11 of My Insanely Useful Work Bag Essentials

I know you won’t be a stranger to the “what’s in my bag” style blog posts.

But there are two main reasons why I wanted to write this. One, because I love these types of posts. And two, because we’re all career-focused women and who doesn’t want to have a peek into someone’s work bag?

 So here we are. Now I probably don’t carry as much in my bag as other people, because I just like to have the essentials (and a few back-ups). I actually think I do a pretty good job at keeping my bag tidy – but I’ll let you be the judge of that!

It’s safe to say that even though these are my daily essentials, my bag is still full of receipts, random hairs and yep – every time I get my headphones out they’re tangled. I try to be more glamorous that…promise.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure you’d benefit from all of these items too, so take note and let’s get organising our bags!

First up, let’s talk about the bag.

I saw this in H&M while Tom and I were Christmas shopping in December and what do you know – it was one of his gifts to me. I’d wanted a black tote bag for a long time and when I came across this one, I knew it was the one for me. It’s also got a strap so I can wear it more than one way, which I think is really important for any bag, and it’s a decent size to use at the weekend too. I’m finding everything about it perfect and it looks so good with every single outfit I wear. Shop it here.

#1 | Purse

Every single purse I’ve ever owned has been from River Island and that’ll never change. I absolutely love their range. At the moment I’m on a peachy coloured one which, like my bag, goes with everything. Things you’ll find in my purse are all my necessary cards, any gift vouchers and loads of receipts. Something you’ll never find in my purse though, is loose change. I never carry it with me, because I know I’d be too tempted to spend it! Instead, I put all my spare change in a pot at home to save up.

#2 | Charger

I’ve read quite a few of these posts over time and something I never see included in the round-up is a charger. For me it’s a no brainer! Ever been somewhere when you’ve needed your phone and it’s run out of battery? Yep, been there. This is a staple. Especially if you work long days and use your phone a lot. Just don’t start letting other people know you've got one with you – you don’t want it to go missing!

#3 | Planning notepad

A big A4 notebook is officially how and where I plan my blog posts. I don’t like just sitting down to write a post. I need to be clear about the outline and what I’m going to include. So that’s why this notebook is with me. Usually on my lunch break, I’ll look where I’m up to with my content and plan a few posts so I can blast them out during another lunch break or in the evening. If you ever have a spare few minutes throughout the day, a notebook can be your best friend.

#4 | Work diary

Some people tend to leave their work diary at work, but I always keep it with me, and for good reason. There are time throughout the year when I do a lot of evening events. So I need to know what these evenings are and I also need to let my family know too. That’s why my work diary stays with me. If Tom says, “Want to go out for tea on Thursday?”, I’ve got my work diary to hand so I can see whether or not I’m free. You don’t have to be attached to it, but it’s always good to carry with you.

#5 | My own diary

Carrying my own diary makes me feel really organised. I like to keep my work and personal diaries separate so there’s no overlap with my day job when I clock out at the end of the day. I’m using one from Muji at the most which is great, because the left hand page is the current week, and the right hand side is blank – perfect for lists, notes and other doodles. But as you might know, I’m in the process of putting my own bullet journal together, so watch this space!

I know some of you might say it’s easier to keep everything on your phone. But honestly? I’d forget to look at it! There’s something about writing everything down in my planner that helps me be more organised and productive, so I’m going to do what I can to make it stay that way.

#6 | Plasters

I’m a blister prone girl – especially in summer. So it’s always handy to carry a pack with me in case of an emergency. I bet almost every girl has been in that situation where you’ve got a blister and no plasters. Carry a pack with you!

#7 | Water

I always carry a bottle of water with me, wherever I go. The great thing about my workplace is there’s a water cooler so I can go and fill up my bottle whenever I want. This keeps my hunger cravings at bay and drinking more water has also given me loads of other benefits too. If you want to have clearer skin, be less tired and have more energy, pop a bottle of water in your bag.

#8 | Umbrella

For those I don’t want to ruin my hair/shoes/make-up/coat moments.

#9 | Pencil case

Yes, I’m old-school and carry a pencil case. I like to be tidy, see. I’ve got biros, fancy pens, coloured pens, and even a ruler, sharpener and rubber set. Cool or what!

#10 | Lip balm & Lipstick

I’ve always been prone to having really dry lips so these are definitely essentials in my bag. Nivea lip balm is my go-to at the moment and I love how it makes my lips feel. I’m using a plain one and a tinted pink one too. As for lipstick, Clinique is my go-to. On Wednesday, I put some on at 8am, went to present an assembly, was back at work for 10am and it still looked perfect.

#11 | Mirror

Absolutely necessary – especially for checking for any crumbs that escaped after lunch!

#12 | Soap & Glory Body Spray

I got a couple of these for Christmas and I’ve started wearing them for work. They give off a really strong smell and make my clothes smell yummy! The ends of my hair usually get a spray as well and it’s always lovely to get a whiff of it when I'm sat at my desk.

#13 | Handwash

Because working in a college with over 3,000 16-18 year olds, germs are everywhere.

#14 | Sunglasses

I’m looking for some new ones for this summer, but I carry one pair for now. The sun hasn't been present much lately, but we did have a few glorious Spring days last week that definitely required sunnies.

#15 | Keys

You just need them. Always.

There are probably a few other things you carry that I don’t, like earphones, business cards or other make-up bits. But for me, a day never goes wrong when I’ve got these essentials. I really enjoyed putting this post together - hope you enjoyed reading it too.


Let's chat in the comments - what are some of your daily bag essentials? Do we share any of the same must-have items? 

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