I wanted to be able to type at full speed using only items that fit in my pocket. As the weather got hot and humid this year, I tired of carrying my laptop bag to meetings. I also wanted to avoid the concern of losing my laptop bag. I’ve been trying out the following solution for a few weeks now and am loving it:
I’ve used this in meetings, restaurants, and on the fold-out table of an airplane. It’s substantially faster than screen-based text entry and I always have it with me (vs. my laptop, which I often wouldn’t have on hand).
This setup consists of:
- iClever (IC-BK06) folding bluetooth keyboard ($29.99)
I wanted a keyboard with normal spacing which folded to a thin and small enough shape to fit into a pocket without being noticeable by myself or others. It fits perfectly in my suit jacket pocket and in my pants pocket. In my suit jacket pocket, I can’t even tell that it’s there. It charges via mini-USB and the charges seem to last forever. There are other keyboards out there, but none I found struck the same balance between portability and providing a full size experience. This keyboard does have a few tradeoffs – the number and punctuation keys are not full-sized (I’ve found this works just fine for me) and it benefits from a flat surface (the keyboard doesn’t lock into an open position). Those keyboards which solve those problems introduce others (e.g. the trifold keyboards I found which lock into an open position are thicker when folded), so the IC-BK06 seems to strike the best balance in making the necessarily compromises for portability.
- Pocket Tripod ($28)
The dimensions of a business card, it folds into a few configurations to allow a phone (plus a phone’s protective case) to stand and rotate to any angle you like. There are cheaper options available. At first, I just propped my phone against whatever was handy, or left it flat on the table. Ultimately, I wanted something which would give me a good viewing angle and store nicely with the credit and ID cards I keep in my pocket. Note that the slots in the Pocket Tripod (where the phone sits) need to be chosen to be the right size. The Pocket Tripod website has a list of which slot sizes are best for most phone/case combinations.
- Evo Mesh Sport Case ($12.55) and an iPhone 6S
This same setup would work with any phone and case. The Apple Store salesperson recommended the Evo Mesh case when I bought my phone as the most protective option, and it’s helped my phone survive an impressive number of drops. This case/phone combination wasn’t listed on the Pocket Tripod website, so I used calipers to measure the combined thickness of the phone and case. I measured just over 9mm so I ordered the Pocket Tripod with 9.0mm slots, which gave a perfect fit.