As soon as I started traveling with a laptop I lost the handbag. I don't need the laptop with me much anymore, but Gary bought me a lovely leather backpack in 2001 or 2002-ish and it is still GORGEOUS. I used to carry a large coach bag - but I always carried the bag over my left shoulder, and I was having so many shoulder and neck problems. The backpack solved that by distributing the weight evenly.
I cannot believe it has lasted so much longer than any of the Coach bags I ever used.
It's dark brown leather with an inside zip pocked at the top - perfect for the checkbook. The two not zip pockets have pens and my glasses in them. The third one holds my PDA.
Outside pocket on either side - one has hand wipes in it, the other has a small flashlight, pepper spray and a whistle (all easy to grab).
It has a full-size "pocket" on the back - that has some work papers in it - they don't get squished or dirty in there - and a note pad.
In the main compartment, my laptop fits if I need it. But right now it has my wallet (a Harley wallet with the chain), kleenex, a keychain with keys to locks and stuff I don't need right now but this way I always know where it is... and a little toothbrush kit.
There's also a small tote bag kind of thing (like 8" x 4" x 4") with pill bottles, collar stays, fold-up brush, fold-up lint remover thingy, medical supplies, stuff for tooth aches (for Gary), and a sewing kit.
Keys and phone usually go in my pockets - but they can go in the backpack if I don't feel like looking bulky.
I have no other bags.
Edited to add: we spend so much time in Dr.'s offices that the backpack is convenient for toting books and magazines around. !!!!!