What Do You Have in Your Pockets?

The Essential Tools to See You Through the Day

My grandfather was a master carpenter. When he worked, he wore a carpenter belt that carried his tools. He always had what he needed the most, right there.

Your pockets don’t hold as much as a carpenter belt, but they’re still the best place to put the tools you need most often.

If you got up and went outside right now, what could you do? Would you be able to get back in? Make your way home? Save a life? With a little planning, you can do a lot with what you have on you.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / kuzmafoto

Here are seven thing you have or should have in your pockets.

  • Keys. If you walked outside right now, would you be able to let yourself back in? Carry the key(s) you need to get back inside, and the key to the car. If you only have one or two more keys, you can probably have them all on a single key ring. Leave infrequently-used keys on separate rings that you only grab when you need them.
  • Keyring. Have you ever thought about the keyring itself? Most keyrings are little more than marketing swag. But your keyring can be an easily-overlooked piece of functionality. Why not use a USB drive, flashlight, safety whistle, pen, bottle opener, Bluetooth tracker, or a tool to shatter tempered glass?
  • Wallet. What’s in your wallet? You should carry your ID, the debit/credit card that you use the most, proof of medical coverage, and some cash. Your wallet will bulk up quickly. Keep it to the bare essentials.
  • Pocket Knife. It’s incredibly handy to have a small pocket knife handy! I used to carry a SwissCard. I never used most of it, so I switched to a simple scrimshaw pocket knife. Stylish and functional.
  • Handkerchief. Carry a pocket handkerchief. Blow your nose, mop your brow, pick up hot and cold objects, apply a tourniquet and more.
  • Pen. Get yourself a pen that feels good in your hand. If you’re wearing a shirt or a blazer that has a pocket for it, carry it with you. When it’s time to sign a receipt, fill out paperwork, or leave a note, you’ll have a pen handy that you don’t have to scribble to get the ink flowing.
  • Phone. Your phone is one of the most versatile tools you’ll carry with you regularly. With a feature phone, you can stay in touch, take pictures, Tweet, donate to charities, and bank. A smartphone is exponentially more powerful. Technology that wasn’t possible a decade ago now fits in your pocket.

Whatever goes in your pockets needs to be small, lightweight, and durable. It’s going to take a beating. Multitaskers are good, too; the more uses an item has, the more useful you’ll find it.

You may not build a house with what fits in your pockets, but those tools are still the foundation of making it through your day. You do that pocket check on your way out the door for a reason: you’re going to be off your game if you leave something behind.

Question: What’s in your pockets? Share your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

About

Colter writes software and blogs about personal growth and productivity. He lives in Silicon Valley (California) with his wife and children, recently took up golf, and watches mostly British TV shows.

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