My wife and I recently did a makeover to my home office. My wife and I have this agreement in our marriage … she paints and I go somewhere else where she is not painting. No, seriously. Not only do I not like to paint, but I also am not really very good at it. So, my wife does the painting, because, well, she does a much better job than I. ?
The weekend we picked for our DIY project was during Superbowl LV (February 7-8, 2021). Our mission? To paint three of the walls in my home office gray and install wood shiplap to the fourth wall. The painting project was completed on that Saturday (February 7, 2021) and the wood shiplap was completed on Superbowl Sunday (February 8, 2021). We finished the whole project just in time for us to watch the defending Superbowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NOTE: This blog was written the Monday after the Superbowl and let’s just say the Buccaneers stomped all over the Chiefs. The final score was 31-9. Ouch!
Now, back to my home office project. The painting and the shiplap wood wall turned out fantastic! Once the project was complete I posted a picture to Facebook and my LinkedIn profile. At the time I wrote this blog article my Facebook post had reached almost 100 likes.
After posting the image of my new home office makeover a few of my friends and professional acquaintances starting inquiring about certain items I had in my office setup. So, I got to thinking … why not just write a blog article on my office setup and list each item in the image I posted and provide links to where I bought the item. So, here it goes. Hope you enjoy the list!
The 45 Things I Use Everyday In My Home Office To Help Grow My Business
A. Lenovo YOGA 730-15IWL – This laptop has been my faithful workhorse since July of 2019. I am a Windows guy. Always have been. Always will be. I replace my work laptop about every three years whether it needs or not. I need a faithful machine that at the end of the day just works when I open it up. This is the first Lenovo product that I have ever owned. I’ve been extremely happy with this i7 machine. I would definitely buy another one.
B. Samsung 32in Full HD Curved Screen LED TFT LCD Monitor Glossy White – I love everything about these monitors. I love that they are white. I love that they are curved. These are the first curved monitors I have ever owned. I bought them at Costco. And get this … I only paid $179 for each monitor. Unfortunately, I don’t think Costco sells this particular monitor anymore. I checked their website before I wrote this article and could not find them on the Costco website. However, I think you can snag one just like it or very similar to it on Amazon. I bought them about 2 or 3 years ago, so I am sure Samsung has rolled some better versions that have replaced them.
C. Klockis from IKEA – You can’t really see this nifty little “k”lock in my image, but this was an impulse buy when I was strolling through IKEA one day. From the IKEA website description (yes, you can still buy this nifty little device) this little bugger … Each side of the clock performs different functions. Just flip it for time/date, alarm, temperature or timer. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s simple to use – even while half-asleep in bed. I use it for, well, of course, a clock, but my favorite way to use it is to monitor the temperature of my office (it can get quite toasty and warm on the second floor) and to use it as a timer in networking meetings on Zoom. I’ve got a lot of use out of this $4.99 clock.
D. Microphone Arm Stand, TONOR Adjustable Suspension Boom Scissor Mic Stand – This is a simple desk mounted boom stand that I purchased on Amazon to hold my Yeti Blue Podcast Microphone. The one thing that I really do like about it is that they integrated a hook into the desk mount where I can hang my Bose Wireless 700 headphones.
E. Knox Gear Shock Mount for Blue Yeti – This Knox Gear Shock Mount is designed specifically for Blue Yeti and Yeti Pro microphones and is a great choice if you’re looking for a versatile shock mount that can be easily attached to most boom arms.
F. Blue Yeti USB Microphone – This microphone has been a “go-to” mic for me for many years. I think I bought this mic in 2010. I only wish I would have bought it in black, but only because I think the black looks nicer. The Blue Yeti mic comes in 11 different colors: platinum, silver, aztec copper, black, lunar grey, midnight blue, satin red, slate, space grey, teal, and white out, making it one of the most versatile, colorful microphones on the market today.
G. Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Webcam for Video Conferencing, Recording, and Streaming – Logitech is the gold standard when it comes to web cameras. In fact, I would not buy anything but a Logitech camera. I am sure there are some good alternative options out there and I would love to hear about your success with other web cameras in the comments to this blog article. You just can’t beat the Logitech BRIO Ultra HD webcam. Justin Brown, from Primal Video, and his Logitech BRIO YouTube video review is what sold me on purchasing the Logitech BRIO camera in the midst of a Zoom crazy pandemic back in 2020.
