I think I've mentioned this before, but I do about 75% of my writing away from home. The rest is accomplished at my kitchen table, or it was until I decided that I really needed a more comfortable place to work. The trouble is that our house isn't large by anyone's standards, so carving out even a small space meant I had to really consider what was necessary for me to work efficiently.
I learned a lot during last years downsizing of my mobile office—I don't use half of what I had been carrying with me and the same was true of my home workspace. I really only need a small portion of what I keep on hand, so step one was a massive purge of old props, papers, and other whatnots. That was a painful process, let me tell you, because I hoard bits and bobs like nobody's business. I eventually got through everything, then set about designing my new workspace.
The most difficult part of the whole process was finding furniture that would fit in the small corner I carved out of out guest room. There isn't enough room for a desk, but EKBY Hemnes Shelf from IKEA is just wide enough for my laptop so it makes an excellent makeshift desk, plus it happens to match the bookcases I bought. Coupled with a super comfortable Slipper Chair from Target, it makes a nice little writing nook (I absolutely love these chairs, we have several and they're the perfect size for a vertically challenged person such as myself. Plus they've got some great fabric choices.)
Once I had the basics decided on it was time to find a way to organize everything—I have an obscene amount of props that are stacked in random places throughout our house. A handful of Wire Storage Bins, a dozen or so 10qt and 25qt Sterilite Storage Bins, and some Hanging File Desk Organizers (for keeping my poster tubes full of backdrops in check) helped keep most of my props out of sight and cut down on the clutter in the kitchen.
Then it was time for the fun stuff; those little touches that give a workspace personality. The first thing to go on the wall was my Alfred Hitchcock poster from Apple's Think Different campaign. It has been in every office I've had since the late 90s because I find the message from the campaign inspirational.
After that I added a few odds and ends to my bookshelf: some Dip Bowls from Target to hold miscellaneous office supplies, a set of A - Z bookends that I found on etsy, some coffee mugs to store my favorite pens. I called it a day with decorating after that. My office will never be minimalist, but I am attempting to keep the random bits and bobs down to the bare necessities.
It really doesn't help that I like pretty, shiny things...
Last but not least are the electronics: a macbook retina, a Drobo 5C (for photo and document backup), and the latest addition, the Anker SoundCore Mini. My standard workday includes a lot of singing along (very off-key and at the top of my lungs) to whatever music has caught my attention lately. Music is integral to both my writing and my cooking, so I've been looking for a pint-size speaker with good battery life that will act as a replacement for the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks that I've been using since college.
The compact size of the SoundCore Mini makes it perfect for a tiny workspace like mine. It's small enough that I can tuck it away in one of my decorative bowls to keep my desk unclutered or take it from room to room as I need to move throughout the day. I don't even need to track down my phone when I want to switch rooms—it can stay on the charging station in our back bedroom and still stream music in the kitchen without the speaker disconnecting.
The range on this speaker is impressive.
Now, as much as I love this speaker, it does have one huge downside—especially if you're looking to listen to the radio instead of streaming music from your phone. The volume control and FM tuner use the same button, so it's easy to accidentally switch radio stations when what you really meant to do was turn the volume up.
As long as it didn't affect the size of the speaker I'd love to see a separate button for the radio adjustment as well as a digital read-out so it's easier to figure out which station I have the device set to. I'd listen to the local radio stations a lot more if this feature was more intuitive, but considering how rarely I've listened to the radio in the last 10 years neither of these features are high up on my must-have list. If given the choice I'd pick a smaller form factor or longer battery life over more intuitive FM tuner—it just isn't a feature I'd use often at all, even with improvement.
In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that a sample was provided to me free of charge by Anker, for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.
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