Everyday Carry (EDC) Lists for Executive Assistants and Chiefs of Staff

This week, Adam, Corie (our Executive Assistant) and I are in the mountains of Vermont for one of our quarterly Project | U retreats. We’ve already had a moose sighting, a Bernie Sanders sighting on the plane into Burlington, and last night, our fireside cocktail party was crashed by a black bear! I would say we are off to a very Vermont-y start to our event!

But this whole experience got me thinking about how prepared I normally am, and how prepared I know Executive Assistants and Chiefs of Staff usually are. The Scouts are the ones who live by the motto, “Be Prepared,” but it sounds like the motto for Force Multipliers, too. We prepare not only for what we know will happen, but for many other potential scenarios, too—from the everyday occurrences to the once-in-a-lifetime events.

Wikipedia defines everyday carry as: “a collection of useful items that are consistently carried on a person every day. The main reasons for having EDC are utility and preparedness; to help individuals overcome simple everyday problems, and to prepare someone for unexpected and possibly dangerous situations.” Now, as Force Multipliers, we may not be facing life or death situations, but we are faced with a lot of surprises, last-minute requests, and, yes, sometimes hangry Executives. It is important for us to curate our everyday carry based on our role and our special event carry based on the specific needs of our Executive.

Everyday Carry List for Force Multipliers

I don’t think that we need to carry too much every day—or at least I don’t!—but there are a few essentials I’m pretty confident you’ll want to keep with you, even if you’re just commuting to and from the office.

Here are some everyday carry items to consider adding to your backpack, pockets, or handbag:
  • iPhone or mobile phone (I know none of us go anywhere without this!)
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Apple Watch or smart watch
  • Pen(s)
  • Verb Energy Bars
  • Small notebook
  • Hair ties or claw clip
  • Water bottle
  • Eye drops
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand sanitizer

Special Event Carry List for Force Multipliers

In addition to our normal, everyday routine, many of us travel and/or attend speaking engagements or events with our Principals. Events often require a whole arsenal of “everyday” event carry.

Here are a few additional items to consider when you’re out of the office and on the go for a work event:
  • iPhone or mobile phone
  • Portable charger
  • Extension cord/multi-purpose charger
  • Presentation remote (with extra batteries)
  • Lapel mic (with extra batteries)
  • Small sewing kit and safety pins
  • First aid kit (particularly Band-Aids, Benadryl, and ibuprofen)
  • Bottled water or a reusable water bottle
  • Tissues
  • Dental floss
  • Paper clips, mini-stapler, and rubber bands
  • Pens
  • Whiteboard or flip chart markers
  • Laptop
  • iPad or tablet
  • Gum and/or mints
  • Cough drops
  • Printed (and extra) copies of all speeches, programs, itineraries, bios, presentation slides, etc.
  • Chapstick/lip balm
  • Snacks (like fruit, beef jerky, protein bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc.)

Whether Corie and I travel with these items, request they are available upon arrival, or purchase them once we land, they are items that we have with us throughout the duration of an event. Odds are Adam may need them, we may simply need them to do our job, or another guest or speaker may need something. If possible, I like to be able to be the person who provides for them!

Bonus points if you have an event “go-bag” prepped and ready to go at all times. Shuffling items back and forth between totes or backpacks wastes precious time and comes with the possibility of forgetting to pack something. I would recommend doing at least a quarterly inventory and update of the special event carry bag, and of course, a last-minute review before departure. You never know if you’ll need to throw in some sunscreen or bear spray at the last minute!

Being prepared is just a part of what Force Multipliers do.

What is part of your everyday carry? What does your special event carry look like?

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