14 items everyone should have on their desk
If you want to produce your best work, you'll need a well thought-out work area to match.
Here are some desk items that will keep you organized and tidy:
A reliable USB hub
With companies like Apple ditching USB ports in laptops, having a USB hub is becoming more and more necessary — especially if you have a lot of peripherals to fit in one or two ports.
A well-designed 4-port hub, like this one from Anker, runs just under $10.
A pair of good headphones
For quiet office environments, you'll need a reliable set of headphones.
If you're looking for a good investment for long-term ownership, Audio Technica's M40x headphones have a detachable and replaceable cable and decent sound quality for $90.
But if you're a victim of Apple's onslaught against the 3.5mm headphone jack, you'll want a pair of wireless headphones. We recommended the Jabra Move headphones, which sell for $100 on Amazon. They're are sturdy, lightweight, and bass-forward, though reviewers note you should take good care of the earpads on this one.
If you opt to go wireless, you can rest assured that the headphones will work fine with your iPhone 7, but you'll want to make sure your computer is Bluetooth compatible.
A cable management system
Without proper management, your power strip could end up being a cluttered mess of cables.
A simple power strip box from UT Wire ($18) can hide your power strip and double as another surface for you to put your devices. To set it up, simply slip your plugs into the box from the side and plug them into the power strip inside the box. Voila: now you have a surge protector box that covers all those small cables.
To double down on decluttering, you can also grab an OmniMount ($13) and slip all your cables into one sleeve.
A universal charging station for all your devices
This charging stand from Great Useful Stuff ($40) is an elegant solution if you have a bunch of devices charging on your desk. Instead of laying flat, your devices can charge standing up, as if in a magazine rack.
It's also a convenient way to isolate all your devices in one spot on your desk to keep you from getting distracted.
A laptop stand
If you want a standing desk and don't have the cash to spend on a real adjustable one, you can always buy a laptop stand.
Sure, you can make a stand out of something as simple as a milk crate, but a dedicated stand like the Pwr+ laptop stand ($40) can adjust to match your standing height. You can also angle the keyboard down if it's more comfortable.
The stand collapses to take up almost as little space as the laptop itself, so you can stash it away in your drawer when you're done. Nifty.
A storage spot for your headphones
If you want to keep your headphones from taking up precious space (or getting tangled), consider attaching an adhesive hook ($9) underneath your desk — it'll keep your cans stowed away neatly.
A portable heater
Fall is rolling in, so it's a good time to plan ahead for the winter months.
At 200 watts, this Lasko MyHeat ($18) packs a punch. The MyHeat is a personal ceramic heater, not a space heater, but if your your extremities feel frozen after walking to the office, the MyHeat does well as a foot warmer or desk heater. And at six inches tall, it won't take up too much space.
A clip-on fan
During warmer months, you'll want a portable fan if your office doesn't have air conditioning.
Lasko makes a low-profile Clip Stik desk fan ($26) that doesn't look like a traditional fan. It takes up less space, and can clip onto a desk hutch and blow directly onto your face. The device can also fit between books if you want it to sit on your desk.
There's nothing worse than a wet desk on a hot day. These stainless steel coasters from Newness offer minimalist style. Bonus: they never rust.
A half-chrome light bulb for your lamp
If you're a night worker, you'll benefit from avoiding bright, direct lighting that'll hurt your eyes over time.
A good option is to put a half-chrome bulb ($13) into an existing desk lamp. If you have a light-colored lamp shade, the light will bounce off the metallic-looking part of the bulb onto the shade, which will then reflect the light onto your desk, giving you a milder, more muted light distribution.
A staple-less stapler
If you're not stapling novels together, a staple-less stapler is handy to have around. Unlike regular staplers, the Harinacs stapler leaves your sheets elegantly bound rather than leaving behind an awkward hole.
Emergency hand warmers
If the air conditioning is so strong you think your bosses might be unwittingly freezing you out of the workplace, the best you can do without fleeing your desk is to keep a handy pack of hand warmers ($7-$77) nearby.
Canned air or a desktop vacuum (yes, this exists)
A backup flash drive
On the odd days where the internet cuts out, or if you just need to toss a few gigabytes of data to your coworker without the fuss of putting it on the cloud, a USB drive comes in handy.
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