The bag I take everywhere and use as my design bag is the monogrammed LL Bean bag I received as a gift from one of my best friends last year. My bag is the perfect size and super indestructible.
The most important piece, my composition book. I'm a list girl. I love making a list and naturally gravitate towards them. After Erica & Nicole talked about Teux Deux, I tried to use it for awhile, but there's nothing like the satisfaction of picking up a pen crossing an item off your to-do list. My comp book holds all my pertinent client info, dimensions, details, schedules, notes and the like. It's so great to be able to pull it out and see all of their design info neatly recorded, plus the modern comp book designs, college-ruled paper, dirt cheap price and make it a no-brainer.
I love me some paint, so you should know that I love a paint deck. I keep 4 paint fan decks on hand because I like to make sure I have the spectrum at my fingertips for my client's choosing. My go-to paint manufacturers are Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Porter, and Pratt & Lambert (such rich, vibrant shades!). If you have a P&L retailer near you, consider yourself lucky. The store based in Atlanta is the only one in the Southeast!!!
Using the right pen is like wearing your church clothes--you know you look good, so it makes you walk taller and talk smarter. Since I keep all my info in my books, I like to make sure that my writing isn't slopped all over the page, and writing with a good pen definitely helps! My view is that they don't have to be expensive, but it should write well, feel good, and have a nice, dark ink. For me, a good Bic with a nice ballpoint does the trick every time!
Headphones to go with my iPhone4 are essential, because last minute scheduling changes mean I sometimes spend my time waiting for people (clients, lines, etc). Rather than get annoyed, I try to keep my headphones on hand so I can watch downloaded episodes of shows like Law & Order: Trial By Jury & Make It Or Break It while I wait. Totally makes being inconvenienced not so inconveniencing.
There's nothing better than finding the perfect something at a right now price. There's nothing worse than realizing you can't buy said item because you don't know if it will fit because you don't have your measuring tape on hand! My Stanley measuring tape isn't light, but it's 25' and doesn't snap on your fingers when you reel it in. Now what's not to like about that?
Now it's your turn--tell me about the must have item in your design bag. Any essential I'm missing out on?