My Tips for Working at a Coffee Shop

  1. Bring Noise Cancelling Earphones - It helps me focus and keep me from listening into other conversations. Also, it helps avoid unwanted conversations. There’s sometimes that coffee regular (especially at small local coffee shops) that just talks to everyone. So unless you want to get into your life story, wear earphones.

  2. Limit your time - the coffee shop owner and your bottom will thank you. Prolonged sitting always leads my bottom to hurt. Yes, you might lose that prized seat by the outlet, but are you really being productive after 3-4 hours?

  3. Always bring a battery pack - my macbook pro and iPad pro can both me charged off a external usb-c battery now. Make sure to bring one along so you don’t have to worry about finding a seat with a plug.

  4. Use the restroom BEFORE you sit down. Don’t lose the prized seat to take a potty break. I get very paranoid about leaving my stuff sitting out to go use the restroom. I’ve had friends lose their things this way. You also don’t want to hold it too long. Your future self will suffer.

  5. Bring a jacket. Even during the summer in Los Angeles coffee shops get cold. The baristas sometimes crank the AC up because of how hot it gets behind the counter (Starbucks is notorious for this).

My top gadgets: Rooster Laptop Stand

RavPower External Battery (charges macbook 2018 pro 13" and iPad Pro 12.9). I’ve had mine since March 2017 without any issues. It also charges the Nintendo Switch!

Uniqlo Light Down Jacket - this jacket folds up really small. Fits great in a backpack.

Corkcicle Tumbler - this is my favorite Coffee Holder. Form and Function!


Some excellent tips there! You’ve made my life so much easier.
Hope you’ll post something comparable for going to the supermarket next time.

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Dude, you’re costing me money!

That said, my job often has me working in random locations, between meetings, at airports, in hotel public areas, and at professional conferences. In the here and now that’s pretty simple. Just find a place where you’re comfortable sitting (or standing – which is what I prefer – a surprising number of places have standing bars nowadays), open your laptop and get to work.

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I second #4! You’re bladder and your comfy seat by the outlet will thank you!

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I thought the point was to listen to the other conversations. :wink:

Seriously, though, I don’t bring noise cancelling headphones because I want to be motivated by the atmosphere. I also like being greeted by friends and acquantainces, so I don’t close myself off.

I also will often not bring a charger or a battery to force myself to be polite and leave at a decent time. Nice list!

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I do remember ONE PARTICULAR DAY when I worked at a series of coffee shops. I was in town for a conference in Denver that started on a Tuesday. I hadn’t been to Denver in a long time so I few in Saturday to see the city.

Monday, I had the day clear for laptop work.

My hotel was near a pedestrian mall that’s a Denver landmark – I forget the name, but Denver natives will know it. So I started out at the nearest coffee shop. When I felt a bathroom break coming on an hour or two later, I got up and walked to another coffee shop. Repeat several times that day. It was lovely.


I would also suggest knowing specifically what you are going to work on when you go there. For me personally, while the coffee shop is a great place to focus, I’ve noticed that if I don’t know exaactly what I’m going to be doing before I sit down it is far too easy to be distracted there or just not start on anything.


I guess my tips would be, remember people’s orders, be nice to the customers, and pay strict attention to any allergies.