Analog Tools

I have just recently moved in to an office and have some space to spread out. I was wondering what analog tools that you use? I have a dry erase board on order, what to know what else I should consider?

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Here's what I have at my desk:

  • Huge cup for water (with a lid!)
  • Pens and Sticky Notes: to-dos and notes
  • Fidget cube :when reading or thinking, it keeps my free hand off my face
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand lotion: offices are cold and dry out my hands

My #1 tip is to write down "brain clutter" It's just a sticky note once a day that I write down all the "background processes" that are going on in my brain. Like "are we out of eggs?" "My sister's birthday is coming up" "I'm excited about Star Wars". It's not a to-do list or anything. Just writing them down really helps me focus. It's like garbage collection for my cortex!

I want a hardy plant at some point.

I like having a mini-fridge in my office. It lets me get a snack or drink without needing to go to the main kitchen, where I might run into people (who are wonderful, but sometimes I need to focus and don't want the distraction).

I need to liven up my space a bit. I used to be surrounded by art, and I loved the visual stimulation. If you think you might be similar, consider buying some pieces from local artists. (It's nice to support local art, but buying local also means you can see/feel the art before purchase.)

Not sure this is office-specific, but a physical notepad is great. I definitely believe in the handwriting-to-brain connection.


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Pretty much the only tool I have that is non-digital is a notepad that I'm taking notes in almost every day. If a decision has happened, it's getting noted. If I have an idea it's going in my notepad. If I'm at a meeting I'm taking physical notes.

I tried to use a notepad on my phone for a while but it isn't the same somehow, and I felt that it could lead to a perception that I was texting or not paying attention to my work or what someone else said.

Something that can be used as standing desk, and a nice wallpaper background good for video chats.

If you have projects which you must monitor buy some cheap displays or tablets and hang them around, from server monitoring to KPI and tweets its an awesome feeling.

If you have the space, I love having two work spaces in my office. I have a desk with laptop, monitor,etc. and then I have a place to sit and read or have a conversation. Having a place to get away from my computer helps me with context switching. This is the first time I've had two separate work spaces in an office and it's changed my productivity remarkably.

A rubber duck for debugging, pens and sticky notes (I put them along the bottom of a monitor to remember stuff I need to do and priorities) and notepaper, and a succulent plant since plants help promote calm.

I tend to favor digital for most of my stuff. It helps promote sharing, in the event that I'm on vacation or away from my team. Almost nothing is in my handwriting or in a personal space.

Well, I use pen and paper for the brain dump. Besides that, I use the whiteboard for brainstorming.

As others noted pens and paper. I usually love to use bullet journaling (the manly kind not the scrapbooking kind) and fountain pens. Writing in pen and paper will help you remember things more.

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