sure to bring my notebook. I always take notes of what is said at the workshop and re-read them later on. This notebook has become a valuable piece of information that I use endlessly. The notebook is also good for creativity. I use it to brainstorm for upcoming projects and strategies on how to find more freelance work or random creative ideas that pop into my head.

Tip: Get a notebook that has different sections. It will be easier for you to keep track of your information. My notebook has three different sections. One is for strategies to implement for my freelance work. The second one is for the information that I get from the workshops and events that I attend and the last one is for miscellaneous information.

-My Laptop or tablet

This one is a must.  I always try to be active during my down time; whether it be waiting on a train or at a coffee shop. On my tablet, I have the ebook app on which I  have the book that I’m currently reading and I also have podcasts that I listen to when I’m on the train. I always use my laptop when I’m at coffee shops or anywhere that has Wifi.

Tip: Make sure to bring all of your chargers. It would be pointless to bring your devices without any way to charge them. Nowadays most coffee shops or workspace have outlets so you will have the opportunity to charge them.

-A book

It’s always important to have a book in your bag. It’s a great substitute for learning instead of using your phone. Your learning does not have to stop as soon as you leave your house or workspace. I’m currently reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaky. I highly recommend it. It delves into the subject of financial freedom and independency through investment in stocks, assets among other things. This book is great for reading on the train because it teaches foundational information that is essential to your business.

Whether you are a freelancer or not, having these items in your bag is important. They allow you to continue your learning even outside of your home.

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Your turn to share! What do you carry in your bag? Let me know in the comments.

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Christy Joseph, Writer, Shortstints

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