Written by: techguru

Picture of Swiss-Office

This project is with me for at least seven years from the time it was created. Very slight changes were made to the original kit in this duration. It has turned out to be useful and life saver in countless situations. The project has never failed me since its creation.

It is actually a set of stationery and other items hand picked with the only criteria of utility and small form factor. I observed that at places when you are away from home or office you need to cut paper, paste paper, take small measurements, post a letter, paste a stamp, write something, open a letter, apply for a job, appear for an interview (it will help you in completing your formalities at such places) or even in your own office. At that time one wishes if there was a small scissor or glue stick at hand.

So I selected a small bag used for keeping pencils in schools due to its small form factor. Then I started keeping things that solved my problems. For instance, I kept a small craft scissor for cutting paper, I kept a small glue stick for pasting paper, then a very small steel tape for taking small measurements in hardware stores, a cutter and a steel rule (cutter works well with steel rule), etc. It is just like a swiss knife, small tools for simple jobs kept together.

The project is a nice example of Unity in Diversity. All items are different but are united for a common goal of solving problems for you. It is also a good example of team work with no leader.

Step 1: Making Swiss-Office

Picture of Making Swiss-Office

You will need ...

  1. A small bag (one that is used in place of pencil boxes)
  2. Small craft scissors
  3. Highlighter
  4. 0.7 mm mechanical pencil with three leads inserted (0.7 mm lead has more strength so it is more suited for writing; three leads eliminate need for keeping a lead box and will go on for many days)
  5. Cigarette lighter (for burning everything else other than cigarette)
  6. Felt tip pen 0.5 mm
  7. Small stapler with staple box
  8. Cello tape
  9. 19 mm binder clip
  10. 6" steel rule
  11. Cutter (one with refillable blade)
  12. 5 g glue stick
  13. Magnetic compass
  14. 1 m steel tape
  15. Small mirror
  16. Permanent marker 0.5 mm

... using simple rule longest-thinnest goes first, put above items in your bag (item # 1) and it's DONE!

Step 2: Suiting Swiss-Office to your needs

Start Using

When the kit was created instead of thinking about whether an item was right or wrong, I started using the kit. I took the kit with me and observed what item was going on nicely and what was just adding weight to the kit. Then instantaneous decisions were taken either to add or remove the items. Within one month of usage the list was finalized. Later on I changed the bag to a more beautiful one and I also tried to harmonize the colours of the items with the colour of the bag.

This is the procedure is to be followed to customize your own kit. Just start using and add or remove items according to your needs. Within a month you will discover that the process of adding and removing has stopped automatically. Just keep in mind the criteria of utility and small form factor.

Final Comments

You can start using it straight away. I hope this small kit will prove to be indispensable to all of you as it is to me. It will enable you to do art and craft work, take measurements, start a fire, staple, write, look at yourself, small emergency tasks, etc. at places where nothing is available. Few such places are camps, market, car, hill station, others and your office, jungle, etc.