By September 29, 2014 Read More →

5 things I can’t work without – brand strategist

5 things I can’t work without - Greg Dillon, Strat-TalkingHome workers love to find out how others get organised and run their lives, and 5 things I can’t work without has become a very popular series.

Last time Sarah Thornton of Back Room Sam shared her 5 things, which included a weakness for fluffy slippers and the importance of satnav.

Today freelance brand strategist Greg Dillon shares his 5 items of essential kit.

5 things I can’t work without

Surely we all have items we cannot be without? Both personally and for business, these are items that make us feel at ease, reassure us that we are about to do a good job and from time to time raise a smile. 

I have a relatively comprehensive set of tools from VGA adapters, to pound coins for trolleys to Neurofen, to hay fever tabs, to my MacBook Pro. These things are all kept in my bag with me at all times under the veil of ‘just in case’. Not too far from a handbag, I guess? 

But aside from these tools, I have 5 things that I literally could not be without. 

1. My formal client shoes.
Yep. I have a set of formal client shoes and one of relaxed client shoes. I typically start with the formal ones but once we have broken down the barriers and are on more casual terms, the relaxed ones come out to play. I get a lot of dodgy looks when I tell people about this but believe me, they can change your approach to how you present or how you communicate, so swap with caution.

5 things I can't work without - Greg Dillon, brand strategy consultant2. My Swiss Wenger rucksack.
Fought it for ages as I had a gorgeous Freitag bag that I had bespoke made for me with a massive ‘G’ on the side but in the end I had to go with efficiency. It has so many pockets that I do often find things in here that I have not seen in months. Usefully though it has a clip for your keys to save carrying them in your pocket – handy. 

3. Spare shirt. 
Just in case it rains or if I have multiple engagements in one day (mostly as I don’t like having to travel an hour into town for just one meeting so tend to pack lots into my ‘in town’ days to keep things efficient). 

4. Pocket Moleskine.
Similar to the Post-Its, this keeps me sane and allows me to not only take notes but to write endless to do lists that I can manually tick off – something that I rather enjoy despite being 100% digital in what I do. 

5. A near-endless supply of Post-Its.
I’d be lost without these guys. I have a minimum of three packs (different colours, always square) with me at all times with accompanying Sharpies. Recently at a friend’s BBQ when a couple of people were talking through ‘must dos’ in a city one of them was about to visit, I casually whipped out a pad of Post-Its and Sharpie from my shorts and handed them over to both intrigue, cheers and stares.

work from home secrets

Greg is a freelance brand strategist working with brands and agencies all round the world. He is also the author of, an award-winning blog that gives advice to freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic.

In Creating a home office, find out how Greg transformed his father’s old study, which had become a dumping ground, into an inspiring home office. And how he manages to drag himself off the sofa and away from his cats in Working from home – the motivation and separation!

2 Comments on "5 things I can’t work without – brand strategist"

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  1. I love a bag with lots of pockets – perfect for finding solutions in emergencies (found a flapjack that constituted lunch in my mobile office yesterday; was thankfully pre-wrapped and in-date).

    • I love large, squashy bags, but have to admit their downside is that everything falls into a heap at the bottom so that you have to pull almost everything out before you find what you want 🙁 For that reason I’m about to revert to my Scaramanga satchel, where there’s a place for everything!