Every time I think about back-to-school time, I think about how many years I spent checking off lists of things I needed and then proceeding to only use half of them. The purpose of back-to-school shopping is to head off any logistical, organizational nightmares of a school year ahead, but that can be applied in adult life, too. A lot of things that college-bound students are buying for the dorms and classes, we can use even if we graduated years and years ago.
Lepow Upgraded Portable Monitor
If you need some more digital workspace, a second monitor is where it’s at. This portable one is perfect for organizing your files and Scouted contributor Maria Cassano swears by it for travel. “Now, every time I leave the house, I slip this screen into my laptop bag along with my computer. Once I reach my destination, I just plug it in and it connects immediately.”
MUTUW Wooden Swing Arm Desk Lamp
There's nothing flashy about this lamp. It's minimal, in a Danish Modern/Scandinavian way that makes me feel like it belongs in the bedroom of someone on Grand Designs. Because of its unobtrusive style and shape, it becomes a chameleon, blending into whatever style of room it sits in.
Plugable USB C Mini Laptop Docking Station
“Using this dock gives you a one-size-fit-all solution for not only charging your tech but also connecting it to a monitor,” explains Scouted contributor Gideon Grudo. “As you might know, working or surfing all day on a small laptop display just doesn’t cut it sometimes.”
It may seem counterintuitive to say that a desk toy can help with productivity but squeezing a squishy, playing with magnetic blocks, or doing a puzzle can help satiate the need to get away from the computer screen, without defaulting to flipping through your phone.
Skydue Letter A4 Paper Expanding File Folder
“It comes in a variety of fun, soothing colors and snaps shut with a clasp so nothing important will fall out,” writes Scouted writer Sara Hendricks. “It also has four roomy pockets that can be used for anything — work documents, tax information, old birthday cards you know you don’t technically need but also can’t quite bring yourself to part with — with space to make labels like ‘work stuff’ or ‘tax stuff’ or ‘home stuff,’ or, simply, ‘miscellaneous.’”
Brouk & Co Cord Snap
This little guy keeps my headphones from turning into a brain teaser during my morning commute. It also keeps iPhone chargers wrapped neatly while traveling. I even have one tucked away behind my Amazon Echo to keep the cord from dangling across my counter.
Moleskine Squared Softcover Notebook, $15 on Amazon:
“This is my personal go-to,” says Scouted writer Torey Van Oot. “I love the size, soft and flexible cover, and ribbon bookmark that allows me to open up to the current list without flipping through so many pages. Various sizes are available if you prefer a notebook that is larger or smaller."
Quartet Glass Desktop Whiteboard
This changed how I jot down notes. It fits perfectly between my monitor and laptop, has a hidden storage drawer for all the fun-colored dry-erase markers out there, and a channel that perfectly fits a couple of pens and my glasses.
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