This universal tote insert can organize any bag — here's why we think it's worth $95

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  • Cuyana's $95 portable tote insert is a fan-favorite.
  • Like most organizational tools, I underestimated how nice it would feel to know where everything in my cavernous purse was without needing to methodically remove everything first.
  • The insert has a clip for keys, a laptop sleeve, water bottle holder with an elastic top, and adds structure to softer tote silhouettes. 
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Amir Ismael / Business Insider

Like Mara, I'm also always standing to the side of something and searching for my phone, wallet, keys, lip balm, or water bottle. I have the Cuyana Classic Zipper Tote, and while I love it and use it nearly every day to go to work, it is literally a black hole. Once I put something in there, I won't be able to find it until the next day. 

As a commuter that needs to make the most of three hours on the train, I also need to pack a lot. In addition to my phone, wallet, and keys, my daily haul usually includes a laptop and case, Kindle, makeup bag, clunky water bottle (or coffee thermos), almond butter or protein bar, an apple, and a light jacket. Sometimes I'll have a pair of heels with me to change into when I get to the office, like my Margaux heels. 

I have the black tote organizer which, in hindsight, makes it hard to see the depths of my bag, but at least the organizational pockets are infinitely helpful. Everything now has its own dedicated spot, and I'm able to stash small items like headphones and hand sanitizer in a side compartment that's separate from the main pocket. 

I particularly like the elastic bottle pocket to keep my water bottle or thermos upright and safe from leaks, and the small keychain clasp so I won't jam my fingers searching for keys in front of my building for 10 minutes — or until the next person who lives in my building gets home. 

The organizer also does a great job in creating more shape and structure. The tote has a flat bottom, but it'll lose its shape quickly once I start putting in heavy or sharp things, like a laptop. 

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the tote organizer. It's been super helpful to have a dedicated spot for everything I bring, since streamlining isn't a realistic option. — Jada Wong, senior editor

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