Well, I just completed my second ever commute to work on a bike, 11 miles each way. Riding a Mongoose Switchback that my parents bought for me almost 20 years ago. I've switched the tires to Armadillo Crossroads, and it rolls better. Ergon grips, BG seat, but other than that it's basically stock.
Monday I just carried my phone and wallet in my pocket, and didn't change (i was one of the few in the office on the 4th). Today I tried riding with a backpack containing a change of clothes. I've determined that people that say they prefer a backpack are wrong, and they actually prefer a rack. So I need to pick up a rack to carry things.