Office in a Bag

As coaches, we’re always on the go. With an observation here and a planning meeting there, whose to say where we’ll be during any given day. When I began coaching I quickly figured out that I would need some kind of “office in a bag” so that I would always be prepared for wherever my day might take me. My first attempt at this was a big, bulky shoulder bag that I had previously used for hiking and traveling. It wasn’t bad really, but it wasn’t great either. It wasn’t organized in any useful way and it needed a good purge.

Sometimes you just need a little encouragement from seeing what others are doing to get going yourself, and that is just what Jen over at iheartorganizing gave me a few weeks ago when I read one of her posts. As I read how she organized her bag for blogging I thought, “I can do that for coaching!” Let’s take a look inside.

The first coaching essential you’ll find is my coaching planner.


And here I have my much needed working folders. I picked up a great tip from David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done.” In his book he shares that he carries an “inbox” folder in his briefcase. He explains that it’s just as important to have a mobile inbox as a stationary inbox. Brilliant! Who needs a mobile inbox more than coaches? No more crumpled up papers floating around in my bag. They will now all have a temporary, but intentional home. I use my “Inbox” folder for important papers that I know I need to keep and will file or process them as soon as I get back to my desk. My “Other Work” folder is used for any other papers I may need, but won’t keep. For example, papers needed for a planning or debrief session that day or copies that need to be made.


In Jen’s post she shares how she uses a small cosmetics pouch from Target to carry around smaller odds and ends. Love it! I immediately went to Target and snagged one myself. Next to it you’ll see my treasured Dot Grid Journal which serves as my space to write out thoughts and ideas connected to coaching.

Pouch-and-Notes Open-Pouch2

In the first pouch you’ll find a few freshen-up items. I can’t live without coffee in the morning, but I’m also a little scared of coffee breath, hence the mouthwash. Also, never underestimate the value of a mini stain stick!


In the second pouch I have a few computer essentials such as a wireless mouse and a traveling mouse pad {that also serves as a screen cleaner, bonus!}. I don’t always use these, but they sure are nice to have on the occasions when I’m working on my computer for awhile.


When I have a few free minutes at lunch or in between coaching sessions, I like being able to pull out one of my favorite education magazines.


One thing I’m pretty well known for {and made fun of for} is my use of screen cleaner.  I really, really don’t like having a dirty computer screen or keyboard so this handy spray and wipe gets a special spot in the side pocket of my bag. And my laptop sleeve is a must. Keeps my computer from scratches and wear and tear.


I also place my chapstick, lotion, and a pen in an easily accessible pocket on the side of my bag next to my water bottle.


Although I don’t carry it with me throughout the day, I can also fit my clutch in my bag.


Tada! Here it is all put together. It’s not too big and bulky, yet holds everything I need.


Do you have an office in a bag? What’s it like?!

Thanks for reading,


6 Responses to “Office in a Bag”

  1. Tammy October 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    What an awesome idea! I love any tips that will help me be better organized.

  2. samantha November 14, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    love this! can you share how big your actual ‘office’ bag is? it looks like a nice tote with a square structure..assuming it helps to ‘contain’ better? thots?

    • Kristin Houser November 15, 2013 at 6:47 am #

      Hi Samantha! I found the bag at DSW. Definitely a nice square structure, not too big, and super affordable!
      Thanks :)

  3. Amy Rudd August 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Great ideas here Kristin! I need to put together a bag like this…thanks for sharing!

    • Kristin Houser August 25, 2015 at 7:47 am #

      Thanks so much for your comment Amy! If you do happen to put together an office in a bag, send me a pic!

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