H. InnoGear Webcam Stand – I like this webcam stand – a lot! You can’t see the whole thing in my office image, so I have included an image of the stand to the right. I purchased a similar gooseneck webcam product that clipped to my desk, but I did not like it. Not at all. The clip kept slipping off the desk every time I tried to move the webcam. I should have returned it, but I think I am going to try to find a way to clip it to my treadmill and fasten my cell phone to it so I can watch YouTube TV while I exercise. However, the Innogear Webcam Stand is superb. It is sturdy. I can move it around on my desk easily, though I rarely do. I just love how it stays in place. No wiggling. No jarring. My webcam is always at the right height as my electric stand up desk moves up and down. This was a good purchase from Amazon for $21.99.
I. Bose Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – Ho! Ho! Ho! I got these as a Christmas gift to myself in 2020. I deserved a nice pair of wireless headphones, right? Well, actually I did deserve them. Bose makes some pretty sweet headphones. I joined a co-working space in 2020 called the COhatch. One of the things that I was struggling with when I was at the COhatch was hearing Zoom calls and taking and hearing calls on my cell phone. Plus, when I talk on the phone I like to roam. I mean, I like to pace up and down and all around. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s one of those kinesthetic movement sorts of things. I dunno. All I know is that I start pacing. I can’t sit or stay in one place when I talk on the phone.
Another huge feature of the Bose 700 Headphones for me is that I can pair to two different devices at the same time. Ooooooo … that is really cool. So, what that has meant for me is that I can be paired to my laptop and listening to music on Spotify and if my cell phone rings while listening to music, the Bose 700 Headphones can also pick up a phone call and override my music if I choose. Does that make sense? Also, the Bose 700 Headphones are also Google Assistant and Alexa enabled, which means I can be wearing them and talk to Google Assistant on my Samsung Note 10+ or if I am in my home office I can say, “Alexa, set a reminder to call ???????? at 2:00 pm?” and Alexa will set a reminder for me. If you are wanting/needing a nice pair of headphones, I highly recommend the Bose 700 Headphones.
J. Bose Companion Series Computer Speakers – I have had these speakers for a very long time … probably 12 years or more. In fact, when I was doing my research for this blog article I could not even find the same speaker version that I have. I am pretty sure my Companion speakers are discontinued. If you click on the link, it will take you to the latest version of the Bose Companion ll Speakers. For $99.00 you cannot go wrong with this set of speakers to use with your desktop or laptop. Sometimes you just want to play your music REALLY LOUD and not blow your ears out with a pair of headphones. These speakers gotcha covered!
K. Logitech M720 Wireless Triathlon Mouse with Bluetooth – I bought this mouse because my old mouse used a dongle. I needed the USB port on my laptop that the dongle was taking up for my mouse. It made more sense for me to have a mouse that operated via BlueTooth.
L. Lume Cube Video Conference Lighting Kit – When you are in a Video Conferencing Call on Zoom or Microsoft Teams you need good lighting. This little LED lighting kit from Lume Cube is uh-mazing. I don’t use it so much when I am in my home office because I have two incredibly bright LED light fixtures that light up the whole room (See Letter “O” below for my LED Lamp solution). However, when I am working remotely and the space I am in is not very well lit I can use my Lume Cube to brighten up my face for my video conference call. It comes with a suction cup that sticks to the back of my laptop. It’s perfect for that mobile warrior who needs a portable LED lighting solution. Check out the video below from Justin Brown on how to light your videos.
M. Echo 2nd Generation – I am a huge Alexa Echo fan! I remember when I first contemplated buying an AI device, I was trying to decide whether to buy a Google Home or an Alexa Dot. What I discovered was that at the time (2017) despite the fact that Google came out with their own AI device, the crazy thing was that it did not sync with what was called then G Suite. However, Alexa did. How does a Google created product NOT “sync” or “talk” to their AI device? That made no sense to me. Alexa on the other hand did “sync” and did “talk” with G Suite and that is what won me over to Amazon’s Alexa line of products.
The biggest and most strategic way I use my Alexa is to turn on wi-fi enabled smart plugs to turn things on and off like the lights in my office. So, every morning when I enter my home office I say, “Alexa, turn on office lights.” And boom! three lights in my office instantly turn on through the power of my voice … my two LED lamps come to life and the side table next to my couch powers up! So, cool. So, practical.
The fan under my desk is also powered by a wi-fi enabled smart plug, “Alexa, turn on fan.” On those hot, humid sticky summer days in Indiana, my Alexa Echo is there to grant me my office wishes.
