The Heroik Hour Episode 15: EDC Gear – EveryDay Carry – Hardware Edition

Welcome to the Heroik Hour, the podcast where we discuss and bring together Technology Leadership and Culture to help you fired up and mission ready for the great life. I’m your host, Nicholas McGill, Chief Experience Officer for Heroik Media. Thank you so much for joining us on episode 15.

Before we get started on this episode – I’m making a few important changes to the show that I think you’ll enjoy.

First, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from fans and friends of the show, and

There are 3 things that you guys want from The Heroik Hour:

  • Shorter episodes that are easier to digest
  • You want a place to ask questions and get No Bull Heroik Answers.
  • Access to premium show notes with action items

So you’ve listened to me and I want to show that I’ve been listening to you and your feedback so here’s the new deal. It’s my intention to shorten each episode down to around 20 minutes. But fear not heroes, I’m not going to deprive you of any nuggets or meaty content, but I want to honor your time

Next, for all of you who want the lean version and bullet point takeaways from each episode, if you get on my mailing list, I’ll email you the lean and mean edition of the show notes with some follow through action items to get you started, along with some exclusive field notes. You can sign up for the list at www.getheroik.com/join

And finally, I love answering specific, meaty questions about business, life, and all things TLC, technology, leadership and culture. And I’d love to hear from you. So for those of you who are signed up for the mailing list, you can post your questions on the Get Heroik Facebook Page, or tweet me @iamheroik – on instagram @getheroik  – HEROIK – or email me – nicholas@getheroik.com

In this episode we’re going to talk about EDC- Every Day Carry gear that will help you be mission ready come what may. I am going to share with you 13 pieces of the battle proven gear, technology and ideas that I use everyday as well as the principles that will help you make better choices in your everyday Heroik Lifestyle.

If you’re an entrepreneur running a lean startup, a road warrior for a great company, or just have a need for flexibility and versatility in your work day, the tools you carry every day are important to your success. Since so many of us work in public spaces, the tools we use and the way that we operate become part of our brand identities. So there’s a lot more at stake, and most people are unaware of it, but it’s important to pay attention to what you carry and why you carry it, to ensure you’re following the Heroik Golden Rule and always making room for what serves you and getting rid of that which does not.  

Over the next few episodes I’m going to walk you through 3 different layers of Every Day Carry for the digital nomad and tactical professional.

This episode is all about hardware, the next episode will be all about software, and the third episode will be about character and culture. So you get gear, apps and cultural education this week in these 3 episodes.

In general, my philosophy that governs the gear I carry is as follows:

I favor workhorses over show horses, utility over luxury and style where it counts.

Backpack vs. Briefcase

BackPack – or Ruck as we refer to them. I prefer backpacks, but my wife convinced me to try a briefcase to look more professional. So I used to carry a fancy Kenneth Cole, black leather briefcase, but it just couldn’t fit everything I need and gave me very little options traveling. So I balanced my love for rucks with the professional/luxe backpack and ponied up  the dough for a TUMI alpha bravo line. It’s an amazing luxurious backpack with plenty of room for the all of my everyday gear. This is one of those things that everyone will see, everywhere you go, so it’s an important part of your brand. And so, this is why I buy for style where it counts.

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So what do I carry every day?

1. Laptop – Why a Macbook vs. PC. I was an IT Consultant for a decade. And unless you’re a geek, it just makes no sense to carry a PC. Don’t get me wrong there’s some good looking equipment out there, I love my gaming desktop PC, and I love the look of Microsoft’s Surface Book line, but I do not have the time nor the desire to perpetually be troubleshooting some broken thing or another. Bottom line the Macbook is a workhorse that happens to be a show horse. If I could rely on PC not bugging out or getting malware, I’d switch.

2. I have the same attitude when it comes to phones. In the Android vs. iOS war, I use an iPhone 6s for the same reason. Android phones inevitably get bitrot, and this bugs me. I do love the freedom of the platform and do use and love a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2014 edition, but again, my phone, like my laptop, are workhorses first and hobby machines second.

3. You’ll hear me talk about the strength and power of a good paper practice from time to time. And I do indeed carry a Physical NoteBook, because I believe the act of physically writing has a deeper relationship with the brain and is less of an abstract interaction than what we do on the screen. However, I’ve lost moleskine notebook with years of notes in it and been devastated. So I carry a hybrid solution. I use the Moleskine Livescribe Edition – which syncs my handwritten notes with Evernote. I’d prefer it synced notebooks with Google Docs, but I rest easy knowing that every note is backed up.

4. Headphones and headsets – I used to carry Beats Wireless headphones with me but they simply take up more room than what they’re worth in terms of my workflow. In fact, I don’t carry over the ear headphones at all anymore. And I won’t carry anything without a microphone on it. So, I carry two types of earbuds, sealed and unsealed. Sealed earbuds provide more noise cancellation by default, and you can’t hear what’s going on around you. These are great for the gym, and to that end. You can’t go wrong with a $10 Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds with Mic/Controller (Model RP-TCM125-K ). Unsealed earbuds, like the default earbuds that come with the iPhone, allow you to still be aware of your environment. These aren’t particularly sexy or unique, but their effective, and cheap to replace.

