Desk Day - June 2022 - Personal
Happy Desk Day everyone! It’s a tradition among my friend group to have a monthly Desk Day (on the 13th or the closest non-holiday weekday) wherein we share photos of our desks and solicit help, advice, or compliments on our current setups. It became a running joke that when I shared on Desk Day, I needed to post seven hundred photos because I have more than one desk; I have, in fact, 4 desks and a crafting table in one office, and my main desk serves two functions. In order to keep my Desk Day entries short, I’ve opted to show off one desk configuration a month.
This month, we’re starting with my favorite configuration: my main desk, as I like it set up when I am working on any of my small businesses or hobbies!
This desk is situated on the southern wall of my office, between a single south-facing window and a double west-facing window. This means it gets lots of light, but it can also get quite warm in the summer. Above my monitor, I’ve started building out a gallery wall of personal photos, prints I love, and antique or vintage artwork I find while out shopping.
The desk itself is a pair of ALEX drawers, a single ADILS leg, and a KARLBY countertop in oak, all from IKEA. I went with this for the simple fact that I couldn’t find a desk big enough to suit my needs… So I decided to build one. My original needs were going to involve side by side workspaces, one for my personal life, one for my work life, but I nixed that idea a while ago because the desk still wasn’t big enough, and I never wanted to move between the two sides when the time came. So work and personal overlap a bit here, which is something I generally try to stay away from, but in this case I legitimately don’t know where a fifth desk would go.
On the left-hand side of my desk, I’ve got a pair of hourglass timers–the smaller for five minutes, the larger for thirty–originally designed for the Pomodoro Technique. I no longer use that technique in favor of the Compass Method (coined by my good friend Judica), but when I need to kick myself into gear by saying “I’ll just work for a few minutes,” I grab one of the hourglasses and set the sand to falling. It’s enough to get my brain moving sometimes, and won’t interrupt me if I get on a roll, which is something that always bugs me about setting timers on my phone.
I’ve also got a beloved giraffe statue I’ve had since I graduated from university. I’ve never given it a name, but I should; it would give my desk a little more personality. The HomePod mini is perfect for playing music when I’m in the mood, or a podcast when I’m cleaning (because my desk never stays clean for long), especially because sometimes headphones feel claustrophobic at home, though I couldn’t tell you why.
Finally, the tower. The bamboo base is actually a breadbox I found on Amazon, but it suits the needs I had: one, to store some of my stationary supplies close to hand without hiding them, and two, to make sure I didn’t just have a pile of nonsense on that corner of my desk. Now there’s no room for one! Inside & below the breadbox, I’ve got an assortment of things from collage books, to washi tape, to stickers, to random pieces of paper I liked the look of. All of these are destined to be used in my junk journal, a delightful hobby wherein I journal using found objects to catalog what’s on my mind.
On top, in a mid-century modern letter organizer, is even more stationary supplies, joined by a gorilla, a blue spaceman named Benjamin, and Gerald, the wolf crocheted for me by one of my best friends. The 12’ tape measure is a recent addition. The number of times I’ve wanted to take a quick measurement of a space and not have the energy to go down to the garage and find one of the half-dozen somewhere in the tool bench was too high. So I bought one to keep in my office, another for my purse, and a third to go with me when I go down to our neighborhood pond.
Between the crafting tower and my monitor, I’ve got two books that I’m slowly making my way through–The Personal MBA and Cradle to Cradle. Both are wildly interesting but not the sort of book to be read while snug in bed, so I keep them where I see them everyday.
Finally, my main workspace. I’ve got a pile of colorful pens I use in my journal, a candle based on Bridgerton that was a birthday gift from amazing friend, and an HP pocket photo printer that I use for my junk journaling, but also for recording native flora and fauna in one of my journals. Pen enthusiasts will note I have a Pilot Metro in a cork tray under my monitor–an LG ultra wide that suits me pretty well–but I fear I have no fun ink in it right now, as I mostly use it for writing notes.
Also under the monitor, from left to right, I have an HDMI switch so that I can swap between my personal and professional laptops at the click of a button (and a rearranging of some peripherals, but c’est la vie), a 12 South Dock for my personal laptop, and a gigantic ThinkPad dock for my work-issue massive laptop. I have both laptops seated in vertical stands most of the time, but when I need to video call, as I was this morning, I pull them down and use the integrated webcam. Not the best solution, but it works for now. My personal laptop is an M1 MacBook Air. The longterm plan is to transition it to a family laptop and to get myself a more powerful machine, but this little machine can handle everything I throw at it 95% of the time. Off to the right, I’ve got my podcasting mic and headphones, as well as headset that I use for work, but we’ll get to that eventually.
My planner is usually in front of me (unless I’m feeling crowded, then I’ll nudge it to the side, ready and waiting for ideas, thoughts, or notes to get tossed into it. The ominous and ever-present pile of papers to the left of my journal are items I’m trying to re-home to their proper place; some need to be put on the computer, some need to be formalized, and others just need my eyes on them one last time before they get sent to the compost, but the pile persists, no matter how many times I tell myself I’ll get through it today.
That’s it for this month–next time, I’ll show off my writing desk. It’s not half so complicated and much smaller, but does have a bookshelf right next to it, so I may just get distracted and show those tomes off too.