modern desk

I’m not very good at maintaining a tidy desk – usually there’s at least one pile of paper – so I thought I’d take a photo while things are looking neat!

Plus it gives me a chance to mention a few things I like that I have on my desk. Let’s break it down from left to right…

15 minute sand timer

Like this one from the School of Life but I prefer the white sand. I think this came from Amazon but I can’t find it on there anymore. Better not break it!
Handy for Pomodoro-style sprints or for timed breaks!

Bamboo Note Block

This came from John Lewis and was discontinued but this one is similar. There’s a matching pen pot over the other side.

Bamboo Monitor Risers

Two of these SAMDI wooden stands to get the monitors up to eye-level and re-capture the desk space underneath them.

Almost Matching Monitors

A Samsung S24D390HL and a Samsung S24E390HL. I prefer the stand on the D model but they’re near enough the same to feel the same when using them!


The bottom end 13-inch retina display version. I love the retina display. I don’t love the way Apple charge hundreds of pounds for a bit more hard drive space. I just use a networked WD My Cloud for storage so it’s no problem for me to have the bottom-end model.
The Macbook’s connected to the monitors through a couple of these 1.8M Mini Display Port DP to HDMI cables (Mini Display Port and Thunderbolt are the same port – the person at the Apple shop when I enquired about cables didn’t know that). Using two display port cables instead of the HDMI port means all the cables can be connected on the same side which is tidier!


The keyboard is the official Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. I’d have gone for the wireless one but there’s no numpad on it – I’d miss my numpad!
The mouse is just a cheap wireless mouse like this one Tedim Wireless Optical Mouse with the USB receiver plugged into one of the keyboard’s USB ports.

Dot-grid Notepad

I recently discovered these Rhodia A4 Dotpads. Good quality 80 gsm paper, a clever fold-over cover, perforated pages for tearing them out when you’re done and a dot-grid which is really nice for sketching wireframes, etc. If notebooks are more your thing, the Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Dot-grid Notebook is also good.

Pens & Pencils

I can’t remember the last time I used a proper wooden pencil. I prefer thin, sharp lines so I only really ever use mechanical pencils. On my desk I have this set of 3 Rotrings and the corresponding set of fineliner pens

Revo SuperConnect

At £280 the Revo SuperConnect is expensive for a radio but also much more than a radio – DAB, FM, a bluetooth speaker, internet radio / podcasts, a stylish walnut and aluminium construction, excellent sound quality but the most important feature for me is that it has Spotify Connect so I use it to play any music from Spotify and control it directly from my phone / macbook. Mine is a “refurbished” one which I bought from Amazon for a big reduction down to £200 and you can’t tell it’s not a full price version!
For a cheaper alternative to get Spotify on your old stereo system, I can highly recommend the Gramofon. I use it in my lounge to drag an old Denon M50 (which comes from the brief days when cassette tapes, MiniDiscs and CDs all co-existed before Napster and MP3s killed at least the first two) into the 21st century.

Normally there’s also a cup of Pact Coffee in a paint-dipped earthenware mug from Pedlars on there as well!

For more desk inspiration, I can highly recommend The Modern Desk newsletter by the guy behind Offscreen Magazine.

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