5. I organize these headphones with these super small foam zip up cases I bought from amazon. They are some no-name/ White Label brand, they may even be part of the Amazon Basic series, they cost under $10 and prevent my headsets from tangling with everything else.

6. I carry various lightning and USB cables of multiple lengths, mostly from Anker powerline series or braided lines, and I for cable organization, I’ve used several solutions over the years; the type-A nutjob,  a $45 Hyde and Park, leather organizer and a $1 pencil organizer I bought at WalMart. And I have to say the $1 dollar pencil organizer with a clear window works the best. This is because I can verify all my gear is sealed inside and I can throw everything in there. I can’t imagine how long it takes the other type-A types to pack up their stuff and go. It’s a bit ridiculous for where I’m at right now at least.

7. I don’t like to donate business cards to other people’s trash cans, which is where most business cards go if you do what most people do which is hand them out to everyone regardless of the context. I choose to operate on the Willy Wonka rule – I give out business cards only after developing a sincere connection and fanfare and then making the recipient feel like they’ve got their hands on a golden ticket, just like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As far as cards go I use the Moo Luxe edition cards in the UK odd size, just to stand out from the crowd. I love moo. It’s a bit pricey, but when you follow the Willy Wonka Rule, you’re not taking the shotgun approach to dispensing business cards.

The Heroik Principle of the Plug -Every charger I carry, I make sure it provides extra ports so I can share with others. This ensures that no matter how busy  the workspace or cafe is that I can get a plug even if the plug is taken because I can ask and offer to share. This gives me yet another conversation starter as well and I enjoy meeting new people.

8. I always carry a 6ft Bluelounge Extension Cord and it’s Awesome. It’s got two plugs, two USB ports, and a magnetic/velcro bracket so you can attach it to a bedpost or something and remove it when you’re on the go. The extra 6 feet is the difference between computing in bed, having power at the cafe, and having to resort to your phone or notebook. It has an extra plug so you can share with anyone hogging the ports or offer it to someone looking for them.

9. 4 Port Charger from Anker – It’s got the Chi QI charging ports. Its about the size of a Macbook Air  charger brick. Small and powerful.

10. 4 Port Car Charger from Anker – that does the same for the car. My wife and I don’t have to compromise. I even keep a separate charger for passengers in the back seat to share on road trips as well.

11. I have  a suped up Anker battery bank with QI charging ports as well. So when I’m not near an outlet, and my phone battery runs low, I’ve got something to plug into. This is my go-to device at conferences. And of course, there are extra ports so I can share and charge other people’s phones while I talk to them.

img_3758web12. I always carry a physical book and (13) highlighters. I make time to read and study, and this is always my backup if someone bails on a meeting. So I’m never at a loss of things to do at any moment. Also. Life is short, Highlight your books and write in the margins, so when you re-read them, you can fly through them for mastery.

These 13 pieces of gear serve me well and will serve any digital nomad and tactical professional. Now more important than the gear itself, is how you use it, so remember these three nuggets:

  • Working in public is a demonstration of your brand in action. Every element shapes the perception of who you are and what you’re all about. Be mindful. People are watching.
  • Favor workhorses over show horses, utility over luxury and style where it counts.
  • Remember The Principle of the Plug – Always offer an extra port to share with others. You’ll always have a plug for yourself and others, which is a great way to get to know people.

Be sure to sign up for our list if you want specific amazon links along with some extended recommendations. Be sure to check out show notes too all of it is available at getheroik.com – It’s time for that jam session, time to power it up and bring your energy back up. I hope you find these recommendations worth it, I hope you use them to make yourself mission ready for the great life and I will catch you on the next episode.

Hidden Track After Party

A Few Extras-  That are part of my everyday carry but might not be essential to yours.

Worth mentioning in the spirit of EDC, if you’ve seen EDC Ever Day Carry Kits on the web or Pinterest, there’s usually a wallet and some glasses. When it comes to glasses and wallets I have a $20 and less rule, because I use, abuse and lose them so easily. My wife and I are pragmatic and prefer to spend the big dollars on the things that matter the most.

  • Knife’s – Spyder Co. ParaMillitary2 G10 Grip or Kershaw SkyLine –
  • MultiTool – Leatherman OHT – One Hand Tool
  • Sandisk Cruzer 256GB Drive in Case Wifi is not an option

I have two smartwatches. I love the Pebble Time Steel and am excited about the new bigger edition without the ugly bezel. It does everything a Smartwatch should do. Voice to text, media controls and of course notifications.  But I spent dough on an Apple Watch, and find myself wearing it more, not because the OS is good, or because it’s Apple, but for 2 simple reasons: I’ve been using Apple pay, and it’s pretty convenient. Also because the find my phone and find my watch feature are also pretty good.  I’m telling you this because I know how stupid a reason that is to wear a watch. And if this wouldn’t tickle your fancy I wouldn’t recommend it. The Apple watch has a ton of compromises and doesn’t matter which version you’re buying for the most part. The call volume is too low, and there are a lot of bugs in the first edition. Many of these were fixed with the latest software update, but I won’t lie to you, there’s a lot left to be desired.

I’m a guy. I love it. I like being mission ready for life.