Working in the interaction design field has its perks. For one, you got tons of devices to play with. The downside is that you have to carry all of it every day. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that the less you carry means the more focused you are when you work...
A few factors to consider when downsizing the things you carry daily:
Weight: I've injured myself in the past carrying heavy items, so I've purposefully set a hard limit on the weight I carry to around 10 pounds (not including the bag). If your commute involves biking for walking for long stretches, I may add a bit more to include such necessities as water and snacks.
Ultimately, it depends on your size and the weight you're comfortable carrying for long periods at a time, but if protecting your back for the long haul is a priority, it's best to keep things on the lighter side.
Bags: I'm all for bags with a purpose; a properly sized bag can maximize storage and alleviate overall weight. For instance, if you have a 13-inch laptop, don't "plan ahead" and get a giant bag made for a 17-inch computer unless you are absolutely sure you'll be upgrading to that size in the near future. Oversized bags simply equate to more bulk and often lead to less protection for your computer and devices.
The Basics: Seeing as the things you carry don't always come with an analytics engine built-in to let you know what gets used most, you're going to have to keep tabs on your habits "old school". If you use something 3-5 days of the week, keep it in your bag. Twice a week or less? Create a spot for it on your way out, but don't include it in your regular haul unless you know you'll be needing it that day.
These are just a few tips to keep the weight down and your tasks focused by carrying less and doing more. If you have an awesome tip to add, we'd love to hear it!
(Images: Anthony Nguyen, Unit Portables)