My very first home office was in a coat closet. It was functional with a computer cart and a fold up chair that could all be stored away when I wasn’t working. But it wasn’t ideal. You don’t need to spend a fortune to work from home, but there are definitely some needs and a few “would be nice to have” items that can make it more productive, comfortable and fun.
If you want to work from home (or are already working from home), here are some of my favorite things you might want to add to you holiday “want” gift list.
Note prices are current Amazon prices and may differ from other retailer, or may be adjusted by Amazon.
Logitech H540 981-000510 USB Headset ($34.99): USB headset great for use when Skyping or recording audio onto your computer
Logitech H800 Wireless Headset ($65.78): If you’re on the go, consider a wireless headset that you can use with your computer, but also on mobile devises
Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and Windows tablets ($47.63): Folding Wireless Keyboard: Unless you have a laptop, typing long form content can be a challenge on a phone or tablet. A wireless keyboard can fix this problem. A folding one, makes it easy to take with you.
Multi-USB Charging Station
iCozzier® 6 Slots Bamboo Charging Station Stand Dock Multi Device Organizer for Small Laptops, iPhone 6 6S 6Plus, iPad Mini 3 4, Samsung Galaxy S5 S6,Chrome Books, Smartphones & Tablets ($16.99): I have an iPhone, Kindle, two iPod shuffles, and my hubby has an iPad. That’s a lot of charging that needs to be done. This charging station makes it easy and organized, especially if several need to be charged at one time.
Nearly all my work is digital, but I still prefer a tangible paper planner. I’ve used a variety of them, but struggled to find one that fit the way I work and what I need to plan for. Then I discovered the Happy Planner. What I love about the Happy Planner is that it’s very customizable. I have the weekly vertical version (9.8 x 8.6 x 1.4 inches) that has three boxes under each date. I use the top box for appointments and reminders, the middle box for my regular daily to-dos, and the bottom box for extra to-dos (i.e. project tasks) as well as to record personal info such as my weight or exercise that day. The far left has a space where I can list my weekly chores (I’m a Flylady), record my writing word count, track social media posts, and plan my weekly meals.
If you’re creative, this type of planner is a whole lot of fun, because there’s all sorts of cool and creative ways to decorate your planner each week. You can buy stickers at Amazon, your local craft store, or through Etsy, or you can download free printables (you print them on sticker paper and cut out or use a sticker cutter such as the Silhouette Portrait).
The Happy Planner (18 months) ($19.90)
I use the Happy Planner, however, many others like Erin Condren ($54.99), which can also be customized and allows for fun creativity.
One of the biggest challenges to working from home is organizing your to-dos and getting things done. One of the best books to keeping track of ideas, tasks and projects is Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity ($10.31). If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
I drink a lot of coffee and warm drinks while I work, especially in winter. I hate it when they get cold. So ever home office desk needs a coffee warmer. This one doubles as a candle warmer too, if you’re more interested in a nice smelling office than hot coffee.
I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person, which means I need to have everything on my desk. That creates problems in keeping my desk organized and decluttered. This desk organizer is nice, because it goes under the monitor, so it doesn’t take up extra space on the desk.
I’m an avid reader, especially non-fiction books that can help me be more productive and successful. My list of favorite books changes often, but here’s my current recommended reading list.
Designing Your Life ($14.67): I just started this book, but I’m already enjoying it. We often coast through life, going whereever the tide takes, but to get what you want in life, you need to design it and set you’re own course.
Born for This ($15.15): My all time favorite book for finding your ideal career is, Finding Your Perfect Work, by Paul and Sarah Edwards. But, it’s old and out of print (although if you can find it, it’s worth reading). Born For This is a newer book, and like the life design book, takes you through the steps of figuring what you should do, and then plotting a course to do it.
A Kick in the Attitude ($18.42): The how-to of working at home is actually really easy. What stops most people are the thoughts that get in the way. I belive, attitude, more than any other factor, is what keeps people from living their dreams. This is a fun and easy read, while at the same time helping you take control of attitudes that might be holding you back.
Google Analytics Breakthrough ($32.01): Data, data, data…today, the big thing is data. It’s boring and yet, crucial to your success. Data tells you what’s working and what’s not. It tells how and why something is working or not. If you’re building a career online, one of the best resources to help you collect data is Google Analytics. The problem is, Google isn’t great at helping you figure out how to use all the bells and whistles. Google Analytics Breakthrough looks and feels like a textbook, but fortunately, doesn’t read as dryly as a text book. It takes you step-by-step in setting up Google Analytics and utilizing all the great features.
Of course, what kind of entrepreneur would I be if I didn’t mention my own books:
Jobs Online: How to Find and Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job ($9.95 paperback, $4.99 Kindle): Includes over 400 resources for work-at-home jobs.
Digital Writer Success: How to Make a Living Blogging, Freelance Writing, and Publishing Online ($15.15): This is essentially how I make a living. Not only do I provide you with steps to making your words pay, but I show you how each typing of online writing (blogging, freelance writing, publishing) can work together to create a well-rounded writing career and income.
Home Office Ambiance
iTunes Card or Music Subscription: I like music in the background when I work. Pandora is fun, but sometimes I like more control over the songs I listen to. This is where iTunes or other music list, such as Amazon Music (app is free) is nice.
What gift ideas do you have for the home-based careerist?
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Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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