7 Must Haves For Tech Moms Who Work On the Go

Even though I do most of my work from home, it’s good to change my work environment. Not only does it make me less like a hermit, but the people watching at my local Starbucks is good entertainment. Not to mention the free refills thanks to my Starbucks Gold card.  In the next month or so I’m also traveling quite a bit to attend blogging conferences and Book Expo America so it’s time to beef up my mobile office bag.

Besides the usual clothes, smartphone, laptop/tablet, wallet, etc when packing for your mobile office, here are the essentials I can’t leave home without.
My New Trent iMirror backup battery/charger is always in my bag, not just when I’m traveling. It weighs only 9 ounces so you’ll barely notice, which probably weighs less than my wallet. The iMirror is one big battery that will, via USB cable, charge my Samsung Galaxy SII up to three times before it runs out of juice! Or your iPad up to 50% battery. The battery will charge your iPhone, HTC, whatever device you have a USB cable for. The iMirror because it has two USB ports so you can charge two items at once, which will make you pretty popular at blogger events! It’s currently on sale at 50% off on Amazon for $50. There’s even a deal where you can get a free, smaller battery pack when you buy the iMirror. Go!

I never thought I needed a wireless hotspot until I owned one. My NetZero 4G Hotspot has come in handy at Ikea, where I worked while my kids played. I’ve pulled it out during meetings because you can connect up to 8 devices to it! I use it in the car when my son is super cranky and only the iPad will soothe him. I’ve even used it to get some work done in the car, while my husband drives of course. NetZero charges a monthly fee for its service but they also offer a very low data plan free. You just have to purchase the device. If you’re a power user like me, you will probably want a higher plan. My NetZero hotspot has also saved me from paying the high wireless fees that hotels charge. (Want more info, read my full review on the NetZero 4G Hotspot.)

A retractable USB cable might not sound like a big deal, but it keeps my bag/purse less cluttered. The iMirror comes with one, but it’s always good to have a second one. Because it’s retractable I won’t have to worry about tangled cords or losing the tie that keeps your cord bundled up. I found mine at the Five Below store, but this one on Amazon contains different tips (micro USB, iOS, etc) that will work for almost any device.

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse: I don’t use a mouse very often with my laptop, but when I want one, I pull out my wireless Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse. The travel friendly mouse stores flat and curls up when you’re ready to use it. You won’t lose the wireless USB adapter either because a magnet stores it underneath the mouse. I feel very Star Trekkie high tech when I pull it out of my laptop case. Maybe a little hip too. The Arc Touch is a full size mouse so you won’t get any hand cramps while using it. Bonus, the mouse is also available in different colors and designs. The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse retails for $59.95, but I wish mine was this Sangria Red one, which is currently $34.99 on Amazon.

A good laptop sleeve is a must have for anyone who works on the go. After searching for a stylish sleeve for my new laptop (which is larger than my old, broken one), I discovered this super cute fuschia Golla laptop sleeve that also converts to a bag with the included strap. It’s lightly padded and has a zippered pocket on the outside. If you don’t want to use it as a sling, there’s a handle that pops up from the top of the bag. I prefer sleeves because I can just stick it in my big purse and it won’t count as a carry-on item.  I just bought mine and will put it to the test on my travels soon. I’ll keep you updated! I couldn’t find the link to the bag I purchased on Amazon, but Golla has a huge, color selection of laptop bags and sleeves in many sizes.
I confess, I carry a big purse, but that’s because I’m still lugging diapers around. (I hope that changes soon, the diaper part.) I also convert my diaper bag, like my JJ Cole Caprice bag, into my mobile work station bag when I travel or head to Starbucks to work. It’s large enough to fit my 15.6″ laptop and my iPad. Though if I take the iPad away on my travels, my kids might cry. I picked a pink laptop sleeve to coordinate with the print on my Caprice bag. If you missed my review of the JJ Cole Caprice bag, check it out. I also own the JJ Cole Swag, a hobo style bag that’s big enough for my netbook. JJ Cole offers a huge selection of diaper bags that don’t look like diaper bags. For realz.

Last but not least, the most important thing for this working mom: coffee. If you’re traveling it can be hard to get your hands on a good cup of coffee. I always carry a stash of Starbucks VIA with me. It’s pretty easy to find hot water and sweetener at the airport. You won’t be subjected to bad coffee in your hotel room either. Sometimes I’ll bring the Starbucks VIA  Iced Coffee with me too. I’ve seen similar packets at Trader Joe’s but haven’t tried them out. If you want an Vietnamese style iced coffee, my husband drinks this VinCafe brand. Warning: it’s on the sweet side.

So there you go, my work on the go essentials. What’s a must-have for you when you’re working on the go or traveling?

While I received some of the above items to review, most of  these were personally purchased. I use them almost everyday and recommend them from personal experience. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.