Product Placement: Freelancedom Survival Kit

Over at Nerve, I blog about products you need, products you’ll love, and products you probably don’t need but, gosh, they’re so nifty! (My work there gave me the idea to have a regular products feature here at Freelancedom.) During the course of all this blogging, I’ve found many prepackaged “survival” kits, which got me thinking… what could a freelancer on the go use in a survival kit? After the jump, the 6 items I came up with.

1. This wasn’t always the case, but I can’t get through the morning these days without at least one cup of coffee. Thank god there is such a proliferation of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts around. That DD gift card my mom bought me that one year was the best gift ever. If you’re like me, however, and tend to feel a bit picky about the coffee you’re ingesting (I always insist upon a Bavarian chocolate blend I pick up at Gourmet garage), I suggest trying something like this travel coffee pot ($39.99). It even comes with a collapsible spoon, and little packets to hold your coffee grounds and sugar.

2. There are so many networking events I go to where a bulk of the freelancers are without their own business cards. Without a corporate employer to provide them with that small object of legitimacy, it doesn’t occur to them that they are now their own employer, responsible for the marketing and branding of their at-home business. I’ve already posted about several online shops where you can get your own business cards printed up. For some extra-unique business card cases, check out this circuitboard business card case over at ThinkGeek ($19.99), these glossy card pockets from See Jane Work ($3.75), or this clear plastic case from the MoMA Store ($2).

3. In addition to a book (my sister-in-law says I remind her of Rory Gilmore), I always have a notebook & pen on hand, whether to jot down ideas, take down contact information, sketch out story outlines or, um, write a novel whilst on the bus. My favorite ones are the notebooks with elastic closure from Galison, but I also have some moleskins on hand, and recently found this nifty notebook with a spot for your pencil from Suck UK.

4. Is it just me, or can a hectic or high-stress workday sometimes just get the best of you? I find that it helps to walk away from your work, get some fresh air, relax with an hour or so of mindless reality television…but for those who don’t have the time to step away, there’s always the stress ball, that paragon of promotional giveaways. Office Playground has a ton to choose from, and Suck UK has the sort of hilarious Stress Paul. Or you could always just troll whatever professional conference is in town for freebies.

5. I love my flash drive. When I first got it, I was working full-time in book publishing but, in my downtime at the office, I tended to work on my personal writing projects. Enter the flash drive, far superior to the sloppy disc and the CD. Mine’s pretty plain-Jane, but there are so many fun ones out there to choose from: TrekStor is coming out with a combination flash drive/bottle opener later this month, for those late nights in which it somehow seems like a good idea to drink and do work. Urban Outfitters offers a line of Star Wars-themed flash drives. Then there’s this flash drive that actually looks like a file folder! And the list goes on and on. Supermarket has these wooden USB sticks and Perpetual Kid has this mix tape-style one. Do a Google search to see what you can find.

6. As freelancers, we tend to prefer sticking to home base, getting most of our work done at the computer. Sometimes, however, there are business meetings to attend to, errand runs for supplies…When you have to go straight from running around like a maniac to meeting with an important client, it helps to have something small with which to freshen up, like scented travel wipes. Herban Essentials has towelettes in lemon, peppermint, and lavender, and La Fresh has a similar selection.

Anything I’ve missed, you guys? What do you find indispensable as you go about your freelance day?


  1. […] the other day, I posted about the must-have items for the freelancer on the go. Later that day, I followed a link to […]

  2. […] This is so that every inspiration and idea gets captured before I inevitably forget all about it. While many of my scribbles end up as just that — scribbles that I can’t even decipher or remember the meaning of a day later — many more things I’ve written down lead to blog posts, magazine pitches and…ahem…frivolous purchases. (What’re you lookin’ at!?) I’ve already posted in the past about some of my favorite notebooks. […]

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