When reflecting back on 2021, a year many of us spent working from home, I thought it might be nice to reflect on the things that worked — and the things that didn’t. While this post is not pen and ink related, I suspect a lot of folks can relate to the need to upgrade their home office — whether you were working from home or just spending a great deal more time at home.
Stuff that worked:
I didn’t think I needed an electric powered standing desk but I love it! Yes, Ikea has hand-crank models but do yourself a favor, if you’re considering a standing desk, spend the extra money for an electric powered model. First thing in the morning or late at night, cranking frantically to adjust your desk is not something you want to be doing.
Apple Music and AirPods Pro
After half-heartedly futzing around with Spotify for several years, I bit the bullet and switched to Apple Music. I am an Apple user through-and-through. While Apple Music isn’t perfect, I find it easier to make playlists, add new music and even find new music. I don’t know why Apple Music is easier for me to use, it just is. I also OD-ed on podcasts using Overcast and a lot of videos on YouTube.
Rediscovering my Filofax
Thanks to some serious housekeeping and mutual enthusiasm over the Filofax from my pal Julia, I rediscovered my old Filofax and have been using it for notes and planning. Like many, my planning needs changed over the past two years. I have gone from working for the same company to freelancing to a new job all in the past two years, all while social distancing and often working from home. My planning needs have changed dramatically, as I’m sure its been for many other people. Switching to a system that allows me to quickly and easily add or remove pages and sections has made it a great new-old option for me.
I tried an assortment of different chairs over the past 18 months since the start of the pandemic and I had yet to find a good one. Like so many people, I grabbed whatever I could find at Ikea initially. As you’d expect, “any old chair” didn’t really work well. I tried a couple random purchases from Amazon and a kitchen chair without much better luck. But lo and behold, as I was planning this post, my DH rolled a secondhand Herman Miller Aeron chair into the office as my Christmas present. He was a little unsure if it would be a good gift but I love it! My chair is the small size, which, to some, will look a chair for a doll but when you’re only 5’4″ on a good day, most chairs are just too big. o, I’ve got my Goldilocks chair… finally.
Stuff that didn’t work:
I tried upgrading my lighting set-up for the blog with some of the more streamlined flat panel LED lights. Worst decision of my blogging career. I am sure that someone else could make them work but I tried recalibrating my set-up repeatedly and still had to retouch my photos to try to get more accurate color to no avail. One morning, practically in tears of frustration, I took the new slimline LED panels and buried them in the basement and reinstalled my giant fluorescent tube-powered soft box lights. While i was disappointed that I couldn’t get the LED panels to work to my satisfaction, reinstalling the old soft boxes was such a relief it was hard to stay too upset at the wasted expenditure.
Did your office set-up change over the last year or so? What has worked for you and what are you still fine-tuning?