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The perfect work tote

June 27, 2011

My week days used to look something like this:

Wake up at 8:15AM, read the news, get showered and dressed, walk out the door around 8:45 and walk the 20 yards to my office.  Work.  Walk 20 yards home to my apartment.

Now, my day looks more like this:

Wake up around 6:15AM, get ready, eat breakfast (which I keep forgetting to do to disastrous result), leave apartment to for metro station around 7:35AM.  On the train for about 45 minutes, then  either take the shuttle to campus and then walk 5-10 minutes to the office, or just walk straight to the office, which takes around 20 minutes.  Work.  And then do it all over in reverse.

The moral of that story is, I need to take a lot more crap with me now.  I need normal stuff like phone, wallet, keys, plus my lunch, my kindle, any work materials I need, possibly a change of shoes, umbrella, etc, etc…  I need to be a 1 woman mobile apartment now.  And presently, I just don’t have a bag that is up to the job because sadly the utterly fantastic “The Sak” brand work tote that my mom bought for me back in college has finally bit the dust and they don’t make it anymore.

My requirements:

-Stylish (to at least some extent).  If I am going to be carrying this thing around, I want to at least have some measure of polish.

-comfortable shoulder straps– this bag is going to be heavy, so I need to be able to carry it without wrenching my back

-Organizational pockets/dividers– a tote with no structure is not going to cut it.  I need some organization so that I can find things.  Possibly the ability to add in a laptop sleeve would also be helpful…

-Doesn’t break the bank– I don’t want to go totally cheap on this purchase, seeing as it will certainly be a workhorse, but I don’t want to go crazy either.

The contenders (so far)

-Timbuk2 Cargo Tote $60-$110

D has a Timbuk2 messenger bag that he loves.  He has used it for his commuting needs for several years and it has held up very well.  It meets the organizational need, it’s not needlessly expensive, and you can customize it in all sorts of colors and patterns. But, I am worried that the straps would not be comfortable enough or long enough, and this bag is not as polished as I would like…

Baggu Duck Bag $22

A girl that I see on the metro a lot has this bag, and I always notice it.  It’s a great size and is very cool looking, but I don’t think it has any organizational stuff inside at all, and I don’t know that the one strap would really be all that comfortable

There are about a billion other boring looking (fake) leather satchel/tote bags ranging in price from $20 to $300, but none of them seem like they have comfy straps and they just seem so boring.  Does anyone else have any ideas about where I can find a work bag that puts the fun in functional?

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