Terri Burns is an investment professional and concentrates on funding enterprise, consumer and frontier technology. She’s on the board at Brave — an education initiative helping young women build a better world with code — and a member at All Raise, a non-profit organization dedicated to diversity in funders and founders. Needless to say, Terri is committed to creating lasting change within both tech and venture. We’re taking a look at the essential gear that helps her take on her busiest days.
I'm a major bag person. In fact, I'm picky about them because I want bags to be stylish and functional. This is Senreve’s Maestra bag. I bought it last January, and it was a long time coming. I discovered it, fell in love with it, and just had to test it out. I dove into an intense personal analysis to determine whether or not it was worth the price. I think it is. The company is cool, too — it's based here in the Bay Area, founded by two female founders who really love bags and wanted to make some that were designed for the modern working woman. They’re stylish, durable and cool. It fits everything, including my laptop, but isn't too big. Another major selling point? You can wear it as a backpack… which is amazing.
This is my favorite water bottle because it is a part water bottle, part tea steeper. I'm not entirely sure of the brand, because I received it as part of a swag bag from a conference that I went to recently. I drink a lot of tea and water and it's a perfect size, so I carry it with me every single day. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do drink caffeinated tea. I’ve been getting into various types of chai recently, along with oolong teas. Earl gray is probably my go-to black tea.
I also randomly have a bottle opener in here. I used to work at Venmo and the go-to swag item that they gave out back in the day were these bottle openers. It’s funny because all of my friends inevitably ended up with a Venmo bottle opener at some point or another. I keep mine on my keychain so it’s always with me. I almost never use it, though! Most people have proper bottle openers when you need it. It’s mostly just a fun little tchotchke and a good memory from back in the day.
My MacBook Pro lives in my bag, of course. My laptop is a staple item — I carry it with me everywhere I go. It’s the newest 13-inch version with the Touch Bar, which is cool in theory but a bit useless in practice. The iPhone is important, too. I’m an Apple person. I do have a Google Home though. I mix and match devices and brands all the time.
Once upon a time — or once upon three times, to be exact — I had AirPods, but I lost every pair. So these days I use my standard earphones from back in the day and they work perfectly — very easy to find and you’ll never lose them! I guess I’m old school.
I also carry a vertical mouse with me, which is also pretty fantastic. I have really bad carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands, and ergonomic equipment has helped mitigate some of the pain. I could talk for hours about ergonomic tips and tricks. This mouse itself simply keeps your hand in a position that causes less irritation. Usually, if I'm working from somewhere without my full ergonomic setup, I carry at least one mouse with me so I can work comfortably anywhere.
I'm a hardcore planner person. When I was in the third grade, I'll never forget it — everyone in our class got planners on the first day and I never looked back. I'm super into to-do lists and write absolutely everything down. I carry my planner with me everywhere. Last week, I accidentally left it at home and seriously didn’t know what to do with myself. I was like, “I have no idea what I'm supposed to do today.” So, needless to say, it stays in my bag at all times.
I'm not brand-specific when it comes to my planner, but I am quite picky. For example, this particular one I found a couple of months ago in Amsterdam. I was walking down the street and I came upon a tiny little stationery shop. At first glance, I really like that it is the perfect size (I'm clearly very into things that are well-sized) I think a lot about size and function when choosing any gear. I'm bummed because I’m nearing the end of the available pages in this planner right now and I don't know what I'm going to do next.
When it comes to any notebooks or planners, I’m a standard rule kind of person, rather than a graph or bullet journal. I’m also pretty addicted to highlighters to help me organize my notes, along with multi-colored Post-it notes. Again, old school.
The book I’m reading right now is called Happy City by Charles Montgomery. I’m very interested in the future of cities, so I'm reading a handful of different books that are about them and the relationship between human beings, cities, and happiness as more people move into urban environments. I usually read on my way to work while on the bus. I love my morning reading time.
Want to learn more about Terri? Follow her on Twitter @tcburning