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Last week I talked about staying focused and productive while working from home during the holidays. This week, I want to share a few of the go-to tools I use to keep me productive and efficient while working from home. So let's talk about what they are, how I'm using them, and how they are making me look like an absolute SUPERWOMAN!!
Right now, most of what I'm doing is via video calls or some sort of conference call. Either I'm using computer audio or my mobile device. The problem comes with needing to control the audio volume because my laptop is docked and I sound far away, or I'm trying to use my phone for audio and laptop for video. Either option works, they just don't work well. So I got this Anker Conference Bluetooth Speaker. I love this little thing. It's smaller than my Beats headphones when they are folded and takes up no space at all in my bag if I need to pack and go. I love that it's perfect for about 6 to 8 people to take a conference call together and I can move around freely without having something on my head or in my ear. If I want to use it as my laptop audio/microphone, I can simply attach via the USB, or use my Bluetooth. This is such a great little gadget.
2. Currently, there is a lot going on on my desk...I have 2 laptops and a monitor. So I need to maximize real estate until I move into my actual office. But until then, I'm currently using this Vertical Laptop stand. It's adjustable, it comes with a little Allen wrench to tighten it and it has felt pads on the bottom so it doesn't slip and slide on your desk. The other thing I love about it are the little front shelves, I can position books on the outside, giving me a little extra organization space.
3. The next thing that helps me create some extra storage and real estate is this Clear Monitor Riser. I like this one over the others because of the adjustable legs. This gives me about 2 inches which is great for me during video calls. There is nothing worse than having your video callers looking up your nostrils. This puts me at eye level with my camera. I also like that it's clear thick glass, so it doesn't feel like I have stuff junking up my desk. And because it's raised, I get a little extra storage for journals and my Bluetooth speaker underneath.
4. I'm one of those people who love to plan my month as much as possible. I love this Cambridge Wall Calendar. It usually sells out fast at Target and Target.com. When it does, I trust that I'll be able to find it on Amazon. While you don't have to use this one, and there are cheaper options, it's just GORGEOUS. I love that it's oversized and has those gold accents on the lettering and the spine. I literally make sure I hunt for this and grab it in October or November when school supplies are plenty.
5.If you've watched my YouTube (shameless plug) videos, you'll see these behind me. I love these White Post It Notes. I feel like they are a lot cleaner and I hate too many colors. I also love that these are white and not the usual yellow, pink and blue notes. They also are really sticky. If you keep notes around your office or desk, you might really love these. I also use fine-tipped markers that show up nicely on these.
6. I'm usually in need of multiple USB ports and extra outlets. I have a traditional surge protector, but I needed to convert my wall outlets So I found this 6 Outlet Wall Adapter with USB ports and it's made things a lot easier. You can secure it by screwing it down, or you can just remove your old wall plate and plug this in. It works perfectly. I've had it in use during some serious storms and power outages and all my devices were perfectly safe.
7. Because I dock my laptop and use my monitor, it's such a pain when I need to jump on a Zoom call. I decided I was going to test out an external Web camera. I was rather surprised that I found one that was super inexpensive and had really great video quality. What I like about this one, in particular, is the adjustable arm on the back. It has a grip cushion that keeps it from falling off my monitor, and it doesn't require permanent mounting hardware or adhesives. It also comes with a mini tripod, but I don't think it has a great design. The camera, however, is really good quality.
I've worked from home for quite some time, but my needs have really changed since that "thing" happened to the entire world, forcing us to change, wear stylish masks and stay 8ft apart!! Now, the amount of time I'm on the phone, on camera, and the amount of stuff on my desk has definitely changed. These are some of the tools that have been a huge help to me as I adjust to my changing workday. If you're interested in my extensive list of office essentials, definitely check out the Office Essentials page, for office and desk style and function.
In case you're wondering, I own or have purchased the majority of these items. Maybe I'll show you how I'm using them once I'm unpacked and settled....stay tuned.
Let me know if you've tried any of these items, or something similar. Until the next time.
These are absolutely my thoughts...