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  1. #1
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Cool "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup

    I thought I'd share my productivity setup. This is what I'll bring into a cowork for 8+ hours of concentrated work, or if I'm "packing heavy" to a destination where I'm not working just a little, but a lot. This is my productivity setup, for when bringing an external keyboard/mouse is more important than packing light. All of this fits nicely into a Tom Bihn Pilot with plenty of room to spare.

    Over-all setup:

    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-img_20190225_110321-jpg

    Thinkpad X1 Carbon with a Roost Laptop stand -- pretty common setup for non-Mac digital nomads.

    I mix it up a little with a mechanical keyboard. It's a little louder to use, so I have to be cognizant of that in quiet environments, but I do have a softer one I can travel with if need-be. It's a great typing experience -- better even than the Thinkpad's legendary keyboard.

    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-img_20190225_110353-jpg

    I've also really enjoyed using the Logitech Anywhere S5 mouse. It has Bluetooth functionality, so no need for a dongle, and it works really well with a scroll wheel you can toggle between precise clicky scrolls and momentum scrolling. As an added bonus, you can even use it while it charges.

    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-img_20190225_110340-jpg

    My Thinkpad is pretty generous on ports, with full-size HDMI, 4 USB ports (2 C, 2 A), a headphone jack, and an ethernet jack which unfortunately requires a dongle. But its only card reader is in the back and requires closing the kid to even get at, so I travel with a Cablematters USB C HUB that has pass-through charging and lots of ports, including the critical card reader and ethernet ports. Its cable folds into itself, which is nice for throwing in the bag, and it's plastic, so it weights next to nothing.

    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-img_20190225_110458-jpg

    Then I usually bring one good flash drive (USB C 3.1 FTW) and a couple of dongles in case something runs out of battery power.

    These are all the items that I pack "heavy" with. How about you? What's on your maybe list for a work/leisure combo trip?

  2. #2
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    Personally, the keyboard I use when docked is still wireless. I have my keyboard on a sliding keyboard tray and having a wire dangle tends to get tangled in my feet when I put them up on the ottoman I've got tucked under my desk. That said, I've had some bad experiences with bluetooth keyboards dropping, but this Logitech K800 (paired to a Logitech unifying receiver) has been rock solid. You'd barely recognize that it wasn't wired, it performs that well for me. And the rechargable battery tends to last me about 2-3 months on a single charge, even with the all day work use it's subjected to.

  3. #3
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindWandering View Post
    I have a similar setup, including a Thinkpad and a Roost stand, but am looking for a good, wired keyboard. What brand/model is yours?
    I have this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0722GG88M/.

    It's a fully mechanical keyboard, but compact and low-profile. The only real drawback is the sound; each keypress makes an affirmative click. So if your click, click, click is bothersome, it might be an issue in a shared space.

  4. #4
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    I love my Roost stand. It was a game-changer for my home office and travel set up. I'm a Mac user, so I've got the Apple bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    I have this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0722GG88M/.

    It's a fully mechanical keyboard, but compact and low-profile. The only real drawback is the sound; each keypress makes an affirmative click. So if your click, click, click is bothersome, it might be an issue in a shared space.
    Oh goodness... I don't know if we should introduce anyone on THESE forums to the wonderful world of Mechanical Keyboards!

    In all seriousness, I bought a mechanical keyboard for home, and NEVER want to go back.

    However at work, there are several of us that all work in a large open space. I know some of my co-workers would HATE me having a loud click-click-click there, so I'm stuck with a membrane at work. I'm considering getting one of mechanical keyboards with quieter switches, but its a lot of money without know for sure how my colleagues will react.

  6. #6
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    I work in a government office, so we have "no frills" equipment in most cases. My keyboard clicks, AND the scroll on my mouse does too! We have cubicle walls though, so it has to be absolutely quiet before my neighbors' clicks are even audible.

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by definityx View Post
    Oh goodness... I don't know if we should introduce anyone on THESE forums to the wonderful world of Mechanical Keyboards!

    In all seriousness, I bought a mechanical keyboard for home, and NEVER want to go back.
    I have a mechanical keyboard too, though what I love about it is the ergonomics and the beauty of it. I'm still pretty neutral on the mechanicalness. (That's a word now, I just made it up.)

    This is what my keyboard looks like, though the photo itself is from a Google image search. It's a Keyboardio Model 01:
    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-keyboardio-jpeg

    Edited to add: I suppose to tie this in better with the original post (instead of haring off down the mechanical keyboard path) I should add that it has a travel case! I haven't used the travel case yet, but on the rare occasions that I do significant amounts of typing away from home, it will be very handy. Before they came out with the travel case I put the keyboard in a Tom Bihn Brain Cell to protect it, but that was bulkier than needed.
    Last edited by aedifica; 02-26-2019 at 08:14 AM.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  8. #8
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by definityx View Post
    Oh goodness... I don't know if we should introduce anyone on THESE forums to the wonderful world of Mechanical Keyboards!

