9 Work From Home Products Our Co-founder Uses Everyday
Perfecting your WFH setup is key to maximizing your productivity. And since you’re in your own space, you get to do what you want with the room you have. Luckily, a lot of the best tools are less than ten bucks.
Working from home since January 2018 meant when the COVID shutdown happened, I pretty much had my ultimate workspace already in place. When I had quit my full-time job (and the office space that came with it), I had an idea of what kind of workspace I wanted at home. Over time, that’s changed and adapted to allow for more sketching, more writing and generally has been a messier, more “organic” area than I initially anticipated.
Here are the things I use almost every day for work, and couldn’t get my job done without:
You might know how to use SketchUp or some other graphics software that allows you to design out cool new products. I depend on sharpened pencils and cheap graph paper to keep my lines straight and ideas sound. Working with geometry is made easier with graph paper. You can scale down your inventions, get a better understanding of perspective, and easily measure components.
You can probably buy a dozen plastic rulers for less than a dollar. But why worry about saving money on the already-low price of a good ruler. For just six bucks, you can get something like this with precise measurements, straight edges, and durability. Plus, using metal rulers, protractors, and drawing compasses make you feel more confident in your sketches and designs.
A friend gifted me this on my birthday. I hadn't used an insulated cup before. This is essentially the same thing as a thermos that a construction worker brings to the job site. I love that, hours later, coffee is still warm—or, if it’s Taco Tuesday, the margarita is still cold.
This is the newest addition to my workspace and quite quickly became the go-to solution for converting fractions to decimals. When sketching out a new product, there might be a part that measures 13/32”. I can’t do that math in my head, so I look at this metal card that was created by Draplin Design Co.—home to some of the best graphic designers ever.
Bought this in 2008 when I worked at an ad agency in Boulder, CO. I saw that a couple coworkers would always walk into work with full canteens. Didn’t foresee that we all would soon start calling them “water bottles” and every kid, soccer mom and CEO would be carrying a reusable beverage container with them at all times. Having it at my desk or in my car means I can chug some fresh stuff and keep hunger at bay for longer.
Runner up: Fred water flask is perfect for working while traveling because the bottle is so slim.
Let’s be honest, you don’t need to spend the money on a Moleskine. They are nice. But there are so many other notebooks and a variety of prices. Problem is, if you start using a Moleskine, you really fall for the high-quality and end up wanting to keep buying the best. I always ask for these for Christmas and try to save myself a few dollars.
Runner up: Moo has some great notebooks, too.
I’m easily distracted. I wear these simple earplugs to block out what bothers me. Living in San Diego with no air conditioning means windows are open more often than not. And with that comes the sounds of garbage trucks, leafblowers, barking chihuahuas, shitty neighbors who sit in the backyard blasting their police scanner. These earplugs can be used over and over again, and with so many in one container, they’ll last you for years.
This is one of those things I had never even heard of before starting Readydesk. I thought all printers required ink. This printer uses heat to print shipping info right onto adhesive labels. Once we figured out how to hook it up to a Macbook Pro, we were able to spit out dozens of labels each minute. You save so much time by printing and paying for shipping remotely, rather than having to go to the post office or FedEx, stand in line, have your parcel measured and weighed, and wait for the worker to affix postage.
We starting shipping so much through a particular carrier, they sent us two of these printers for free. That was a nice surprise. Now we have a printer at our San Diego production facility, and one that sits perfectly under the Readydesk I use at home.
Tip: We use Shippo to manage our Shopify and Amazon orders.
Like politics and religion, you can argue with someone about the best pen and never come to an agreement. After working with Pentel several years ago, I grew to appreciate the quality of their writing tools, and how well the 0.7mm writes. I like the big bold lines that dry almost instantly. Plus, you get yourself a case of refills, and you'll be writing for years.
Obviously, I have to use my own company’s products. In addition to a Readydesk 2 with an XL Shelf, I have an Allstand right next to it so when I move to a seated position, I’m still looking straight ahead at my monitor. I can’t stand being on a Zoom/Skype/Teams/Meet video call, looking down at my laptop camera and seeing an additional chin. Standing at your computer (or having your webcam a few inches above your eyeline) makes your face look so much more presentable. Pair it with a LumeCube and you’ll look better than Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday Morning.