U.S. Intellectual History Blog

What’s In Your Bag: Academic Edition

Editor's Note

Do you ever wonder what your favorite academics, writers, teachers, and people carry in their bags? Don’t worry, I wondered for you. This post is the start of a series on what products, books, bags, and stuff academics, professors, writers, teachers, etc have in their bags. Shoot us a message or comment if you want to be featured!!!

My everyday bag is a Madewell transport tote in cognac. I’ve had it for two years now and it has really held up to all my use: first as a work bag and now as a school bag. It fits everything i need (and don’t actually need). If i am spending extra time on campus, I use my Lululemon backpack which has a dedicated laptop pocket and lots of extra features that make it super useful. I’ve realized while writing this that the secret to my success is pouches. Lots of pouches.

  1. This rifle paper/lesportsac makeup bag. I use it as a pen case. I love fountain pens, highlighters, pilot precise, etc and sometimes they leak. Since this adorable little bag is designed for makeup, it is super easy to wipe out and it doesn’t leak onto my poor little laptop.
  2. In it I keep a ridiculous amount of pens, highlighters, post its, flags, etc. My favorite pens right now are the Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen, The Le Pen,  Zebra Mildliner Highlighters.
  3. My planner! I am using The Simplified Planner which I love, but I also recommend Day Designer, Rifle Paper Company, and Kate Spade for cute and functional.
  4. Austin is hot and I consume more water here then I ever thought was possible. I got a very large Klean Kanteen, which I have decorated with Paris Gellar and Sabrina stickers. I try to carry it every day.
  5. Notebooks. I switch my notebooks out fairly often, but I usually have a go to “bullet journal”/commonplace book for lists, notes, whatever. Right now it is a red leuchturm 1917 that I covered in flower stickers. For my exam notes, I am using the Extra Large Moleskine Cahier notebooks (in green) 
  6. Lipstick. Right now I am loving the Fenty lipsticks and have a bright pink and a coral in my bag.
  7. I have also jumped on the Glossier Mango balm dot com train, which is almost identical to the peach Mary Kate and Ashley lip gloss I had in 8th grade and could never find an adequate dupe. So, here it is.
  8. My wallet is a peachy Kate Spade one. Not exact, but a bit like this 
  9. I always have my Kindle paper white, for both school and fun reading, and I keep it and my airpods in a glittery Madewell pouch (the glitter is sold out, but they have some cute ones available now).This is a cute cactus version. 
  10. A book. Right now it is Immigrant Acts by Lisa Lowe, which I am LOVING by the way.
  11. My Ipad, which i read exam books on (Kindle for fun, Ipad for work)

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  1. I have a square-ish black LL Bean bag that holds all my academic/office items: pens, headphones, thumb drive, wallet (when not in my back pocket), notecards, books, and usually one file folder. On a rainy day, it also holds my umbrella. It has one small compartment with a few important papers. … This makes me feel like a typical, run-of-the-mill higher ed staff dude—albeit one with a PhD. – TL

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