The quintessential tools of any desktop workspace typically include laptops, monitors, and of course, a good desk, but what about extras? I realized recently that when I'm working from home, I miss quite a few of the smaller gadgets and quality-of-life tools that are within reach of my desk at home. I thought I'd share a few of the products I'm using to enhance my desktop life for both work and play, to see if they might help you out.
- Let there be light: econoLED stick-on lights
- Tidy those cables: Attmu Velcro cable ties
- Cortana smart speaker: Harman Kardon Invoke
- USB powered: Tessan Power Strip with USB
- Several tools in one: Grand Way Swiss army knife
- Sharpen up: Acetek utility knife
- Easy on the eyes: TaoTronics desk lamp
- Best screen cleaner: EcoMoist cleaning kit
- Expand your ports: VAVA USB-C dock
If you have an office desk with a cabinet of some type and if you're anything like me, you sometimes find yourself fumbling around in the dark with your cell phone torch trying to dig something out of there. Not anymore! These econoLED stick-on lights attach to any surface with strong 3M tape, and they're cheap as heck for a whole load of convenience. Stick them on, press them in, and get illuminated.
If your desk is full of wired gadgets and gizmos, the cabling can get seriously messy seriously fast. As such, you may want to consider some re-usable Velcro cable ties, like these ones from Attmu. Simply gather up your plastic spaghetti into a tidy bunch, wrap them up with the cable ties, and the job is done. These ones even come with some fancy color options.
While Alexa enjoys the lion's share of the smart speaker world, Cortana, in my opinion, remains a better option for heavy users of the Microsoft ecosystem, particularly for her capabilities to set reminders across your Microsoft-connected devices while accessing your emails, Skype contacts, and calendars. The Harman Kardon Invoke is indeed a great smart speaker, and it's now cheaper than ever.
Sometimes all you need is a bit of USB power, but you either can't find your charger or don't have a spare outlet. Thankfully, more and more power strips actually come baked with USB ports now, making staying powered a little easier. This solution from Tessan includes three regular outlets, as well as an LED indicator and an on/off switch.
Whether you want to crack open a beer, opening up an Amazon package or unscrew the battery cover from an old appliance, it's far easier to have an all-in-one Swiss army-style knife to do the job. This tool from Grand Way comes with 11 distinct tools including a wire stripper, screwdrivers, knives, and more. It even comes with a convenient sheath.
While a multi-tool is great for opening packages, the blades typically aren't replaceable and can get dull over time with over-use. If you want to do some more heavy duty cutting, like chopping up Amazon boxes for recycling, for example, you'll want a utility blade with replaceable razors. This solution from Acetek comes with spare blades for future use and a foldable handle for safe storage.
Recently I invested in a dimmable desk lamp for working irregular hours, and found that desk lamps with different color temperature modes are not only more pleasant on the eyes, but help you to unwind a little more naturally than aggressive blue light does. This dimmable desk lamp from TaoTronics does exactly that, with warm color modes and extra USB ports to boot.
I love this stuff. EcoMoist makes a range of natural products for cleaning desktop electronics, and after several years I remain a happy customer. The screen cleaning agent is completely alcohol and allergen free, with fully biodegradable components. It even comes with a microfiber cloth to get you started. One 50ml bottle will last several months, maybe even longer.
If you're rocking a modern device with USB-C support, especially a tablet, grabbing a nifty docking station like this solution from VAVA will greatly expand the usability of your device. It includes support for SD, MicroSD, Ethernet, HDMI, and more, making it a great device well worth your consideration.
If I had to recommend just one product on this list it might actually be the EcoMoist screen cleaner, simply for how impressive it is at cleaning without any harmful chemicals. I also frequently use the USB ports on my power strip for charging my cell phone, without having to use the main adapter that came with the phone. You can never have enough gadgets (maybe).
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