Douglas Eu, JF Asset Management (Hong Kong) managing director

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 March, 2006, 12:00am

MY BRIEFCASE IS really a hiking-and-mountaineering pack that I carry strapped to my hips and back. So it does not look very professional.

Basically, I am more concerned about comfort, the long-term effect on my posture and what I do with the contents of my briefcase than about how it looks.

I carry the usual electronic toys and gadgets such as a BlackBerry and an iPod, which is my constant companion. Also, I am never without a couple of notebooks.

I use my large notebook for keeping a diary. I write an account of daily happenings and keep track of important family dates and anything that might grab my interest, such as when someone mentions a particular book, a movie or a CD. A notebook is also a good way of writing down things that I find puzzling, odd or amusing.

I also carry a smaller 'to do' notebook, which is work-related. I use this to jot down thoughts that I might later refer to in a meeting or develop into themes.

Over the years, I have found that carrying notebooks is handy and training myself to use them has meant it is possible to record those details that could otherwise be forgotten.

Briefcases should be functional and used for carrying items that are necessary. As my job has changed over the years, so too have the contents of my briefcase.

When I was working as a fund manager, I carried lots of things such as financial magazines and newspapers. I still carry some, but I do not always read them. These days, I use my briefcase to carry items that I can use when travelling between home and work, and this usually means books or music.

Increasingly, I listen to books downloaded to my iPod rather than read them. This reduces the weight in my briefcase, and also helps me use the five hours or so I spend on the road each week productively. This way, I am able to read between 80 and 90 books a year.

After kissing my children goodbye as they board the school bus in the morning, the first thing I do is delve into my briefcase and plug in my iPod. You will often find me listening to my iPod while I dash about at lunchtime.