Setting up my physical workspace

I believe that my physical workspace, just as the digital tools that I have, can have a big increase or decrease my productivity. Whether it be a standing desk or headphones that remove the noise, I want to be in an environment that I can focus on my work. I don’t work well when there are lots of things to divert my attention, like working in a coffee shop. When I’m home I close the door to my workspace so that my family knows that I’m not to be interrupted; I’ll also leave the door open when I don’t mind the interruption.

If you stop by the thoughtbot office or my house you’ll notice that my desks are practically the same. Both spaces will be clean to give me space to think and work. The more that is on my desk the more I get distracted and lose focus on my work.

Below are the objects that let me get my work done and why I think they are important.

13in MacBook Pro

The MacBook is the standard for any designer position but I’ve loved the 13in form factor. When I’m not hooked into a monitor, it fits perfectly on my lap which makes it easy to pull out on a train, in the airport, or almost anywhere else. The smaller screen forces me to focus and think about the tasks that I do on it. It ends up being great for writing but shitty for doing any kind of design.

Adjustable Height Desk

I’ve noticed that I do much better work while being able to sit and stand throughout the day. This could all just be in my head but I believe that there have been studies that show that both sitting and standing though out the day makes for a better work day. I am looking forward to getting these in the Austin office this week.

Lightning Display & 12 South HiRise and Book Arch

Bigger real-estate plus clamshell mode FTW.

Bose QuietComfort headphones

Besides my computer these might be one of the biggest tools that help me work. In my house and at work there are always outside noise and these headphones block out most of it. They put me in my own little world and allow me to focus on work.

Logitech MX Master

Switched to the Logitech mouse when I started having wrist issues from Apple’s Magic Mouse. The support and angle are perfect and the duel scroll wheels make up for not having a touch input. I used to have a Trackpad as well but it isn’t precise enough for design work and bothered me how much desk space it took up. I’ve tried Wacom but never could get it setup where it made me as fast as I was with a mouse.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Probably the biggest reason for using this keyboard is that it’s similar to the keyboard on the laptop. There isn’t an adjustment from one to the other that there is with other keyboards I’ve used. Plus I’ve had both for so long that they just feel natural. I love the small form factor and the minimal space it occupies on the desk; it gives me much more range for my mouse.

Dot grid notebook & assortment of pens, markers and pencils

I like having dots to help me draw strait lines but I’m not tied too tightly to any paper or writing instrument. I will say that when drawing I love the standard yellow HB Ticonderoga.

Apple iPhone 7

Mostly used for keeping up on email, podcasts and RSS. At the beginning of the day I’ll sort through email, check on my days tasks and see my calendar otherwise it usually stays in my pocket or in a stand. It serves as a secondary tool for notes and todos too.

Apple Watch

For work, I mostly use my watch to keep me on schedule. It shows me what my next meeting is and when and how many todos I have left in the day. I get few notifications expect for meeting reminders.

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