I use my Alexa Echo to set reminders. I use my Alexa Echo to schedule appointments to my Google Calendar. Yes, I can even schedule appointments to my Google Calendar. Something Google Home could not even do back in 2017. “Alexa, make an appointment called Breakfast with John Smith for this Friday at 9 am.” Done. Alexa adds a calendar appointment to my Google calendar. Bliss, total AI bliss! Alexa devices now come in all different shapes and sizes. They’re actually pretty amazing devices. Do you have an Alexa device? If yes, what is your favorite way to use it?
Enjoy This Guys Reviews of Actual Ridiculous Amazon Alexa Devices
WARNING: HE’S ACTUALLY VERY FUNNY!
N. Monitor Mount Stand – Adjustable Single Arm Desk Vesa Mount with Clamp & Universal VESA Mount Adapter Kit, Non-VESA Adapter for 17 to 32 Inch Monitor Screens – My Samsung 32 inch curved monitors did not come with the typical VESA mounting holes on the back of the monitor. What is a VESA Mount? A VESA pattern refers to the configuration of the four mounting holes on the back of a flat panel TV or computer monitor. However, no issue. Amazon to the rescue. I was able to purchase two desk mounted monitor arms that are perfect for my office setup needs. The pole and built-in gas spring make this monitor arm adjust the height with ease. I can elevate my monitors to an ergonomic height, reducing the strain on my neck, shoulder, and back. The articulating arm lets me swivel my monitor by 180°, rotate by 360° and tilt from -35° to +35°. The monitor arm supports both landscape and portrait screen orientation, although the majority of the time I keep both monitors in landscape mode.
I was very happy to find a universal VESA mount adapter kit that allowed me to secure my non-vesa monitors securely on both the top and the bottom of my Samsung 32 inch monitors. Plus, I am now able to “float” them above my standing desk, which clears out an area below the monitor, which gives me more real estate on my desk. You can see in the picture below what it looks like from the back of the monitor.
O. Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Super Bright Floor Lamp – I first found out about these LED Floor lamps from reading a similar sort of blog that some random guy wrote. His blog was all about the lighting that he used in his office. He had a really cool setup. I tried to find the original blog article this guy wrote that lead me to these LED floor lamps, but I could not find the article. In my office setup, I have two LED Torch style floor lamps from Brightech Sky. I had never heard of Brightech before, but I must say that I actually love these floor lamps. They are bright. Easy to setup. And at the end of the day, they just work. I love the way the “light disc” on top pivots. I have one on the left side of my desk and one on the right side of my desk. I pivot the LED disc so that it is angled inward toward me and that the bright LED light bounces off of my white ceiling. These lights create a great experience when I am on video confernce calls.
P. Samsung M2070W Laser Printer – For years I always bought and used an Inkjet printer. Then about 5 years ago I chose to buy a laser printer. Okay, be prepared to bring out the shock face emoji ? because guess what? I did not buy this printer on Amazon!! I know ? right? I actually walked into my local Walmart store in Greenfield, Indiana one day and pulled this off the shelf, stuck it in one of those things they call a shopping cart (buggy if you live in the South), then I stood in line and paid for my new laser printer with my debit card. Craziness I tell you! This printer only prints in black and white, which is fine with me. I have found a vendor on Amazon called JARBO that sells compatible ink toner for my printer for cheap. I can buy two laser printer cartridges for my Samsung M2070W Laser Printer for $20.79 and those two cartridges will last me for a year or more.
Q. IKEA ALEX Drawer Unit – These drawer cabinets are perfect to hide all of my “stuff” (some people call it junk). Believe me, those drawers are filled with lots of stuff. Every office needs a couple of places to store stuff like scissors, post-it notes, markers, basic office supplies, etc.
R. Essential Oil Diffuser and Candle – I like to run a diffuser or burn a candle during my workday. As I write this blog article my diffuser is churning out the essential oil grapefruit. I know there are lots of diffuser options out there, but the diffuser in my image I picked up at my local Walmart. I know I may get challenged here (change my mind) but a diffuser is a diffuser. I think I paid under $20.oo for my diffuser. The candle I currently have in my office is “lavender chamomile.” I can find a great selection of candles and prices at our local T.J. Maxx &
S. VeSync Smart Plug by Etekcity – I have four of these wifi smart plugs in my office and all over our house. In my office, I can control with my voice three of my lights and the fan under my desk. These smart plugs from Etekcity I have found work best with Alexa devices. These are the smart plugs that are connected to my Alexa app on my smartphone. Yup, they are very cool, but also once set up they are very efficient and practical.
