My 5 Favorite Office Tools
I don't do list-style blog posts like these a lot because I don't want you all to think it's just fluff. But I've been wanting to share these for awhile so I'm going to combine some of my favorite tools into one post. I get asked a lot for recommendations, and although I don't have a lot in my office, these are what I use, what I love and what help me get my work done every day.
There are no affiliate links in this post, but some of these products were given to me for free in exchange for a review or social media post. However, all the products mentioned are products I would 100% repurchase if I ever lost mine. I really do love them and I would recommend them to anyone.
Okay, enough chit-chat.
#1. Logitech MX Master Mouse
If you don't know, I spend between 6 and 10 hours on a computer every day. My day job is on the computer, this job, my online classes and my hobbies. I spend a lot of time typing and using a computer mouse. Because of this, my right wrist is extremely weak.
I've had to deal with carpal tunnel as just part of the job for the last year, so when Logitech got in touch and offered to send me their new mouse, I said yes.
This guy is pricey at $99, but, if you spend as much time at the computer as I do, it's a worthy investment. The biggest pro to this mouse is how well designed it is. It's comfortable to use, hurts my wrist MUCH less than a regular mouse and the features are awesome. There is also an extra 3 buttons which you can customize to do whatever you prefer, as well as an additional thumb scrollbar so you can scroll horizontally on a page.
One of my favorite features of the mouse is the laser. It uses Darkfield laser sensors so your mouse will work on virtually any surface (including glass). No more mouse pads! You can use a cord or Bluetooth to connect the mouse and easily switch between 3 computers with the click of a button. The battery is rechargeable and you can use it while it's charging (this is a big pro for me).
Less pain and wrist cramping is the main reason this mouse made my list. You can get more details or purchase the mouse from here.
#2. Quality Desk Chair
Every time I see a stool or clear plastic chair at a desk I cringe a little. I cannot stress the importance of a supportive chair enough. If you sit at your desk for more than a couple hours each day, you could be seriously causing pain to your back, hips and knees by not investing in a good chair.
You don't need to buy a $450 ergonomic chair or a $230 standing desk, just something with lower back support and some cushion. I got mine from Target, you can get my exact one here or something similar from here or here.
I use a small pillow behind my lower back for more support. Also, completely off topic, but if you always cross your legs at your desk, try to get in the habit of keeping your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-length apart. Crossing your legs for hours at a time can cause hip and lower back pain too.
#3. LimoStudio Lighting
My office is like a large closet in our apartment. I love working in there because there's no distractions but the lighting is awful. When I started recording more YouTube videos I decided it was time to get some studio lights but I couldn't afford anything too fancy. On Amazon I came across this package. It comes with 2 large umbrella lights and a smaller table-top light, plus some accessories.
Using light umbrellas in my videos makes it easier to adjust the brightness, focus on my face and look a bit more professional. The lighting kit is very simple and only $50 so if you're just starting out with videos, it's a good option. They are light and portable and store very well. They've been an essential part to more professional videos and an easier editing process.
#4. Condenser Microphone
I'll start this off with a disclaimer - this is not a great microphone. However, I've been using it for a long time and it's worked very well for what I need. If you're planning on podcasting, recording audio alone or need something that will last more than a year go with something like THIS.
The microphone I use is the Tonor USB Microphone. It's super simple and easy to use and there's really not much to say about it besides that. It does a fairly good job of canceling background noise, it comes with a tripod and it installs automatically on your computer when you plug it in.
#5. Seagate External Hard Drive
Backing up my computer is extremely important to me. I also use my hard drive to store old photos, video and work that I don't need on my computer, but I want to keep. The particular drive I use is this one, the Portable 4TB drive. 4TB is a ton of storage, and I'll probably never fill it all, but it's nice to have that option. It uses a regular USB port and is easily portable. They're small so they can fit in a purse or backpack and they're pretty durable too.
It doesn't really matter which company you use, but setting up some sort of private cloud storage, a portable hard drive or backup computer is a very good idea as a business owner. They can be fairly expensive, but a virus that wipes your computer can be more expensive, so invest in it now.
Aside from these physical office tools, I also use a ton of online apps, websites and software to keep things running smoothly. You can see a full list on my tools page. Some of those are affiliate links, though, so keep that in mind.