What to Bring on a Freelancing Foray

Maybe your freelancing niche is a work-from-home sort of thing, and you want to relocate to a café or a library for the day. Or, perhaps you’re a freelancer who prefers on-site work. Either way, freelancing forays are all the more successful if you bring some items along to keep you focused, hydrated/nourished, and comfortable.

Is music your muse?

Something that a lot of freelancers use for focus is music. For some, it’s the atmospheric music of a café, while others prefer music apps. I’m in the latter camp, so if you’re like me, make sure you have headphones or earbuds with you. There are pros and cons to either:

  • Headphones are bulkier and can get crushed in your backpack or bag. If you’re just using a basic set, people who happen to be in close proximity to you will also probably be able (somewhat) to hear whatever you’re listening to – particularly if you’re working in a quiet location, like a library. However, if you’re willing to pay a little more, you can get noise-cancelling headphones, which can be more comfortable than earphones, and are great for people who have sensitive ears.
  • Earbuds could not be easier to transport, yet at the same time, if they’re not actually plugged into something, they’re easy to lose. Additionally, if you’re doing the sort of work where you’re moving around a lot, traditional earbuds can slip out of your ears. Sure, there are earbud models that have hooks to secure them to your ears, but they aren’t necessarily comfortable. Speaking of comfort, if you’re someone with sensitive ears, headphones might be your better option.

Keep that energy up.

Some freelancers are very conscious of their hydration and nutrition needs, so they instinctively know what to bring along while they’re working. Then, there are those who are so focused on their work that they forget to drink/eat something, and are only reminded of the necessity when they get dry throats or start to feel weak. Of course, it’s easier to remember these sorts of things if you happen to be in a café.

For you library/office/anywhere that isn’t an eating establishment freelancers out there, make sure you have a combination of the following:

  • Water or juice bottle/portable tea or coffee mug. With any of these things, it’s important to keep them secured; we all know that spills are no fun for clothes or laptops. It tends to be easier to forget disposable water/juice bottles than (BPA-free!) ones you specifically set out to buy for multiple uses.
  • Salads, sandwiches, or snacks: this is, of course, up to personal preferences and dietary restrictions. Make sure whatever you choose to bring is easy to pack, not messy to transport, and complies with the food policies of wherever you happen to be freelancing, like libraries.

Comfort considerations…

Even if we’re not in a formal working situation, it’s always a good idea for us freelancers to exude that air of professionalism. Gone are the days when that meant wearing business attire. Nowadays, the fashion trends are so versatile that we don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort.

  • No matter the season, have a jacket with you – even if it’s not cold outside, air conditioning can get chilly! If you don’t end up using the jacket and are sitting in an uncomfortable chair, consider folding the jacket and making it a cushion of sorts to sit on.

Lastly, make sure that you have a great backpack or messenger bag to carry everything in – the more pockets, the better. Equal weight distribution will be easier on your back/posture.

  • If you’re more of a backpack person, take safety precautions by making sure you never put any valuables in the front pouches. Prefer a messenger bag? When in crowds, hold it more towards your front as opposed to your side.

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