What’s in your bag, Ann Handley?

From the pages of Sophisticated Marketer Quarterly: The bestselling author on the items she’s never without

August 23, 2018

What’s in your bag, Ann Handley?

She’s inspired a generation of content marketers through her bestsellers Everybody Writes and Content Rules. Her blog is one of the most valuable sources of B2B marketing and life wisdom out there, and she’s one of the most memorable keynote speakers that you’re ever likely to hear. But of course, if you want to know the real Ann Handley, you need to take a surreptitious look at the contents of the MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer’s bag.

What’s in your bag? is one of the regular features in our Sophisticated Marketer Quarterly magazine. We ask B2B marketing leaders and influencers to empty out their bag, photograph the contents and explain why they carry the things that they do. In Ann’s case, we took a quick peek at the contents of her smartphone home screen as well – to see which apps she relies on to stay productive when dashing between conferences and clients. Here’s what our quick bag search revealed, and what Ann had to say about her kit:

The bag itself:

A classic Fjällräven Kånken backpack: cosmopolitan, comfortable, cool and ideal for a marketer on the move.

The passport:

Proof, if proof were needed, that Ann Handley clocks up the air miles

Two pens, black sharpie:

“For when people stop me on the street wanting an autograph”

Mini notebook:

“For random observations. Everyone should have one.”

My friend Woz’s card:

“It’s metal and he gave it to me last week, which is why it’s still loitering. Not a permanent backpack resident. (The card, not Woz.) (Actually, both.)”

Mini travel wallet:

“I bought it for when I’m travelling, then asked myself why I’d ever carry anything bigger”

Small bits of cash:

“Just in case…”

One blank cheque:

“Just in case…”


“Why ever not?”

Favourite earbuds:

“Hiding at the bottom of my rucksack. Was looking for these for ages.”

On Ann’s home screen:

There’s so much good stuff, it’s tricky to know where to start. Ann has Overcast for staying on top of the best podcasts, Sleep Cycle, the alarm clock app that wakes you at the best possible moment for your sleep patterns, and Timehop for good old social media nostalgia.

Don’t miss out on your quarterly dose of wisdom from B2B marketing influencers and insiders – not to mention rock stars, psychologists and bestselling authors. You can request your print copy of the latest Sophisticated Marketer Quarterly here.