What is in your pocket?

Back in 2009 I have made a post titled “What’s in your pocket?” in which I talked about my geek utility tool-belt – the dozen or so items I always carry in my pocket. I figured it might be an interesting exercise to revisit that post, and write about the stuff I carry around with me now. Such a re-evaluation my provide valuable insights on how the times have changed, and perhaps how I changed as a person.

Here is the picture I snapped back in 2009, where I laid out all the junk on the table and numbered it for easy identification:

Stuff in my pocket then

Stuff in my pocket then

I did the same thing with my current pocket junk, and quickly realized that I have trimmed down and streamlined my toolkit quite a bit:

Stuff in my pocket now

Stuff in my pocket now

My current list is as follows:

  1. Letherman Squirt P4
  2. Utili-Key 6-in-1 Tool
  3. iPhone

In all honesty, this is all I need. In fact, the 6-in-1 tool is on my key chain mostly because it looks cool, and for the rare occasions when I don’t take the Letherman with me. The small multi-tool and the iPhone pretty much fulfill all my needs. But let me go down my 2009 list and explain how each of these items became useless or obsolete to me.

  1. Caffeinated Mints -I no longer carry mints, gum or any other snack-type stuff with me. Why? Mostly because of this.
  2. Dumb Phone – my phone got smarter.
  3. Multi-Tool + Flashlight – the Letherman Squirt P4 is much, much better tool than the off-brand one I used to carry. The only thing that old tool had going for it was the flashlight. But now I have a flashlight app on my phone so I don’t really need it.
  4. Wifi Detector – I no longer need one because my phone detects Wifi networks just fine.
  5. Bottle Opener – the Letherman can actually open bottles just fine, so I finally gave up on this big bulky thing.
  6. Flash Drives – this is funny but I have not used a flash-drive as a data transfer tool in years. I still use them at work as boot disks for various things, but I no longer have any need to carry them in my pocket. Between my iPhone acting as a spacious data storage, the Dropbox service, Google Drive and iCloud there is just no need to carry a solid state data drive with me at all times.
  7. A d6 die – my phone is pretty good at generating random numbers and I actually have a few GM apps that can simulate all kids of dice.
  8. Pocket Knife – I still sometimes carry that one, but the blades on the Letherman are actually decent (if small) so it is not necessary.
  9. 6-in-1 Utili-Key – still with me after all these years.

As you can see a good smartphone and a good multi-tool alleviated my need to carry about a dozen items in my pocket. What I lug around right now can’t even be considered a toolkit. It is a tool, and a phone. But it works for me. The times have changed. It is easier to move the data around on the cloud than to carry physical media. The internet is ever present, and thanks to the variety of apps, my phone can double up as dozens of various tools without any problem.

Hell, maybe one day my phone will be like the Omni-Tool from the Mass Effect universe – it will not only take care of all the virtual / data related needs, but also be able to generate disposable blades, pliers and utility tools in real time for me. Then I won’t even have to carry the Letherman with me. Before that happens though, I will probably upgrade my P4 to Leatherman – Squirt ES4 Multitool. Cause, you know… Mini-scissors.

What do you carry in your pocket these days?

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7 Responses to What is in your pocket?

  1. Bill Zimmerly UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    That was a good blog post and congratulations on the weight-management. ;)

    > What do you carry in your pocket these days?

    1. Wallet (T.H.E. Wallet by Spec.-Ops.) it has a little zipper pocket for change, but I use it to carry two spare batteries for my smart-phone.

    2. Samsung Galaxy SII with my library of 300+ books stored on the 32 GB micro-sd with room to spare. (Only 10% used!)

    3. Large keyring with house key, van key, Nano flashlight, and Leatherman Micra.

    That’s all I need! :)

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  2. Peter GERMANY Safari Mac OS says:

    – A handy computer, like pictured above.
    Hardgraft Heritage Cardcase for payment and identification cards, also for the stupid bills you get in stores and other small paper. However, I’ll look for a store selling the Freitag Alan wallet and if it works, I’ll buy and use that. Analog money really sucks, except for privacy.
    – One key for flat and secure drawer each, on a key ring with leather piece included in the Hardgraft shipment.

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  3. Morghan Safari Linux says:

    My HTC Lexikon, soon to be replaced with a Samsung Galaxy S III. The SGS3 will also eliminate my need for the tablet as its only necessary advantages over my phone is an FFC for video calls and 34GB of space, the SGS3 has 32 internal and swapable SDXC cards that will hold 64GB.

    Swiss Army Champion Plus (Everything except pliers, may upgrade to a champ at some point though if I decide I need pliers on me at all times)



    Carabiner on my belt loop with my keys and a 32GB Thumb Drive.

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  4. Sameer NETHERLANDS Safari Mac OS says:

    Well let’s see,

    1. iPhone 4S – left pocket for the phone exclusively.

    2. Keyring(s), lighter and smokes, change,

    3. Backpocket – money, bankcards.

    I never carry a wallet. I tend to stuff it with things I really don’t need.
    When I’m not wearing a coat things do get a little crowded every now and then.

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  5. Kim Johnsson SWEDEN Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    Right now;
    1. Keys (duh)
    2. Usually my company ID which has an integrated RFID chip for building access
    3. Small EM RFID tag for those doors not equipped with a mifare reader
    4. Small plastic bag with a couple of rack mount screws and nuts
    5. Small wallet
    6. Plastic case with sunglass thingy for my glasses
    7. Flashlight
    8. Small screwdriver and bit-set. I don’t currently own a multitool, and I only really need a screwdriver anyway most of the time.
    9. Pen and paper. You just can’t beat this when you need to take quick notes, especially when it involves drawing something. Quick network diagram of a rack for example.
    10. HTC Desire S. Phone that I got from work. What I’d really like is a phone with a hardware keyboard, and the possibility of connecting to both serial ports and wired Ethernet. Then I wouldn’t even need to bring my laptop for configuring/troubleshooting network stuff. Anybody got any ideas for that? Maybe some bluetooth serial adapter?

    I love having stuff with me, as much as possible, even if I rarely use it. Recently bought a pair of Blackhawk Lightweight Tactical Pants. SO MANY POCKETS! I can easily fit all of the above and still have room to spare :D

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  6. GermanPete GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Well, I have three of four pockets “filled.
    One with a Samsung Galaxy GT-I9000, another holds the key ring which recently got reduced to the absolute necessary (under those a nameplate which doubles as makeshift screwdriver and bottle opener) and my wallet.
    The fourth pocket held a type of african seed my sister brought me as a charm but I fear I misplaced it somewhere :/

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  7. Douglas AUSTRALIA Google Chrome Windows says:

    I have nothing in my pockets at the moment, but I usually carry with me…

    1. Wallet, containing Metrocard, Mastercard, Student ID card, other assorted cards and sometimes actual cash (Paypass readers and EFTPOS with no limit are both becoming more prominent, which means I rarely carry cash on me anymore). Also often contains a bunch of receipts aging up to six months old with faded print because I am lazy.

    2. Phone. Elliot, my trusty HTC Desire. Poor thing has suffered so much unintentional abuse I’m surprised he still works to this day. Due for replacement in late September, hopefully with some kind of Lumia Windows Phone 8 device, but I’ll keep it around as a spare like I did with my old one.

    3. Zune HD. Yet to find something that works as brilliantly as it does for playing music and the occasional video. No need for iTunes is a bonus as well ;D

    4. Keys. So I can get into things.

    5. Sometimes, sunglasses, because the sun is bright and I don’t like bright.

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