• Collectively Colleen

Six Work Bag Essentials

After being in the real world for a few years now, I've come to learn what essentials are necessary for a work bag. I remember when I first started out after college I'd carry around this huge bag filled with a planner, snacks, lotions and more. You name it, I probably had it.

But now I've come to learn that I don't need a big 50 count pack of band aids for my day-to-day in the office. And that a bag weighing 20 lbs is probably terrible for my back, lol! Today I'm excited to share with you six of my workbag essentials!


So while not included in my six essentials, you're clearly going to need a bag to take to and from work. I tend to alternate between two different ones depending on the week I'm having. Aka if I'm toting my laptop around or not!

If I am bringing my laptop home to work on some things, I will usually carry my Long Champ Tote. It easily fits my 15" MacBook and all of my other necessities.

But lately if I don't have my laptop, I've been loving this tiny crossbody bag I got on sale at J.Crew! While it's currently sold out here is a similar one and the larger version of the one I have. Both are adorable and would be perfect for work!


Lately I've actually been keeping my skin minimal on the weekdays, just putting on some concealer or a little lip balm. I like the idea of giving my skin a break on the weekdays where the most face time I get is with my computer screens. These are the few things I do love throughout the work week and love to keep in my bag!

1. Marc Jacobs Enamored Lip Gloss // I'm not usually big on lip gloss since it makes my lips feel gross. But this one is amazing! It's not super glossy and gives my lips a nice pink sheen when I just need a bit of color. It doesn't dry them out either which is great for winter.

2. Mario Badescu Rose Spray // I feel like I'm constantly talking about Mario Badescu and more specifically this spray but seriously I'm so obsessed. It helps my face feel moisturized and refreshed, no matter the weather! It also smells incredible and keeps me calm! This travel size version is perfect for throwing in my bag.

3. Lululemon Scrunchie // Ok so I actually got this as a gift from my sister and didn't think much of it. I heard scrunchies were making a comeback but I didn't get the hype. Now I literally don't think I could live without this thing. It is so perfect for when I just need to throw my hair up and out of my face. It's so soft, doesn't hurt my hair and is so cute. I only have the black color for now but I'm DYING to get more! The Lululemon one is also cool because it's in a sporty type fabric. I love it for day to day and even for when I'm working out.


While beauty things are fun and all, I might consider them "essentials" but the real essentials at work are what help you succeed. These next 3 things are those business essentials. While they might seem small or obvious, I literally don't think I could live my life without them.

1. Cardholder // You might be thinking, "Well duh Colleen, you need a wallet to get just about anywhere". Yes, totally true but the key here is cardholder. I switched over from a wallet to a cardholder a couple of years ago and I will never go back. Here's why: it will easily fit into any bag, all your necessities are easily accessible and it simplifies your life. Do you need all 87 loyalty rewards cards while you're at work? No. You need your I.D., a credit/debit card and maybe cash. Having a cardholder seriously helped me simplify my life. Call me crazy but don't knock it til you try it.

2. Business Card Holder // Again, you might think this isn't a necessity. When I first carried business cards with me, I just threw them into my purse and let them float around. Which seemed fine at the time, until someone asked for my business card. Then I was scrambling around in my bag for a card that wasn't folded or damaged. Not super professional. Having all of your business cards in a holder makes them easily findable in your bag and keeps them in good condition so you can make a great impression!

3. Pen // Ever been in a situation where you terribly needed a pen? Yep. That's why I always, always, always have one with me. Because you literally never know. Plus if you're in situation where you're the only one with a pen, it can make you seem organized and prepared; making a great impression. * I actually usually carry a few with me in case that one you let someone borrow happens to walk away.

Those are my six work bag essentials! Any of your essentials the same as mine? Different? Let me know in the comments below or on my latest Instagram post!

xoxo Colleen

About Me

Hi there! My name is Colleen and I’m the author and creator of Collectively Colleen.This blog is a place where I’ll be sharing everything about my life! From favorites to career tips, outfits I’m loving and places to travel, I’m going to be sharing it all here!


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