Best office ever?
July 9, 2009 12:44 PM   Subscribe

What office accessories can you not live without?

I have finally become important enough to have my own office, now I need to accessorize it. I'm an all-purpose creative type (video, graphic design, etc) in a very conservative field (health care). My computer stuff, a chair and a desk will be provided, but I have a blank slate as far as anything else. I'm already planning on getting a giant white board, but what else will I need/want? I'm looking for anything from the useful to the fun.

Keep in mind: 1) I'll paying for it myself, and 2) I can't do anything too crazy.

(sort of previously)
posted by 1f2frfbf to Grab Bag (38 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
My scanner.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:46 PM on July 9, 2009

Post-its. I love post-its and buy a lot of different colours and sizes and go nuts. It makes my planner a little less daunting.

Corkboards are fun for pinning little mementos, too.

A good stapler will make your life way easier.
posted by Phire at 12:47 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

Present and Correct carries delightful vintage office supplies. (The elephant paper clip holder might appeal to you like it does to me!)
posted by val5a at 12:50 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

The P-Touch labeler. Mine is a little PT-80.
posted by stennieville at 12:50 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

I love these chairs.

A USB hub of your choice, preferably something interesting.

No windows? Perhaps a sunshine simulator.

I find a small desktop fan to be indispensible.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:51 PM on July 9, 2009

A good metal Swingline stapler. No others come close.
posted by General Malaise at 12:52 PM on July 9, 2009

Plastic pockets!
posted by mdonley at 12:53 PM on July 9, 2009

A couple of toys that I can quietly fiddle with while on the phone.
posted by onhazier at 12:55 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

mousepad with wrist pad and keyboard pad to save your wrists.
the flat keyboard from Apple is a dream to type on.
letter opener (I get a lot of mail)
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 12:55 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I use my USB fan a lot more than I ever thought I would.
posted by IanMorr at 12:56 PM on July 9, 2009

Don't go too nuts. I used to trick out my office with every conceivable piece of gear, but I've learned that simplicity is more peaceful and makes work flow better.
posted by Miko at 12:59 PM on July 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

The Plantronics Wireless headset.
posted by ohyouknow at 12:59 PM on July 9, 2009

* A HEAVY DUTY stapler if you ever have to staple 50 + pages together. For most purposes, better than three hole punch + binder.

* A file cabinet or a high quality drawer-style file box in addition to a crate-style file box for working items and temporary storage

* An inbox

* The German company Kum makes the best pencil sharpeners, and their two part pencil sharpeners are excellent (e.g.

* A mechanical label-maker (more aesthetically pleasing than those electric pieces of junk)

* It is really hard to come up with a universal name for the red expanding folders that lawyers use for everything, so I'll just give a link:

Most useful folders ever! I'm talking the kind without lips and straps and excessive accordion stuff.
posted by yesno at 1:00 PM on July 9, 2009

My scrolly mouse with back and forward buttons on the sides.
posted by heather-b at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2009

A good supply of Mars Lumograph pencils and Mars plastic erasers.
posted by clorox at 1:13 PM on July 9, 2009

My dry erase board.
posted by cwarmy at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2009

Labelmaker, many sizes of binder clips (instead of paperclips or staples), jumbo rubber bands, excitingly colored post-its to make my work look more interesting.
posted by rmless at 1:20 PM on July 9, 2009

Music. If it is an office with a door which you will spend 8-12 hours a day in then you may be supprised how nice it is to have some decent speakers or headphones or what have you.

4 Books:
Beautiful Evidence, Visual Explanations, Evisioning Information, and The Visual Display of Quantitative Information from Edward Tufte

2 more white boards (smaller)
A hoard of dry erase markers and erasers
A window out of your office and onto the floor
A window out of your office to outside

Pictures of the people you care about
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:20 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Binder clips, Moleskine notebook, ultra fine point Sharpie (not the new pens), Papermate ballpoint pens or Zebra pens, 3x5" index cards (preferably lined on one side), plenty of bright happy photographs hanging around the office.
posted by amwelles at 1:30 PM on July 9, 2009

Ditto the high-capacity stapler and writing instruments (with backups in the drawer) that you really love using.
posted by asuprenant at 1:33 PM on July 9, 2009

Post-It's - I couldn't function without my little colorful reminders.

