The first guide to EDC that we wrote several months ago focused on the generic needs of the everyman.
But if you work in a professional setting, there’s a good chance that you need a specialized EDC list. The items you carry with you when you’re fishing, for example, are different from the items you need at the office.
True professionals prepare for anything the day has to throw at them.
Our list of EDC items for business professionals will help your day go off without a hitch.
Table of Contents
What are everyday carry (EDC) items?
Everyday carry (EDC) items are items you carry with you every day.
This sounds simple. But in recent years, curating the right EDC items has become a trend.
The goal of EDC is to ward against life’s uncertainties by preparing for most problems. This lets you sail through turbulent waters without missing a beat.
As a professional, it’s comforting to know that you’ll be able to stay unflustered throughout the course of your business day.
Why do business professionals need different EDC items than other men?
Bernard Capulong, the founder of the blog everdaycarry.com, talked to the owner of the Gentleman’s Gazette. He explained that most people who look for EDC items are “looking for tactical items such as the kind soldiers and police officers might carry.”
For many lifestyles, this makes sense. If you spend your days fishing down at the creek or improving your home, you want tactical items.
But business professionals have a different set of concerns.
Your business day is spent meeting new people, planning events, and keeping track of tasks.
A different set of problems calls for a different set of tools. Your professional EDC items are there to solve the problems you might have throughout the course of a typical work day.
How do you carry EDC items as a business professional?
The goal of most EDC lists is to provide you with great EDC items you can carry in your pockets.
Unfortunately, professionals need more than the few items you can carry in a suit jacket. For business professionals, two sets of EDC items are necessary.
You can carry some EDC items in your pocket. But you will need to stow other EDC items in a work bag or briefcase.
On days that you’re in the office, your work bag can stay at your desk. But on work trips or conferences, you can carry it by your side all day long.
Choose a high-quality, professional-looking work bag to maximize your professional look.
A leather tote bag is a stylish, durable option that will last a lifetime. You can also use leather totes as carry-on bags for business trips. This makes it an option for professionals who prefer a minimalist lifestyle.
What are the EDC items that business professionals should keep on their body?
As a professional, you don’t want a lot of jangling in your pockets while you move around. You also don’t want bulk creating lumps in your suit as you walk.
Slim, practical EDC items are a smart choice to keep on your person. You want to carry all your small EDC items in your pockets without anyone being able to tell.
The average person spends about three hours on their phone each day. For business professionals, smartphones provide instant access to calendars, clocks, calculators, and emails. Apps can even allow you to jot down notes and check your Google drive from your phone.
The versatility of phones is useful if you talk with a coworker and need to double-check a stat or take down notes for yourself for later.
Choose a slim model with high ratings, and put it in a solid-colored case.
Front Pocket Wallet
Front pocket wallets are a great idea for professionals because they don’t lead to extra pocket bulk.
Your work wallet only needs to hold the basics to get through the work day: your license, credit and debit cards, and a little bit of emergency cash. Save bulkier bifold or trifold wallets for weekends, when you may need access to gift cards or membership cards.
Although smartphones are useful for taking notes on the go, pens are still preferable for many EDC enthusiasts.
One reason for this popularity is that jotting notes down by hand is much faster than taking notes on a phone. Pens are also useful for many tasks that you can’t do on your phone, from signing documents to adding your name to a list of attendees for a weekend seminar.
A truly prepared EDC enthusiast should consider carrying two pens each day: one for themselves, and one to lend if someone else needs a pen..
A secondary benefit to carrying two pens at a time is that if one runs out of ink, you have a backup for yourself.
Fisher space pens make a great choice for a pocket pen because they can write at any angle. You can quickly sign a document, using a wall for support, and hand it off in a flash.
“The Bullet pen is by far one of my favourite pieces of my EDC. It feels expensive and has a nice weight to it. The matt finish makes this pen incredibly comfortable to hold and gives you a great grip, even when your hands are wet. The second I held mine I could tell this pen was built to last. I can see this pen being in my EDC for a good long while.”
Although today’s smartphones come equipped with clocks, the real business professional still wears a watch.
Proper workplace etiquette demands you put your phone away during meetings. Using a phone during a meeting makes it look like you’re not listening. When you use a phone during a meeting, it indicates a lack of respect for your colleagues.
Still, if you have a busy day, you need a way to keep track of the time so you don’t miss meetings or deadlines. Wearing a watch allows you to check the time without making it obvious. Your coworkers will feel they have your full attention, and you’ll be able to excuse yourself when you need to.
Business Cards and Calling Cards
There is a slight difference between business cards and calling cards.
Business cards are meant to promote your business. While business cards include personal contact information, their main goal is to promote your business. Business cards are ideal for handing out to potential clients at conferences or meet-and-greets.
Calling cards, on the other hand, outlines your personal information, including your phone number and email.
