If you disregard the corner of my bedroom, as a freelancer I generally don’t have a stationary office in one location. Instead I’m often bouncing to and forth different coffee shops depending on what part of LA I’m in (aka where traffic dictates me to be.) Working outside of the home office isn’t bad though, I actually prefer it. Finding a location outside to work from changes up the environment and exposes you to different people, which in turn can inspire you with new ideas. Plus getting fresh air is always nice.
There are a few things you have to look out for when finding a good coffee spot to work from. Primarily you need:
Once you have all those checked off all you need then is to bring yourself and your work. Then you should be good to go! If you want to bring a few more items to make yourself feel more at home and productive while you’re working on the go here are a few items that I essential to take with me.
If I have to write out a description of why you need a laptop to work from a coffee shop, I’m going to slap you.
A physical hard drive is useful for backing up and having multiples of your work. Whenever I’m working on client work it’s imperative to have two copies of the files because if I only have one drive and it goes down and I happen to lose a large portion of client work I would most certainly would be in a big pile of doo doo.
Cool Key Chains (USB)
My keys are decked out with awesome multifunction key chains! The two that I use the most are a CHARGEKEY NOMAD, and a USB Drive. I often forget my Apple cable at home which then results in the inability to charge my iPhone. With the Chargekey I’ll always have some means of connecting my phone to a power source. The USB Drive is useful because sending and storing files over the internet can be quite slow still (we really need to catch up to South Korea‘s internet.)
When inspiration strikes it’s nice to have a singular place to collect everything. Personally I prefer the Classic 5 x 8.25in blank notebooks from Moleskine.
Ah! One of the most basic essentials to have… yet isn’t it strange that whenever you need to sign something or write down an important piece of info you never seem to have one on hand? Get a bunch of pens and keep them in your bag.
Considering all our gadgets these days are constantly on, gps-ing, bluetoothing, etc. We need MORE POWER and MORE OUTLETS!!! Some days my friends and I will work on things together at a coffee shop and lo and behold, all of us need to charge our laptops. This little guy has saved digital lives. Get one here.
Coffee shops are a shared public space where nearby chatter can go up to an uproar. Tune out all the excess noise with headphones. Headphones also serve a dual purpose in acting as a visual cue of “do not disturb!”
I used a Cintiq to retouch photos when I’m at home. When I’m on the go I have my small Intuos. It’s so tiny, light weight and allows me to make progress on images. Before I started taking a tablet around I would edit using a wireless mouse –and let’s face it once you start working with a pen and tablet you will never go back to a mouse or trackpad.
If you’re even in the Los Angeles area here are a few of my favorite spots! 🙂