My “On the Go” Work Kit

I work at home, and I absolutely love it. Since I am an introvert, I love being in my own space, letting home inspire me, and I don’t get tired of my own company. Being an online interior design grants me this very big perk, along with being able to connect with clients all over the US. Since having affordable and personal design in your home is something I so strongly believe in, I really love spreading the word that you can afford interior design – by doing it online!

Every Tuesday, I venture out of the house to work elsewhere. It’s a big goal of mine. This is a pretty essential habit of my every week, since spending all day every day at home turns me into a grumpy shut-in. I am a very organized person, so keeping my work life 100% organized – while still being mobile – is a very important part of my life. So here is how I do it!

First off, my computer (and access to the internet) is obviously the most important piece of doing online interior design. This is a tricky piece of my life right now, since my 8 year old Macbook Pro died a few weeks ago (😭), but I have been able to get by, chatting with my clients through my phone, and borrowing my husband’s work computer. But, I am going to be changing up my mobile life by buying a Chromebook. Since a Chromebook works 100% online, all of my files will be 100% backed up in the cloud at all times, and working through Google servers. I will be able to access them from any computer, so switching between my laptop and my desktop will be no work at all. These days, forgetting my external hard drive means I need to run home again before I can work. Having a Chromebook will definitely be something to get used to, especially since it works more like a tablet than a laptop, by in my life, taking my whole work life online is definitely more of a pro than a con. Currently, there is no way to use photoshop on a Chromebook, but Adobe is working on making an app for streaming Photoshop using Adobe servers, which I am really looking forward to. But for now, I will have to do all my photoshop work in the days I am at home – before I head out into the world!

My work book is one of those mini binders from Target. Each of my projects are behind a tab divider, and I write down – yes, by hand – every piece of information a client gives to me. Writing it down makes me focus in on exactly what they want, and I am way less likely to forget something if it is in list form, right in front of me! I also print out and keep their photos on hand and draw out their floor plan, so I don’t have to switch back and forth between screens, and I add information with layers of sticky notes. Whenever a client sends me a piece of information, a thought, or an idea, I write it down and stick it on their main information page. I always spend the first part of my work day keeping my work book updated, and it is always open and in front of me whenever I am working!

My bullet journal not only keeps my main to-do lists organized, but also keeps me connected to and balanced in my personal life. I keep track of what I am eating, drinking, how much sleep I get, and then fun things, like the books I read, my ideas, and what I really want to get done in my day. A bullet journal has been such a trendy thing for a while, so I didn’t jump on board until recently – but, you guys, I am glad I did. It helps me focus into a single day, or zoom out and plan my whole month at once, as well as keep all my goals in sight. I will be writing a blog post soon about how it has really helped me both in my work life, and in my day-to-day life too!

My big calendar is just a monthly work calendar with all my project due dates in it. I like that I can see a whole month in a spread, and I don’t have to flip through weeks or individual days (I have my bullet journal for that anyway). I can also see what’s coming up in the next week, and how far I should work ahead on each of my projects. I work so that I get everything done for a project two days ahead of time, and this helps me keep that in mind too. When I setup where I am working for my day, I lay my calendar down first, with my work book on top, and work over them to get to my laptop. That way, all of what I need to do is constantly in front of my as I work.

I carry everything I have in my favorite Herschel backpack. It isn’t too big, so I can’t carry too much, and since it only has one main pocket, I can see everything all stacked together, instead of getting confused by so many tiny pockets. I also have a few casual cross-body purses that I carry around – so my phone, keys, and wallet are in easy reach. I don’t want to open my whole backpack to get what I need right in front of me.

Settling down to work in front of a computer all day isn’t always the most encouraging thought, so I go out of my way to make sure I am comfortable all day. I am really not shy about carrying a blanket (or two, I’ll be honest), and dressing in layers. Here in Colorado, weather can not be too friendly, so being confident whether in the snow or sun is my goal every day. Since I am cold practically every second of the day, I have been pretty obsessed with little felt boots and I constantly wear sweaters. Cozy and warm are definitely my fashion goals.

And of course, I carry headphones, my phone charger and a little toiletry kit – because seriously – a little mirror, hair ties, Neutrogena shine control powder, and this gem are necessary to me when I am in public. I also carry a snap-top cup for water, and it’s 16oz so I can always track how much I hydrate in a day.

Working from home is definitely a dream come true! It is amazing to me how much joy it has given me in my life. Almost as much as my clients and the projects I am honored to work on every day. Staying organized, and keeping all of my information in front of me is definitely a priority, so finding ways to do this is important. But, it can also be fun! I love keeping a bullet journal, finding amazing places to work, and keeping my life ordered. It’s one of my favorite things.

But being organized doesn’t mean you can’t work away from your desk! Taking my laptop outside, finding a coffee shop I can walk to, or taking the light rail downtown not only gives me energy and a purpose in my day, but inspires me by showing me new things and places. Interior design is everywhere! And noticing those details makes me a better designer. Because: inspiration leads to motivation.