A smart business professional keeps a few of each card on hand. If you meet a new coworker or contact, you can hand them your calling card to exchange information quickly. If, on the other hand, you begin to engage with a new client, you can hand out a business card.
Contact cards and calling cards can be kept in your front pocket wallet alongside your debit and credit card. This not only saves space, but ensures your business and contact cards don’t get wrinkled in your pocket.
Your breath can directly impact your workplace success.
Morning breath, cigarettes, coffee, and food are some of the top causes of bad breath.
It’s easy to alleviate morning breath by brushing your teeth and using mouthwash before you head to work. Cigarette, coffee, and food-related halitosis can be reduced by using a breath mint any time you eat, drink, or smoke.
What are the EDC items that business professionals should keep in their work bag?
Your work bag should have everything else you need during the day. This may include things that are too bulky to keep in your pockets. It could also include smaller items that you won't need as often as your pocket-sized EDC items.
Even if you have a work-provided office computer, it’s a good idea to keep a laptop on hand.
For one thing, unexpected updates to your office computer can affect your productivity. A laptop would allow you to answer emails while waiting for your computer to reboot.
Your laptop can also be brought with you to meetings, allowing you to take notes or pull up facts and figures on-the-go while talking to colleagues.
- Higher energy levels
- Increased productivity
- Enhanced memory
- Reduced stress
- Improved focus
- Elevated mood
These benefits work together to increase your productivity, allowing you to get more done through the course of a work day.
Carrying a notebook at work allows you to take physical notes instead of relying exclusively on your computer.
There are a number of benefits to physical notes, including:
- The ability to add in asides and drawings that may help your notes make sense in the future
- The fact that you can rest your eyes and prevent blue-light induced eye strain
- The ability to reference your notes while using your computer for other things without switching between tabs
A handsome, leather-bound journal highlights your professionalism and style.
Leather journal covers are durable. You can move your heritage-quality cover from A5 notebook to A5 notebook. Choose a journal cover that you love, and you never have to worry that your new journal won't match your office décor.
Studies show that listening to music while you work can increase happiness and reduce feelings of burnout.
Listening to music or podcasts is especially valuable when doing repetitive tasks, such as data entry.
Bulky headphones can look unprofessional in the workplace. But earbuds can be wrapped tidily in your work bag and brought out when you’re doing monotonous tasks.
Being dehydrated by just one percent has been shown to decrease productivity by up to twelve percent. The more dehydrated you become, the less likely you are to be able to focus on your work and produce the results you need.
Experts swear that simply carrying a reusable water bottle each day is enough to encourage you to drink more water. You can improve this effect by challenging yourself to drink a certain number of water bottles each day. Studies show that tracking healthy habits, like how often you drink your water, can make you more likely to stick with your goals.
Business professionals report needing to recharge their phone 1-3 times a day. But if your day is busy, recharging at your desk may not be an option.
Portable chargers allow you to charge your phone on the go. This keeps you from worrying about a dead battery. It lets you work longer without interruption.
Liquid Stain Removing Pen
According to Forbes, “in business, presentation is everything.”
The way that you present yourself tells both other professionals and members of the public where your priorities are. A well-groomed appearance shows attention to detail.
Unfortunately, accidents happen. Spilled ketchup at lunch can quickly derail an otherwise pressed, tidy outfit.
Liquid stain removing pen helps you handle these incidents on the go.
Your suit is pressed, your cufflinks are in place, and your tie has been clipped… but none of that matters if a piece of lettuce is sticking out of your teeth from your lunch break.
There are ways to prevent getting food stuck between your teeth. But there’s no way to avoid this entirely.
Having floss sticks on hand allows you to keep the type of pleasant, genuine smile at work that has been shown to boost productivity, improve confidence, and make you a better leader.
If you do keep floss sticks on hand, remember that not everyone finds it polite to groom yourself in public. While many millennials find it acceptable to floss in public, boomers may find this behavior off-putting. Your best bet is to floss in the bathroom or in a closed office to keep your professional appearance intact.
An unexpected headache can quickly put you out of commission. Studies show that headaches are directly correlated to loss in productivity.
Despite the problems headaches can lead to, they’re incredibly common. In fact, it’s considered normal to have headaches as much as twice per week.
Keeping pain reliever in your work bag allows you to be in control when a headache crops up. Instead of losing productivity, you can recover quickly.
A 2016 study shows that acetaminophen is effective at treating tension headaches for most people within two hours. Meanwhile, migraine-type headaches respond best to a combination of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and caffeine, such as you’d see in a combination medicine like Excedrin.
The types of headaches you tend to get and your medical history will help you pick the best medication for your work bag. Talk to your doctor if you’re not sure what you should use.
Always be prepared with professional EDC items
Alexander Graham Bell once said, “preparation is the key to success.”
Nowhere is this more true than in a professional setting. Business professionals need to make decisions on the fly and show good judgment, all without ruffling their appearance.
The right EDC items make it easy to handle problems as they crop up and stay calm, collected, and confident every day.