When I first started working from home I didn’t think I needed anything more than a computer and an internet connection. A week into it, I remember sitting at my parsons-style desk, on my super cute Lucite chair making a list of what I truly needed to stay organized and be able to work comfortably and effectively. Some of the items were tactile, some were cloud-based but all have helped me immensely. I’m so excited to share with you my 8 must have tools for organizing yourself and your work space.
FOR THE DESK
Drawer organizer: The one thing I despise the most is not being able to find something when I need it. Being able to find my sticky notes, stapler, a highlighter, or even a simple paper clip can be the most daunting task when they aren’t where they should be.
Planner: I reviewed and purchased so many planners before finding the one that fits my needs – for now. I tried a regular weekly calendar with lines and without lines. I tried to solely go paperless – I can’t do it. There’s something about writing down what the task or appointment is that helps me to remember it, and develop on it. I also have a love for everything stationary-related. I have enough note cards and super cute sticky notepads to open up my own shop – I am a true believer in the power of a handwritten note.
The best pens out there, I think, are these erasable colored pens that I use to write in the planner. These are great for color coordinating tasks and easily erase if you make a mistake. I used to use a pencil but after a while the text would schmear. I have this thing against crossing out mistakes – it looks messy (could also be my OCD kicking in…).
Bulletin Board: Aside from posting motivating and visually adorable items, I also pin up my social media calendar as well as any papers that serve as reminders (such as payment reminders for my children’s school events, etc.). You can find bulletin boards in every size, shape and color, but overall remember to find one that is more functional than pretty. I did that – I purchased a beautiful pin board from an Etsy store, and it looked perfect on the wall BUT I couldn’t pin anything to it. The cushioning was too fluffy and the pins would pop out causing whatever was being held up to fall on the floor. FAIL. I then found a great, usable pin board at Michael’s and now don’t have to worry about things falling off of it.
White Board: Although I write down my tasks in my planner, and this may sound duplicative, I need to also see my projects at a glance. I list my client’s name and the pending projects, updating it regularly as projects are completed and new ones arise. Make it fun and organized by using different color dry erase markers. I found the cutest dry erase monthly calendar at Target’s Dollar Spot – perfect for family organization between all of the sporting practices and games!
Bins: Any mail that is work related goes straight up to my office, where I go through and either keep, file or toss it. So as to not make a million trips up and down the stairs with one or two pieces of paper, they get “filed” in bins. I re-purposed two plastic bins that I previously used for the boys’ toys for my recycling bin and shredding bin. Once a week, before the recycling truck comes, I bring down the bins, shred what needs to be shredded and then bring the empty bins back up. Easy Peasy.
Personal Photos: The best thing to turn my frown upside down is to look at photos of my two beautiful boys.
Laptop: I love working on my laptop. It goes with me everywhere – downstairs, outside, to baseball practices. Since it is practically attached to me, I wanted to make it “pretty” with the faux marble cover!
Printer: I don’t have the luxury of working in a large space, so I have to be mindful of that – especially when it comes to conventionally larger items. A printer is a must for me. A lot of times I need to print proofs of ads or articles – viewing them on the computer screen doesn’t cut it. I also love to listen to music when I am reviewing analytics or scrolling through social media.
When I heard about the HP AMP 100 printer, I seriously thought they read my mind. This ultra-compact printer is also a Bluetooth® speaker! I downloaded the app as soon as I plugged in my new printer. Via the app, I can:
- Print photos from my phone without having to email them to myself and then print from my computer
- Scan documents using my phone’s camera (life saver when I am at a client’s office and need to do so!)
- Order ink straight from the app!
- Listen to music from my phone
- The Smart Amp technology makes the speaker system super high quality
- The speaker is also a speaker phone for my calls. Hands free here I come!
- One less wire needed because I can charge my phone using the built in USB port
What makes this even more so of a no-brainer purchase is that it is only $129!
What are the must-have items for your home office desk? I’d love to know!