Go Go Gadget Utility Pockets
Updated: Feb 7
My hand glides like a sword into its sheath, and then, get’s jammed. Fuck, there’s too much shit in the way, what is that, how did it get in there? That’s how it used to be putting a hand into my pockets, and I had enough of the frustration of searching through my pockets for the item I needed. Thus began the journey of designing my pocket system.
I can’t remember exactly what pocket it started with, but If I were to guess it was when I decided to move my wallet from my back right pocket to my front right pocket because 1) I didn’t want testicular cancer from my phone next to my testes (but I apparently I’m okay with ass cancer) and 2) my wallet was thick so I didn’t want my spine to be crooked since I sit a lot of the day. What I noticed I loved about this switch was how much easier it was to take my phone out of my pocket, and then the relieving ease to put it back in.
After a while, I started to think more and more about how to make my every day carry essentials fit better into my pockets. The goal was to always know where everything was in each pocket and limit digging as much as possible. I also had another rule, which I apply to most of my industrial designing, which is the one hand rule. You should only need one hand to access and then use an item. Now, this doesn’t work in every instance but, it’s a great constraint to constantly be working towards when designing.
The Left Front Pocket
Oh, my lovely, non-dominant, left-hand holster. Initially, this pocket housed headphones and my phone charger utilities. I didn’t use to put much in here because I thought grabbing stuff with my left hand wouldn’t be as efficient, that was misguided. My left hand is just as grabby as my right. Now, this puppy is bursting with fun, although it's still the pocket that needs the most work and organization, none the less, it has still come a long way.
The lefty, as it stands on the day of the publication of this article, now holds, in order from left to right; House keys, which are in a kind of key holder Swiss army knife device. This is attached to a rope and paracord survival kit keychain which hangs out of my pocket and allows for easy access. Without thinking I can grab the rope and pull my keys out without searching for 2 munites. So the clear next step is my car keys which are also attached to a rope for easy access. Luckily, however, I’ll never have to grab a car key again because my new car has remote open and keyless start fearures. As a ux designer, these features bring so much joy to my life!
I used to carry a phone charger, I know I mentioned it earlier in the article, but since then I've gotten the iPhone XS which has a full day battery life so I don't need them any more which is exhilarating because that's one less thing to worry about.
Working as a kind of separator is my rope dart. A rope dart is essentially a knife or blunt object at the end of a rope that you spin around and throw, then retract like a scorpion from mortal combat.
Anatomically speaking, on the right side of the rope dart is a pack of matches for a bar trick and my apple air pods. (I love the pod shape and no wires, the headphones could be so much better though. I plan to get the tick pods eventually.)
Right Pocket Front Pocket
This pocket makes me feel like a pretty white girl in a dress running through a field of flowers. It's the only pocket that works in its entirety. So continuing from left to right as if you were me looking down at my feet, I keep the wallet I was forced to design because all other wallets suck in the left side of the pocket. Its made with all the cards exposed so I can grab them in one movement after pulling it out of my pocket, no extra opening or closing. My old wallet was the worst and would be so difficult to pull out. It would invert the pocket, not ideal. So this new wallet makes me go ahh, every time I pull it out. It also creates less of a tumour bump on my leg.
Since I’m a builder and maker, I need a pencil, pen, and sharpie always available. These use to just sit in my pocket marking up the pocket and whatever was in there and would constantly fall out. I got tired of that and decided to create a sheath for all of them. I had a bunch of paper towel rolls that I was keeping for no good reason, and one day I thought, “Those are probably a great building material, I need to use those for something someday.” Sure enough, about a week later I wanted to make my pen sheath and was quite excited when I remembered the paper tower rolls. So I worked up my prototype and created the sheath out of Staples and the roll that I sliced open to make flat and then cut the shape out with an Exacto knife. I believe I'm currently on version 3. The next version I plan to use plastic, and will add a pouch for the stencil tools I got for drawing. They keep falling out of the one I have and I want them to have a dedicated space.
This pocket now functions flawlessly, and although there are still a few tweaks in esthetics that need to be made, overall, this pocket is right where I want it.
Right Back Pocket
This pocket was once for the wallet as I mentioned earlier, now, however, it is for my phone. I love how easy it is to just grab and look at, then put away without having to aim the phone or fight other things as it goes in.
The main issue I’m having with this pocket is 1) I also use it for receipts, and I want to find a way to prevent them from getting all crumpled up. That is not a huge issue since I just log them into a spreadsheet via a form and then throw them away, but It’s still annoying. On top of that my phone falls over in the pocket, and now that I got a new phone that’s just a touch bigger it slides out a bit.
To combat these problems I have created a phone sheath that keeps my phone always in the same place as well as upright in the pocket. I’m so close to having this done. My current issue is that the sheath keeps working it’s way out of my pocket like a little butterfly trying to get out of its cocoon. But no Mr Butterfly, you stay in your god damn cocoon and hold my phone in place! Anyhow, I’m on my 4th version of this, soon to be 5th. That’s what they say right, 5th time is a charm?
Left Back Pocket
I have all the writing utensils I need, but I need something to write on, no? That’s what the back lefty is for note cards. I started carrying notecards because I read, what is now one of my favorite books, called The Organized Mind. It’s about organizing your life so you can declutter your mind and think more clearly. In the book, the author talks about how a few people he interviewed use notecards to collect and get all the important ideas out of their heads. I’ve enjoyed having note cards. They come in handy so often, and I keep my tasks list with me. I’ve tried doing task lists online, but I just ignore the program, for some reason when it’s on paper I crank through tasks like the hulk going through a row of buildings.
For now, I use small binder clips to hold the unused cards separate from the used cards and the task list. After I get the phone sheath done I plan to make a notecard holder in a similar way as the phone sheath. This will protect the cards from my sweaty ass, and also allow me to keep business cards I collect separate from the note cards. I also learned a cool magic trick so I keep a few playing cards in this pocket as well. I’m really trying to get better at entertaining people I meet. More or less all people want is to be entertained, so why not oblige them to their desires.
The next step from here is to design my own jeans with specially designed pockets. The first step to that, however, is to get a sewing machine. None the less, I’m happy with the direction my pockets are headed, I’d love to help you with your pocket or purse organization. Reach out to me to let me know if this is something you’d be interested in. I’m considering doing events to build interest and recognition around my company, I'd love to know if this is something you might be interested in.
I’d also love it if you would share with me your every day carry and what is working or not working for you. It’s pretty amazing how much relief I’ve received in my life from organizing my pockets in a systematic and well thought out way.