The Well-Appointed Desk

Anyone who knows me is aware of my fetish for cool office stuff.   I love supplies especially.  If I were ever to become a hoarder, books and office supplies would load my house beyond capacity.  For my birthday, I always want to ask for a Staples gift card.

At work, there are certain things I need to do my job as a clerical chick, and other things I just like to fondle now and then.

Things I Need

A good stapler

Bad staplers don’t push the staple all the way through.  When I file these documents and people reach in to extract them, the ends poke fingers and thumbs.  A decent stapler can handle 20+ sheets and will last a while.  If it’s red, even better.


Pens and something to keep them in

I may use the computer most of the time, but sometimes I need a pen.  If someone comes to my desk they might need a pen.  I’d rather not have them rolling around on my desk.  A mug or a cute container makes a fine holder and lets me express my personality.  I especially like the big rotating pen holders with cups for tacks, etc.   I hate mechanical pencils, so let’s not go there.

Post-it notes

The cheap versions are fine.  Two sizes:  the little ones for marking documents, and larger ones for writing notes I can then stick to people’s monitors.

File folders and tabs

If I’m out sick and someone needs to find a document, look no further than my well-organized desk drawer.

Envelopes, labels, etc.

As much as we desire a paperless office, it’s not happening anytime soon.  People still have to mail correspondence, literature, and other goodies.  Give me a nice crisp envelope to print the address on and you’ll look good by comparison.   Labels and MS Word’s mail merge function make larger mailings easy and fast.


Things I like

Letter trays

I love these.  Space in a cubicle is sometimes cramped and not all cubes have overhead cabinet storage.  (Love that, too.)  Stacking letter trays add vertical storage in a small space and make sorting easier.  You should have heard me squee when I found seven of them at the flea market for a dollar each.

To infinity...and beyond!



I don’t really need these; I can write “COPY,” “RECVD,” and other notes on documents.  But there’s something inherently satisfying about pressing a stamp onto a nice fresh pad and slamming it down on a defenseless piece of paper.

Cube clips and shelves         

Anything that frees up desk space makes me happy.  Most cubes are made of fabric panels, and special spiked clippies and shelves poke right into it.   They hang around, holding the odd notes, supplies and files up out of my way.   At my last job, I had a cute little bulletin board I made by applying sticky Velcro on the back of a cork tile and hanging it on my cube wall.

A cool calendar or poster

I like big paper calendars so I can write notes on them and read them with my extremely nearsighted eyes.  Posters should be colorful and quirky to give me a smile during the day.   My favorite calendars and posters have gorgeous natural scenery on them, or something only fellow geeks would appreciate, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Doctor Who, if allowed.


I’ll let this one speak for itself.   Click the link for an example of working geek Nirvana:


Most of all, I need a good working computer and the freedom to make my space my own.  Whether it be a geeky mousepad, a model of the Enterprise or just purple sticky notes, when you come into my office, you’ll know it’s mine.  Just don’t use my red stapler….





2 thoughts on “The Well-Appointed Desk

  1. New reader here.

    I’m in complete agreement with you about the letter trays. You can keep all kinds of papers handy and yet organized. I try to limit the clutter on my desk, and I like to use step files, too.

    That reminds me, I need a container (box or basket) for the CDs that I bring in from home. I think I’ll go on a scavenger hunt!

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