What you put on your desk says a lot about you--and how you work. A set of high-end speakers playing a synth-rock band can help you stay focused; an ornamental object like a wooden penholder gives you something to glance at while you make phone calls. Even a paper clip tray can make a statement. Here, I've assembled a few ideas for the perfect desk accessories that go far beyond an ink jet printer and a sketchpad.
1. Evernote Pfeiffer Collection Desktop Wood Bundle ($106)
Let's start with one of the best desk accoutrements I've seen in a while. This set of trays and penholders is not really intended just for organization or keeping your pens handy. For that, you can get plastic trays at OfficeDepot.com for about $10. The Evernote products (yes, the same company that makes the apps) help you stay focused because they have an elegant and clean look. Bonus: They are heavy enough to stay put.
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB Turntable ($150)
Are you listening to music by connecting headphones to your laptop? That's so late '90s. Might as well go back another decade with this low-cost turntable. You'll need a stack of records, but you can listen directly on headphones or with a pair of desktop speakers. With vinyl, fast drum patterns and certain upper and lower frequencies sound more realistic. This turntable also lets you convert your vinyl collection to MP3 audio files. Importantly, it uses a high-end needle for realistic playback.
3. Grovemade Walnut Desk Collection (Price Varies)
Many of the pieces in this collection of keyboard trays, monitor stands, and supply holders would look elegant even in your kitchen or living room. They help spruce up your cubicle, keep you organized, and add an earthy feel to your office decor. There's even a planter in the set to add some greenery. The Monitor Stand costs $119, the Pen Cup costs $39, and the company--which makes everything in a factory--will likely add even more items.
4. Acer V Nitro Laptop (Starting at $1,100)
I'm a little bored with business laptops that look like they were designed by an IBM executive in the '90s. They kind of put me to sleep, even when I'm not at the airport. This massive and powerful notebook (the $1,300 model has a 17.3-inch screen, runs on the fastest Intel Core i7 processor, and packs in a 1TB drive for storage) lights up with red glowing keys and has amazing surround-sound audio for playing movies when you get home.
5. Joey Roth Planter ($50)
There is nothing too techie about this planter desk accessory, but it is based on science. The plant draws just the right amount of water it needs through a central chamber. It helps to avoid over- or under-watering, because you don't pour directly into the soil.
6. Paradigm Millenia CT 2 Speakers ($764)
This desktop speaker set provides a deep bass you can feel right in your bones when you play Radiohead or Kings of Leon. (Warn any cubicle-mates before you play music too loud.) First, the speakers use a fine black gloss material that looks trendy and slick, like you just discovered a European design ethos. You can stream over Bluetooth from your phone or directly from a laptop. And the sound quality is pure bliss.
7. Samsung Level On Headphones ($180)
The first thing you'll notice with these high-end headphones is that they feel softer and more comfortable than most brands, even the Beats headphone line. Bands like Beacon or Lights will sound better because of how the audio tech works to replicate the original intent of the artist. As a bonus, if you use a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet, you can issue voice commands for tasks such as answering the phone.