T. SabineTek SmartMike+ Wireless Stereo Mic for Content Creators – I use these wireless mics when I need to record audio on my smartphone. These mics are very compact and small. Plus, for the price, they do generate amazing audio. Audio is often the main element that makes or breaks a video. Yes, bad audio can even make a great video bad. If someone can’t hear you, then chances are they will stop watching your video. Beau Chevassus has a great YouTube video review of the SabineTek SmartMike+ Wireless Stereo Mic.
U. Rock that my daughter Abi made me when she was in grade school – This is a rock that my daughter Abi made for me when she was in grade school. She painted the company logo of my digital marketing agency that I launched in October if 2007 – www.ccmcreative.com. Over the last 14 years we have undergone 2 rebranding transitions. I love this little rock and it will always show up on my desk as long as I have a desk.
V. USB C To Ethernet Adapter – My home office is on the 2nd floor of our home. The wifi router is on the first floor of our home. Wifi was sort of spotty until I made two changes. One, I bought and installed an Amazon Eero Mesh Wifi Network and two I connected a Cat 5 cable to my Eero device and then to the USB C to Ethernet adapter connected to my laptop’s USB C port. I saw immediate speed changes when I connected this USB C adapter to my Eero device. I was getting on average 30-40 mb download speeds without the adapter and just using the normal wi-fi on my laptop. When I connected the Cat 5 cable to the Eero device, I saw my speeds jump up to 70-80 mb download speed. Smile!
W. Plantronics Voyager Legend Wireless Bluetooth Headset – This is the BlueTooth earpiece I use to take calls with my Android cell phone. I use it more when I am driving in the car and need to make a phone call. When I am in the office, I now prefer to use my Bose Wireless 700 Headphones (See letter I).
X. Yootech Wireless Charger Qi – This is a great wireless charger for my Android phone. I also like how it allows me to charge my phone vertically with the perfect angle for making calls or sending messages without interruption during the whole charging process.
Y. Sit/Stand Electric Desk (70 in X 32 in) – This is new to me (January/2021). I love my new standing desk. The electric adjustable height desk lifts from 33-45.5 inches at the push of a button and has 4 programmable presets so I can instantly switch to my preferred heights. My preferred height when sitting is 33 inches and my preferred height when standing is the maximum height of 45.5 inches. I got my sit-stand/desk from Indiana-based company www.ispaceoffice.com. Kris Woodward, CEO of iSpace Office Interiors, is a long time friend and client of Glimpse Video and CCM Creative. Reach out to Kris on his website or on his LinkedIn profile.
Z. Wood Shiplap Wall – Shhhhhh! It’s not real wood. The beautiful shiplap wall in my image is not real wood, instead, it’s peel and stick self-adhesive contact paper. The wood-look wallpaper is made from Vinyl / PVC and it does not tear easily and it’s more durable than traditional wallpaper. It has an incredibly authentic appearance of distressed wood. My wife and I were able to install it in a few hours. The trick is to get that first piece as straight as possible. Once you nail the first piece then the rest of the project is pretty easy. My wall was 10.5 feet wide and 8 feet tall. I bought 2 rolls measuring 17.71″ x 394″ and it was enough, including waste. I liked the brown, but they also have it in the color gray. The whole cost was less than $100.00.
ZZ. Industrial Table Lamp – Unfortunately I don’t remember where I purchased this lamp. You can find similar types of lamps on Amazon. In the search box just type “industrial table lamp” you will find several pages of options and affordable prices. On my lamp, the base is “touch-enabled”. When you touch it with your finger it activates three levels of light. If you buy a lamp I would recommend that you make sure that it includes a bulb. Most lamps that use a unique bulb, do not include one.
Great high-tech office, Greg! Tell Kathy that she did a wonderful job!
Love some of your recommendations! I’m slowly adding to create a studio in my home. Just added the Blue Yeti USB microphone. Love it!
Mine is a Mac based set-up. What sound processor do you use?
I’ve got to try to implement your USB C to Ethernet adapter approach to improve my WIFI too.
Hey Randy! Not sure what kind of sound card is on my laptop. One that works really well! Lol! I moved to the Eero Mesh Network and plugged my laptop directly into the Eero and it was a game changer.
Thanks Cindy! I will pass it along to Kathy! We would love to see you guys sometime soon. Maybe when the weather warms up a bit.