My setup


by
1069w

Desk

IKEA’s Bekant elevation desk.
IKEA’s Bekant elevation desk.

You want a table with:

  • Elevation
  • Legs instead of sides it stands on
    • Otherwise you can’t clamp things to the side
    • Also makes vacuuming much, much easier
    • Lets you use a headphone hanger on the side (see below)
  • Fairly thin surface to clamp things like monitor and mic arms to

Notes:

  • Lowest height: 65cm (I measured)
  • Can’t be much lower anyway, because the power supply will hit your knees
  • 120 and 160cm widths available—140cm not available with elevation
  • No webshop; you have to drive to bloody IKEA, God rest your soul
  • Feet are loose
  • Top loose
  • Customer service experience is less than great
  • You’re going to want a coaster and placemat for this

One of the purposes of your desk should be to have as little on the desk as possible. What this means is that everything should preferable be on the side of your desk or under it. Towards this end, we can use:

  • Microphone arms
  • Monitor arms
  • Headphone hangers
  • Cable boxes

Microphone arm

RØDE PSA-1 arm stand.
RØDE PSA-1 arm stand.

Headphone hanger

JOTO

Figuring out where to put your headphones, especially if you desk scratches easily, can be tricky. And then you have to find a place for the long cord as well. With a headphone hanger, you can hang your headphones to the side of your desk and use the other end of the hook to spool the cord and keep things tidy.

Cable management

Chart of what cables to to my desk: monitors, phone, and audio interface.
Shows the cables for my two monitors, iPhone stand, and audio interface. iPad, keyboard, and mouse not displayed. Keyboard and mouse don’t tend to have cables long enough to be managed much, and my G900 mouse is wireless anyway.

In the Desk section, I outlined the general philosophy of cable management:

One of the purposes of your desk should be to have as little on the desk as possible. What this means is that everything should preferable be on the side of your desk or under it.

Because I have pretty intense allergies, keeping all surfaces as clear as possible is extremely valuable, as it uncomplicates cleaning the desk and floor. Just putting things on the ground instead won’t cut it.

A lot of cable management—and the budget for it—is just having cables long enough. It often solves most basic problems.

I am not a fan of drilling holes and using screws, so I won’t be doing that. Any adhesive has to be removable without tarnishing the surface.

You need to put your [[ power outlets ]] somewhere, and there are basically two options:

  1. Attached to the underside of your desk
    • If you have an elevation desk, this will be visible in standing mode.
  2. Tucked in a cable box

I’m gonna go with the cable box, as I’m not interested in attaching everything to my desk right now.

Cable box
IKEA’s Kvissle cable box.
IKEA’s Kvissle cable box. $10! The photos make it seem like the box is made of porcelain, but it's actually metal.
IKEA’s Romma cable box.
IKEA’s Romma cable box. $10!

Not sure why the Romma costs the same as the Kvissle when it’s so much larger. It’s as good-looking as the Kvissle unless you buy the $70 Nordmärke wireless charger. It does have a sturdier, round frame compared to the Kvissle. I just put the Kvissle on the floor, even though the marketing doesn’t suggest that. You should also know that the height of the Kvissle isn’t that great, so a MacBook charger barely fits inside and has to be tilted for the lid to close. Remember that any wire will have to fit through the lid hole, so major power cables won’t be able to fit through, unless you use the bottom hole. The lid also doesn’t seal, meaning the lid might come off if you tug at the cables in a certain way.

Monitor arm

Ergotech Freedom (black/silver).

Ergotech Freedom arm in metal gray AKA black

Monitor feet take up the vast majority of the desk, so moving the monitors to arms (using the universal VESA mount on the back) is an obvious choice.

The same could perhaps be said for the keyboard and mouse, aside from the potential ergonomics benefits.

Monitor

Backlight

Monitor backlights make it easier on your eyes to use a monitor in the dark, because the contrast between the darkness and the bright displays is reduced.

You want a backlight with:

  • USB for power instead of regular AC
  • Soft light

Mouse and keyboard

Mouse bungee

If you’ve got a wired mouse with a braided cable, you’re going to want to get a mouse bungee for it, because the cable will get in the way during competitive FPS gaming.

I just used whichever was the cheapest on eBay or Amazon.

Note that unbraided cables will be scratched or frayed by most mouse bungees, so don’t use it for your Logitech G402 like I tried.

Wrist rest

You may also want to get a wrist rest, regardless of your desk and chair configuration.

There’s Allsop’s small and portable wrist rest with a plastic buttom which allows it to skate around your desk in sync with all movement.

Allsop's wrist rest

I’m a big fan of Roccat’s “Rest Max Ergonomic Gel Wrist Pad”, both for your keyboard and your mouse hand.

Roccat's wrist rest

The logo is not an eyesore, and the overall design doesn’t make you feel like a geriatric.

The Roccat comes with a rubber bottom to keep it in place, but I think I prefer keeping the folio on to let me move it around, since I keep switching positions at my desk.

Of course, these aren’t placements for proper ergonomic positioning in your chair and on your desk.