Every day we carry items on ourselves. We call these items Every Day Carry (or EDC) items. There are hundreds of blogs, youtube channels and gadget websites dedicated to the topic. These items say a little bit about us and come in handy for the situations we encounter on a daily basis. I want to take a quick look at the items I carry on me every day.
This was one of the first intentional EDC purchases I made about a year and a half ago. I searched high and low for a small sized pen that was reasonably priced. I found this option from Schrade on Amazon for about $25. The day it arrived, I clipped it in my right pocket and that's where it stays. I generally keep it on me at all times and it comes it handy almost everywhere I go. From quick sketches in my notebook to signing a receipt, this pen is outstanding. The solid aluminum body makes it lightweight and strong considering it's relatively small size. They are discontinued now but you can find a few variations floating around in brass and green. Personally, I love the black.
These small 5"x3" notebooks are incredible and incredibly cheap. I picked up a 2 pack for $1. That's right $1. The blue wasn't my first choice in notebook color, but the price alone sold me. Over time that bright blue color has aquired a nice patina from the regular workout it gets. As a designer, I often am struck with an idea or solution to a problem that my brain has subconsciously been working on. It's a crucial part of my work and life, and it pairs nicely with the Schrade pen. If you don't carry a notebook, I recommend it. There I something inherently inspiring about the tactile sensation of writing something down or doing a quick sketch.
I received this Leatherman Sidekick as a gift last year for Christmas. I was really excited because I had been wanting a basic multi tool that I could throw on my hip and use whenever necessary. I have to admit that most of the use this Leatherman sees is on the blade of the knife which is far more than adequate to get most jobs done. A few instances have come up when a knife doesn't work and the nature of a multi tool really shines. Having the saw blade, screw drivers and files are always nice. The real benefit is in the pliers that can be deployed in a flash. I would highly recommend anyone keeping a multi tool handy if not on them every day.
I also opted to carry it on my hip via the optional leather carry case. Leatherman supplies a small, canvas based carry case, but I wanted to make sure my investment was protected and not subject to unnecessary exposure. I thought about using the belt clip, but again, it's important to me that my multi-tool doesn't get knocked off my belt to be lost forever. The leather carry case is a great asset for keeping my Leatherman always at hand.
This is the second Field and Stream flashlight I have carried. The first was a bit smaller and ran off of a single AA battery. I love that flashlight, but sadly it got lost on a long hike in the woods. Since I loved it so much, I decided to order another. This line of lights were no longer in production, but I happened to find the big brother of the flashlight online at an online 'closeout' type of store. So, I ordered it and I am so glad I did. This light features 220 lumen LED output with adjustable 100%, 50% and 10% output. It also includes an S.O.S. mode as well as a strobing self-defense mode (extremely disorienting). It's powered by 3 AAA batteries and has a small enough profile that I can clip it onto my belt. The light also features a glow in the dark switch so it's easy to find even in low-light situations. The all aluminum body makes it lightweight but still reliably rugged. Plus, you can't beat the black finish. While it's no longer sold, it does look like there's a re-branded version of it available under the name PROTEC Pro 220 Lite. It's available for about $30 from Dick's Sporting Good.
I upgraded from an iPhone 5 (non-S version) to an iPhone 7. Now, I read a lot of reviews and many people said not to upgrade if you were on an iPhone 6S. Well, considering my iPhone 5 was almost 4 years old, I knew it was time for an upgrade. Originally, I was going to try and save a few hundred dollars and go for the 6S 32GB, but I got a great deal from Verizon on the iPhone 7 by trading in my old iPhone 5. In the end, I saved a ton of money by getting the latest iPhone 7. It's a huge improvement in every way from my old phone and I am so glad I went with it. The camera is likely the biggest feature that I love on it. Coming from 4 year old phone, the improvements were light night and day. The pictures have an exponentially greater amount of detail and the camera is ready to take pictures faster than my previous phone.
The second best feature in my opinion is the touch ID. I know some people who don't like this feature and largely ignore it, but if setup properly it can really improve the speed that you access things. From unlocking the phone, to getting my current bank information the touch ID is a incredible convenience for me.
Overall, the iPhone 7 is a vast improvement in my case and it goes with me everywhere. Although, it's a phone...and everyone takes one with them.
I knew that I wanted to protect my iPhone 7. It's a huge investment and my previous iPhone 5 developed a nice bend in the bezel over time. Since the iPhone 7 is a larger form factor, I resolved not to let this happen again and the Otterbox Defender case was the my go-to option. I also incorporate the optional belt holster (go ahead and call me a nerd) to keep it out of my pocket. Since I don't typically wear baggy pants, I don't have a lot of room in my pockets. This case is great and inspires confidence when using my phone. I wasn't sure how the touch ID sensor would work with the protective overlay, but to my surprise I have no problems with it.
I only have two disappointments with the case. First, the that the screen protector is soft, so it bends and changes shape. I would have preferred to have a hard-glass protector. The other disappointment is the touch ID protector. The protective overlay is a little stretchy and I often find that it sticks to the sensor showing a darker round dot where they make contact. It's not a huge deal but more of a visual annoyance.
Overall, this case is excellent and I would highly recommend it if you intend to carry it on your hip. If you want to pocket the iPhone 7 in the Otterbox Defender, I hope you have big pockets because it add significant bulk to the phone. It's not a consideration for me since I carry on my hip.
You may have noticed that there is no wallet mentioned in this post. Well, typically, my wallet isn't right on me. When it is, it's nothing to look at other than a simple, brown, bi-fold wallet. There are a few items that I store in my backpack that comes with me on a daily work-day basis, but outside of work they don't typically come along for the ride. Let me know if you have any other suggestions, or if you have any other gear suggestions!