Like countless folks this year, I also made the transition from working in a traditional office environment to working from home. In this post, I’m going to walk you through my favorite desk accessories and share with you why you need to incorporate these desktop essentials into your own work space and how they’ll improve your work flow.
The basis of all work spaces starts with the desktop. I’ve been using the popular Ikea Karlby countertop for the past few years. When accessorizing my desktop, I aim to achieve a cohesive blend of style and function with a minimalist feel. I like keeping only the essentials on my desk all in a neutral colorway and prefer my desk accessories to be intentional and purposeful rather than a collection of random purchases.
An often overlooked but must-have accessory for any desk setup is an oversized desk mat. I’m currently using a merino wool desk mat from Grovemade. A quality mat will protect the desktop surface from nicks and scratches and doubles as a mouse pad. Due to the mat being oversized, you are able to fit a full-sized keyboard and a mouse with room to spare. The rich charcoal color complements the warmth of the walnut desktop. Going with a wool mat will add texture and visual interest to your desktop and provides a soft rest surface for your hands - the beauty of merino wool is that it has none of the scratchiness of other wool blends. While you can see and feel the wool fibers embedded in the mat, a mouse will glide across it effortlessly. Grovemade is known for making high quality hand made desk accessories that will suit any desk setup. Like all of Grovemade’s accessories, this desk mat looks and feels like the premium product it is.
For an additional layer of functionality on top of the desk mat, I opted to add Grovemade’s large leather mousepad. The unique feature of this pad is it includes a pen tray. The layered look of the wool mat plus the leather mousepad enhances the feel and finish of my work space with an elevated sense of professionalism. I typically avoid combining wood tones as they can be difficult to match, but the subtle touch of walnut in the pen holder is a nice compliment with the walnut of the Karlby.
They say the devil is in the details, so I completed the look of the mousepad with a titanium pen also by Grovemade. The silver tone of this pen ties in well with the other silver peripherals on my desk. The barrel of this pen is chunky and easy to hold, while the titanium construction keeps it lightweight. I found writing with this pen to be extremely satisfying.
A pen would be fairly useless without something to write in. I keep a Moleskine pocket notebook beside my keyboard to jot down notes. I’ve been using Moleskine notebooks for over 10 years and they are definitely my favorite notebook. Bullet journaling is immensely popular as of late, and Moleskines are perfect for that.
Other than a PC, the biggest footprint on a desk is often the base of a monitor stand. I recommend using monitor arms for your displays to reclaim that lost desk space. A monitor arm not only frees up desk real-estate, but also helps with desk ergonomics as an arm allows you to adjust and move your monitor into multiple positions and orientations - giving the user flexibility to position the monitor perfectly for their needs instantaneously.
In the same vein as a monitor arm, I use a boom arm for my microphone. Rather than taking up more desk space I mounted my Audio-Technica 4040 mic in a Blue Compass boom arm affixed at the back of my desk.
Other notable accessories I keep nearby include my Anker 10watt phone charger I use with my phone and ear buds, a coaster for protecting my desktop from hot cups of tea, and a headphone hanger. While some folks like using a headphone stand for their cans, I prefer to use a headphone hanger to free up desk space. Under my desk I use a self-adhesive headphone hanger, but I also use a clap-on style headphone hanger that I can reposition if need be. For the most part, I use the headphone clamp for my VR headset if I need to take it off mid-session.
Pro tip for anyone with a VR headset - I attached magnetic hooks on the front of my PC case to hang my controllers from. This way they are off my desk and easily accessible for play sessions.
Last but not least, no desk setup of mine is complete without the head cat in charge. It's important to inject your personality into your workspace to make it your own. For me, that’s my Garfield statue and occasionally some Funko POPs.