Recently, a few people asked me on Tumblr what I keep in my office or how they can step up their “cubicle-game,” as someone so hilariously called it. Well, I’m not in any cubicle, but I am very happy to answer this question since I’m one of those people that is greatly effected by my work environment. So, to show you guys all the tidbits and trinkets I surround myself with, I have taken the challenge of sneakily taking pictures of my (shared) office space without looking like a complete weirdo! I was…only mildly successful, but since that’s besides the point, on with the show! 😀 (Warning, this is a very picture and link heavy post. You have been warned.)
First off, let’s get an overview of my office, which is basically an open room with three desks set up on each side, as shown. Everyone gets a shelf, a bulletin board wall and a filing cabinet. My place is by the window because I love natural light, so if you have a choice on seating placement, keep that in mind. Here’s my office:
First thing I always recommend is that if you can afford it (or if your boss can afford it) get a second monitor! You will never understand the value of monitor space better than you will in grad school. Because when you have a billion pdfs open for reference, a browser, your data analysis program(s) spitting a bunch of graphs at you and things like Spotify, there is no such thing as too much space to spread out all these windows.
In addition to a second monitor, a stand to elevate said monitor is also a nice bonus. However, if you’re like me and too cheap to splurge on one, textbooks make a great alternative! They also add to the scientist aesthetic, if I don’t say so myself? Other things I keep near my monitor area are listed from left to right:
- A cat post-it note dispenser
- A kimmidoll figurine. I have “Tsukie” which represents confidence (which I need!).
- An origami elephant made with love by my mom
- A maneki-neko good luck charm that I bought mostly because I thought it was cute and I like cats. :p
- (Not shown) Mac Adapters like Lightning to VGA/Ethernet since a Macbook Air doesn’t come with those kind of luxuries…
Moving on to my bulletin board wall, since that is probably the first thing I see when I walk through the door, I like keeping it colorful and lively (mostly because I hate that ugly orange they chose…) I also try to add stuff to it every few months or so, just to change it up and not make my workplace feel stagnant.
Here’s what I keep in that area:
- Some reference sheets that contains some chemical mechanisms related to my research project. (Also there to make my desk look more science-y!)
- A chili pepper charm (I actually forgot what this represents, but I think it’s pretty so now it’s just decoration)
- The notecard that came with my Kimmidoll
- A NASA postcard showing wind/cloud patterns that I got during my visit to JPL
- A hanging organizer that I bought from Daiso
- Pictures of my mom and boyfriend (which reminds me that I really need to print out pictures of some of my friends and add them here!)
- An owl plushy made by one of my best friends
- A rat plushie from Ikea who is creatively named Stewart
- My stress drawing corner which you will probably see more of if you follow me on Instagram
- A Belkin 3-outlet surge protector complete with USB ports so I have plenty of outlets to charge my computer, phone and anything else I need at the time.
- A mirror, because my back is facing the door and I have been scared one too many times by people coming in to talk to me. ..
- A random hair clip that happened to be present while taking this picture
- A basket to hold all my pens and office supplies (also from Daiso, more about its contents below)
- And a tissue box because I brought it to work when I was sick and it never went away
As for things like stationary that I keep around in my Daiso basket, I have:
- A beaker (yes, a legitimate chemistry beaker) filled with lots of pens, pencils, a sharpie and a highlighter
- My Staedtler triplus fineliners (that I honestly don’t use nearly as much as I would like to) surrounded by random post-it note pads that I got for free.
- A tub of colorful binder clips for when I’m too lazy to staple all the stuff I print out
- A lipbalm on top of, not one, but two microfiber clothes because these things always seem to disappear when I need them
- A random container of thumb tacks to hang more stuff on my bulletin board
- A 8 GB USB drive in case I need it for some reason (though I usually use cloud storage like Dropbox, so it’s hardly been used)
- A stressed ball…because I’m a stressed out person.
Moving away from desk space, I’m also lucky enough to have a filing cabinet and four floating shelves. Unfortunately, since I’m only a second year, I don’t have piles of books and binders to keep in said shelves, so they’re pretty empty. Usually I just keep class notebooks, an accordion file filled with old classwork, my lab notebook, a few textbooks, my bike helmet and some empty boxes that I’m too lazy to recycle… I also have a mug (currently filled with utensils), some Advil and a blue box that holds my favorite kinds of tea for when it finally gets cold.
As for my filing cabinet, I decided to use one of it’s drawers for its intended use: filing papers. I organized all the science articles I’ve printed out, sorting them roughly by subject. Originally, they were all in a accordion file, but that was just getting way too stuffed and didn’t have nearly enough pockets. Alas, Krystal grew up and is using a filing cabinet properly. Weird.
Of course, I’m not completely grown up. The second drawer in my filing cabinet is literally just a storage dump. Here I keep the things that no one ever thinks they need in their office. In no particular order this includes things like:
- A bag filled with lab-appropriate shoes and pants as well as a little baggie filled with feminine products in case I forgot to restock my backpack
- SNACKS so I don’t get hangry
- “Extra office supplies” which is another way to say that I hoard pens
- A spare micro usb cable and wall adapter, just in case I need to charge my phone in lab or anywhere that isn’t my office
- AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE TO BACK UP MY COMPUTER (I have a very old 1 TB Seagate, but it’s been very reliable and has saved my butt when my old computer decided to die on me)
- A spare mouse, because why not?
- A…calculator…? Because I need this for some reason?
- And a random box filled with other miscellaneous stuff that I didn’t feel like going through for this post.
Well, that’s what is currently in my office. I hope it gave some of you ideas or inspiration of what to do in your office space! Other things I’m thinking off adding include a (fake) plant, you know to add a little green and liveliness one of my currently empty floating shelves. (I tried with a real plant when I first got my office, but I just get forgetting to water it and well…that’s the end of that story.)
Regardless, I hope you enjoyed! Also, I am not at all cool enough to be sponsored by any links that I have provided, just so you know. I wish I was. But I’m not.
Until next time!