    In all seriousness, I bought a mechanical keyboard for home, and NEVER want to go back.

    However at work, there are several of us that all work in a large open space. I know some of my co-workers would HATE me having a loud click-click-click there, so I'm stuck with a membrane at work. I'm considering getting one of mechanical keyboards with quieter switches, but its a lot of money without know for sure how my colleagues will react.
    You could always go with scissor switches.

    FWIW, I've used to have (well, still have, in storage) a cherry mx brown Das Keyboard model. They key travel itself might have been silent as advertised, but the keys themselves would clack a bit against the body of the keyboard, making it still louder to use.

    But yes, the wonderful and weird world of mechanical keyboards. My favorite of all time is still the IBM Modem M. Buckling spring or bust, baby!

  9. #9
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I have a mechanical keyboard too, though what I love about it is the ergonomics and the beauty of it. I'm still pretty neutral on the mechanicalness. (That's a word now, I just made it up.)

    This is what my keyboard looks like, though the photo itself is from a Google image search. It's a Keyboardio Model 01:
    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-keyboardio-jpeg

    Edited to add: I suppose to tie this in better with the original post (instead of haring off down the mechanical keyboard path) I should add that it has a travel case! I haven't used the travel case yet, but on the rare occasions that I do significant amounts of typing away from home, it will be very handy. Before they came out with the travel case I put the keyboard in a Tom Bihn Brain Cell to protect it, but that was bulkier than needed.
    That's interesting! It vaguely reminds me of this famous thing, the Kinesis:

    "Packing Heavy" Productivity Setup-kinesis-advantage-jpg

    What keys are on those thumb rows on yours?

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    That's interesting! It vaguely reminds me of this famous thing, the Kinesis:

    ...

    What keys are on those thumb rows on yours?
    The Kinesis was one of the inspirations for the Model 01, if I remember right. I've reprogrammed mine a bit, so my thumb keys are Space, Command, Shift, and Control (the same keys on both sides). The stock version has Control, Backspace, Command, and Shift on the left, and Shift, Alt, Space, and Control on the right. The big oval palm keys below the thumb keys are function keys--for example, palm key + L is the right arrow key.

    The option to reprogram the keys has really added to the ergonomics for me and decreased the few frustrations I had with learning a new keyboard layout. The Model 01 moves the Enter key and a few other frequently-used keys to the center so that one touches them with the index finger or thumb instead of the little finger. When I got the keyboard I had to re-learn those key positions, which took a little while but mostly went OK. However, any time I reached for the H I kept going too far and hitting Enter instead, which could have caused a big problem any time I was typing commands into a command line (and it was embarrassing when I was typing in chat). But since I could reprogram the keys, I just moved Enter to a different key! Now the former Enter key is my Alt key, so when I hit it by mistake nothing happens.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  11. #11
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    The Kinesis was one of the inspirations for the Model 01, if I remember right. I've reprogrammed mine a bit, so my thumb keys are Space, Command, Shift, and Control (the same keys on both sides). The stock version has Control, Backspace, Command, and Shift on the left, and Shift, Alt, Space, and Control on the right. The big oval palm keys below the thumb keys are function keys--for example, palm key + L is the right arrow key.

    The option to reprogram the keys has really added to the ergonomics for me and decreased the few frustrations I had with learning a new keyboard layout. The Model 01 moves the Enter key and a few other frequently-used keys to the center so that one touches them with the index finger or thumb instead of the little finger. When I got the keyboard I had to re-learn those key positions, which took a little while but mostly went OK. However, any time I reached for the H I kept going too far and hitting Enter instead, which could have caused a big problem any time I was typing commands into a command line (and it was embarrassing when I was typing in chat). But since I could reprogram the keys, I just moved Enter to a different key! Now the former Enter key is my Alt key, so when I hit it by mistake nothing happens.
    Wow... thanks for the explanation and telling me about this keyboard. I had basically given up on the idea of a travel-ready ergonomic keyboard with mechanical switches, so this changes everything for me.

    Now excuse me while I climb down the rabbit hole of research.

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    Wow... thanks for the explanation and telling me about this keyboard. I had basically given up on the idea of a travel-ready ergonomic keyboard with mechanical switches, so this changes everything for me.

    Now excuse me while I climb down the rabbit hole of research.
    Enjoy your rabbit hole! The travel case for the Model 01 is not small, but it's as small as it could get and still protect the keyboard. I don't see the travel cases on their website right now, but they've been very responsive to questions in my experience, so if that's something you're interested in you could ask them.

    I don't know what other options might be out there for ergonomic mechanical-switch travel-ready keyboards, I hope you find something great! (Whether it's a Keyboardio Model 01 or something else.)
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

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