Kindred Tea Time: Work From Home Tools
What tool has been helpful to you in working from home?
Sacred Ordinary Days Planner
In all honesty, my Sacred Ordinary Days planner is THE tool that has kept me sane and grounded throughout Pandemic-tide. I rely on it to keep me focused on what really matters—not just at work, but in my whole, fully-human, messily-embodied life. I’m still using my 2020 Daily Planner in Glowing Ember, but when Advent rolls around I’ll switch over to the 2021 Weekly in Abide + 2021 Daily in Open Meadow Green.
We spend a LOT of time on Zoom, so it’s been really helpful to have wireless earbuds that have a long battery life, pair seamlessly with any device, and consistently work the way they’re supposed to. Bonus points for serving as podcast-listening companions during early-morning or mid-afternoon walks.
Portable Laptop Stand
I bought this very portable laptop stand over the summer, while I was officing from my parents house during an extended visit. (Six weeks in Texas! It was such bliss!!!) Paired with my wireless keyboard and mouse, this stand turns any surface into a functional office in mere seconds. And it folds neatly away in my bag when I need to be on the move.
I’m generally a major apple snob, but the magic mouse just doesn’t work for me. After years of switching between a trackpad and old style mouse, I was fed up and ready to find a better solution. I had no idea something so inexpensive and easy would be the answer, but I’m obsessed with this wireless mouse! It has made my design work so much easier on my wrist!
Blue Light Glasses
My blue light glasses were a total game changer. As someone who never needed a prescription, I hadn’t given them much thought, but after months of horrible headaches by the end of the work day, I was willing to give them a shot. I instantly resolved my headaches, eased my eye strain, plus these are so cute. If you work at a computer all day, you must get some!
Kinoki Webcam App
With the craziness of Covid and everyone working from home, webcams have been in high demand and prices are completely unreasonable. For months I have been using a handy little app that lets my iPhone become my webcam. Its actually better quality than most overpriced webcams and it takes away my temptation to check my phone in the middle of a Zoom call. I added a couple of adhesive hooks on the back of my monitor to quickly rest my phone on.
I am not the best wordsmith so I love having Grammarly there to help me out. I completely recommend it.
I’ve had a small mirror off to the side of my computer for years, but I check it more often these days. It’s so handy.
I’ve gotten even more attached to having a small journal in my purse or on my desk at all times. Brooke spoke so highly of the Lechturm notebooks, that It’s become my fav blank journal for jotting notes and externally processing!
I received Apple Airpods for Christmas -- I use them daily and I haven’t lost them yet, which feels like a real win. (The first-generation works just fine for me, and keeps going down in price!) They keep a charge for a longtime and they’ve been wonderful for keeping me focused as I work (and sometimes have to move around the house) since I’m sharing my home with four kids and two dogs! (They’re also handy for listening to podcasts while walking those two dogs!)
Voxer! I’m a verbal processor, so using this app has helped me stay connected as I brainstorm. In a time when we’re sending and receiving so many texts and emails, I’m grateful for this humanizing connection point.
Let me count the ways I love the Apple watch that I received for my recent birthday… one of which is how it gives me a literal nudge to take deep breaths or stand up and get some movement in throughout the day as the minutes and hours at my desk zip by when I hunker down to work.
Zoom is not new news for many, but over pandemic-tide, being able to see and converse with real, if not in-person faces, has been of utmost, life-giving importance. How did they do it during the Spanish Flu?? We give thanks for technology.
Essential Oil Diffuser
This essential oil diffuser has become one of my best companions during pandemic-tide, and I love that I can use different oils depending on my mood, stress level each day. Bonus - it’s under $30 and helps mask old house and stale dog smell (just keepin’ it real).
Cristin can curate a good-mood playlist like few can. My two favs of hers to listen to on Friday’s are “Let’s Groove Tonight” and “Feel Good Jams.” She also has some kid friendly playlists that she plays with her own two girls.
Wireless Keyboard & Mouse
A wireless keyboard and mouse make working from my laptop so much more sustainable. Whether I’m working from the dining room table or a makeshift desk in the bedroom, it’s nice to have an ergonomic set-up for deep work.