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:
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:
My current list is as follows:
- Letherman Squirt P4
- Utili-Key 6-in-1 Tool
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.
- Caffeinated Mints -I no longer carry mints, gum or any other snack-type stuff with me. Why? Mostly because of this.
- Dumb Phone – my phone got smarter.
- 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.
- Wifi Detector – I no longer need one because my phone detects Wifi networks just fine.
- Bottle Opener – the Letherman can actually open bottles just fine, so I finally gave up on this big bulky thing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pocket Knife – I still sometimes carry that one, but the blades on the Letherman are actually decent (if small) so it is not necessary.
- 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?