ASK DN: What is the most valuable purchase you made for your workstation that you couldn't do without?

over 6 years ago from , Graphic Designer & Illustrator

If you're anything like me, most of my time is spent indoors sitting at my desk, staring at my computer screen for atleast 8 hours a day. That being said, I'm curious what sort of things my fellow desk dwellers use that has drastically improved your desk setup?


  • David Holman, over 6 years ago

    My entire desk surface (custom table top) is now a whiteboard, thanks to a local plastics supplier. I hardly use my sketchbook in the office now, I just draft things out in monster scale on my desk and snap a pic with Evernote. Best office kit I've ever had!

    7 points
    • Annie Wilson, over 6 years ago

      Whoa, that sounds really nifty! Do you have a pic?

      0 points
      • David Holman, over 6 years ago

        This is the best shot I have on hand. I pinned a bunch of screens on the wall behind my desk and them mapped out the dysfunction on the desktop. It was magical. Desktop whiteboard example

        5 points
        • Kyle S, over 6 years ago

          This is great! Thanks

          0 points
        • Rachel MerskyRachel Mersky, over 6 years ago

          It doesn't wipe off with your hands / arms / elbows moving around??

          0 points
          • David Holman, over 6 years ago

            Sure, it can wipe off. I generally have a clear space where I'm typing and using my track pad. The whiteboard space is the whole surface for simplicity's sake, but I mostly use the ~6-8 sq ft to my left. Sometimes I push my laptop, keyboard, and trackpad out of the way and use the whole thing. Then I snap a pic with Evernote before I wipe it and get back to the digital world.

            0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 6 years ago

    Mechanical keyboard. I own two. (Work/home)

    My one true love is my Das Keyboard Ultimate edition.

    Das Keyboard: Ultimate edition

    Going all blank keys has made me type so much faster - and gotten rid of the nasty habit of looking at my keyboard too often. It's also just super good looking and crazy good quality. For those wondering: I got Cherry blues and browns. Prefer the blues because of tactile feedback & ASMR ;)

    Apart from that, Logitech's series of mice (from MX500 series to G403, simple mice, high durability) and my Wacom Intuos 5 are my most prized possessions.

    I love stuff that's German-like: QUALITY.

    .edit: Wow. Nice image Dirk. Idiot.

    3 points
  • Luke Fiji, over 6 years ago

    Doesn't really help with my desk setup, but definitely helps my well-being: A large (40oz or 64oz) Hydroflask or any other stainless steel insulated bottle, with a lot of ice. Keeps water ice-cold all day and keeps me hydrated!

    3 points
  • Ryan CarterRyan Carter, over 6 years ago

    My convertible sit/stand desk.

    2 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, over 6 years ago

    The computer I use to do work to get paid.

    1 point
  • Freckley FrecklesonFreckley Freckleson, over 6 years ago

    Do $400 noise cancelling earbuds count?

    1 point
  • Jon MyersJon Myers, over 6 years ago

    You need the overall set up to come together.

    To me, the sound system makes a huge difference. The work surface of course is important. Availability of old school sketchbooks and writing utensils.

    I suppose the one thing that has made the biggest difference in my work is the keyboard upgrade.

    I swear by the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard.

    In particular, the black one.

    I got the newer Bluetooth version of this keyboard and went back to the black earlier edition.

    The standard Apple Wireless keyboard is murder on your joints and wrists.

    I'm still working on getting some of the cable junk under control, but my current setup:

    Image title

    0 points
  • Ryan WebsterRyan Webster, over 6 years ago

    Surprised nobody has said chair yet. Invest in a good chair so you don't have to pay for it later in life. Herman Miller Aerons can be found used, in good condition, and relatively cheap compared to their new price in my city. If you're going to invest in your workspace, start here.

    0 points
  • Mike Wilson, over 6 years ago

    An employee.

    0 points
  • Jonathan RichardJonathan Richard, over 6 years ago

    A 2$ qi charger for my phone and a 4$ mousepad with a wrist cushion. Really basic needs that I couldn't do without!

    0 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 6 years ago

    Big table

    0 points
  • Alice R, over 6 years ago

    In an effort to keep my desk as tidy I use the Cliff monitor riser to hide unsightly cables and I dock my laptop in a BookArc möd.

    0 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 6 years ago

    A dock and the Canvas app. I know it's not quite what you were looking for, but of all the stuff I bought, these two items provided the biggest improvement to my quality of work (bought 3 years ago).

    0 points