Before I say anything else, let me begin with the most important thing. Today I’m sharing with you a brand that says, publicly, “Black Lives Matter”. Andrew Green of Twelve South chooses vulnerability, potential discomfort, continued learning and action in the face of so many companies who still fail to realize that they are not the most important thing right now. His message is that the very top of the website. That hierarchy speaks. I’m super proud to partner with Twelve South, not just because they design and produce the absolute best Apple accessories on the planet, but because they recognize that’s not the first message a potential customer needs to see on their website. Virtual high fives, Andrew.
Let’s take a look at desk life pre-TwelveSouth, shall we? It’s not cute and it’s definitely not organized. One might argue that a messy desk is just a personality reflection. So while perhaps we may be a bit embarrassed to have an untidy workspace, that it wouldn’t reduce the quality of our work or our working experience. Nope. Not so. It matters.
Good habits require effective cues and environmental factors can absolutely subvert those cues. Anything on your desk that can cause distraction has to go. That is just as true for a jumble of cables as it is for a protein bar wrapper.
(Hey, while we’re on the subject let me recommend you read this book and this book, in that order, if you’re interested in learning more about habits. Great anecdotes and science-friendly).
With the right tools and less than an hour of intentional planning you can increase your productivity and feel pretty darn good about your desk environment. And let’s be clear, it’s not just for the sake of appearance. The right tools will also support your practical needs. Sure, we want wires out of the way, but we also need to meet our requirements of being able to connect the devices we use and rely on in the day to day to our computers.
Here’s my story. You’ll likely see many similarities to your own. I bought a 13″ MacBook Pro and when it showed up in the mail I did what you do when you get an Apple product… marveled at the packaging and gave myself a swift pat on the back for staying Apple-loyal. Then I plugged it in. In order to do that I had to use one of just two USB-C ports on the computer. The second port I used to sync up my iPhone. Which led me to-
Problem Number One: Where the heck am I going to plug in my microphone, wireless mouse receiver, scanner, keyboard charger, camera, external monitor, etc.? I had used docking systems before, but they can be super bulky and either require you to close your laptop (and thus lose the screen) or sit right next to your laptop with tons of wires just pouring over your desk space like a colossal spider with utter disregard for your sanity.
Solution Number One: The TwelveSouth StayGo
The StayGo is essentially a docking station that is smaller than a dollar bill and allows you to stow all cords behind your monitor and out of site, all the while connecting you to everything you need to keep you flowing from one task to the next without plugging and unplugging and detangling and just generally freaking out.
Quick Note: The tiny cord you see in the photo above actually fits inside of the StayGo in case you need to bring it with you to coffee shop, or wherever else you need to park with your laptop and your extras.
Here’s how I use my StayGo:
- USB-C to my MacBook
- 4K HDMI to my 4K 27″ monitor
- First USB-A/Charge Port to my microphone/scanner/camera/thumb drives as needed
- Second USB-A to my black and white Brother printer (my color printer functions without a USB connection)
- Third USB-A to my wireless mouse receiver
- Gigabit to Ethernet is available, but I connect wirelessly at the moment
- USB-C to to my external power (wall outlet)
- Micro SD/SD Card Reader to insert cards from my camera as needed
Wait, what about the external keyboard?
- I use the Magic Keyboard- It uses bluetooth, so it’s wireless AND doesn’t require a receiver, so you don’t have to take up USB-A room. You do, however, need to charge it on occasion, since it does not take batteries like the former Apple keyboard model. I just charge it with a USB-C to lightening cable (my iPhone cable) using my second MacBook USB-C port once or twice a week when I get a low battery reminder. Easy.
Quick Note: Not everything in life is Prime-able, and that’s okay. The StayGo sells out so quickly, that they are barely able to keep up with their relentless customer demand. I just want to challenge you to choose the deep joy of quality over the very brief ping of glee when deciding between buying the StayGo and waiting a bit, OR buying something less awesome and getting it in two days. Science says anticipation of something great actually releases dopamine before the reward comes, so you can thank me now for how great you’ll feel when you decide do the right thing and you’re sitting tight, waiting on your Twelve South package.
Check out part two in the series right now for another top notch laptop solution that you will not want to go without!
- iPad Pro | Apple Pencil
- MacBook Pro |StayGo|Stand
- Mouse | Mouse Pad | Keyboard
- 27″ 4K Monitor
- ‘Creativity Takes Courage’ banner
- Artwork: Two Women | Gal on Boat
- Rode Podcaster microphone | Stand
- My Warby Parker specs
- Tissue box cover
- Custom Standing Desk: Made locally by a super cool craftsman. Email me and I’ll connect you to him if you’re serious about commissioning his work.
- The camera I used to shoot these photos
All desktop imagery was created by Shannon Shipman- check out her art prints here!