Toys - I prefer my juggling bags and a tin of Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty.

IPod speakers (search list from Amazon)
posted by elendil71 at 1:34 PM on July 9, 2009

Sharpie Extra Fine Point markers, Moleskine. Everything else is details.
posted by GilloD at 1:35 PM on July 9, 2009

Colored pens. I find it IMMENSELY helpful to use different colored pens at different meetings to keep straight what was said when (note that I'm not super-anal about this, unlike my coworker who coordinates the color of her pens with her outfits. Nope, not kidding).

Start a CYA file on your first day.

I like to have my own glass and coffee mug at my desk, so I'm not using disposable stuff all the time.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:41 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not just any post-it, but post-it tags
posted by sunshinesky at 1:47 PM on July 9, 2009

I love watching my Lava Lamp.

My Mr. Coffee iced tea machine is very handy and saves on soda. Lady Grey at work is great!

I guess it sounds egotistical or narcissistic or something, but I have a photo of myself getting my Master's. The university president and the dean are in it, so I suppose it isn't so bad.

I work by the White House, so binoculars come in handy.
posted by jgirl at 1:48 PM on July 9, 2009

Also, you can get more colors of white board markers than the usual one, but you probably know that.
posted by jgirl at 1:49 PM on July 9, 2009

I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone praising the newish "One-Touch" (Staples-brand) and "PowerEase" (Swingline) staplers that make stapling a joy.
posted by Jonathan Harford at 1:52 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

A mug warmer to keep the coffee palatable.
posted by torquemaniac at 2:13 PM on July 9, 2009

In the interest of avoiding neck strain, something to adjust the height of your monitor (I'm currently using a couple of big books, but you might as well get something nicer)... Maybe a keyboard tray too if the desk height isn't right for your size.

Also something (clipboard attached to monitor? bulletin board on the wall?) so you can easily see any hardcopy work while still sitting straight.
posted by nat at 2:21 PM on July 9, 2009

Post-Its and a Notebook
posted by OuttaHere at 2:25 PM on July 9, 2009

I assume you already know this, but by FAR the best thing in my office is my second monitor. I would give up almost every other item in my office before I gave up the twins. Notepad++ on one side, Firefox on the other. Excel on one side, Word on the other. Paint.NET on one side, horrible Microsoft graphics I'm trying to doctor on the other. R on one side, LaTeX on the other. Devastating productivity (except when it's faux work on one side, AskMeFi on the one that angles away from the door...). For a general-purpose creative type, it will rock.
posted by McBearclaw at 2:25 PM on July 9, 2009 [5 favorites]

Staple remover. It's the only way to get things apart without breaking a nail.
posted by x46 at 4:16 PM on July 9, 2009

Whenever I have to mail a bunch of documents to a client, I find PlastiKlips to be much more useful than plain, metal paper clips. I rely on the brightly-colored ones to help differentiate between each set of documents.

Also, unlike regular metal paper clips, their smooth design doesn't scratch or mar the paper surface.
posted by invisible ink at 6:47 PM on July 9, 2009

Post-it notes are the devils invention. I work with a notebook and jot down the details of every phone conversation and make a box next to any action notes that need to be completed. the box gets a check when it's done. this makes a great history of who you have spoken to, what you have done and what needs to done. archive when full.

I use pencils and pens and would say my two favourite desk items are my Staedtler eraser and my correction mouse.

...and an unobtrusive calculator that doesn't need batteries.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:59 PM on July 9, 2009

.. also, any office generates enough paper waste, that a couple of minutes of folding and tearing will create a bunch of notelets for taking messages instead of wasting money on post-its.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:01 PM on July 9, 2009

I had a friend who was the creative guy at an insurance company and he played the role by covering the inside and outside of his weird ass office cylinder cube thing with funny qoutes he made up. Stuff like "Gophers? No thanks, cow for me." Odd, one at a time, but oddly charming taken together.
posted by trembleclef at 8:16 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Electric stapler.

Don't knock it til you've tried it.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:21 PM on July 9, 2009

Response by poster: Great ideas all, thanks. I will report back with photos.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:54 PM on July 10, 2009

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