26 indispensable desk accessories we use to stay focused and comfortable at work

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Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Desk products 4_3

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Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

  • Staying focused at work can help you work smarter, not harder.
  • The right tools can amplify your attention or decrease distractions like clutter while you work.
  • I polled my coworkers to see what tools they keep on their desks to help them stay focused and comfortable in the office, and produce better, faster work.

The catch-22 of a communal office space lit by fluorescent light bulbs is that, in order to be your most productive, you first need to feel somewhat at home there. Stiff chairs, back pain, clutter – they’re all distractions that contribute to a longer and less enjoyable workday. Staying focused can help you work smarter, not harder, and hopefully compounds into a better position at work, greater job satisfaction, and shorter days.

The Insider Picks team tests and reviews hundreds of products – many of which are geared towards comfort and productivity. Below, you’ll find the 26 products we personally trust to keep us focused, productive, and comfortable at our desks all day.

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Keeper; it also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*


A subtle vertical phone charger

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Amazon

Anker PowerWave 7.5 Fast Wireless Charging Stand, available at Amazon, $49.99

I use Anker’s PowerWave wireless charger to charge my iPhone at my desk every day. It holds my phone up vertically, so I can see when notifications pop up even when it’s charging. It’s a great, subtle-looking charger and it doesn’t cost much, so it’s a great addition to any desk, provided your phone charges wirelessly (most of the new ones do). – Malarie Gokey, senior editor


A stainless steel travel mug

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Amazon

Hydro Flask 12 oz Double Wall Travel Coffee Mug, available at Amazon, $29.95

I often end up running around to unexpected meetings and chats in the morning, and sometimes I’m forced to leave my coffee behind – or I just don’t have time to drink it immediately. This insulated mug keeps it hot for hours, so even if a meeting runs long or I get so focused on something that I forget to drink it, it always seems to stay nice and steamy. – Sally Kaplan, editor


A password manager

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Keeper

Password Manager, available at Keeper, from $2.12/month

Forgetting your password to an important account and attempting to recover it drains a frustrating amount of time and energy, and it’s especially stressful if the account is work-related. Keeper is a service that promises the highest levels of security and privacy and manages your information so you don’t have to. You can choose from three different plans, which start at just $20 a year, but there’s also a free version that securely stores and autofills unlimited passwords.

*Sponsored by Keeper


A posture belt for back pain

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BetterBack

BetterBack Support Posture Belt, available at Amazon, $59.99

I swear by the BetterBack for helping me to maintain good posture at my desk and relieving both upper and lower back pain throughout the day. I have a few slipped discs in my spine, so I deal with pretty chronic discomfort. This is the only tool (not counting stretching and acupuncture) that has ever helped mitigate my pain, which helps me focus on my work instead of on my back. You can read my full review of the BetterBack here if you’re interested. – Sally Kaplan, editor


A webcam cover

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Amazon

STEAGLE Premium Webcam Cover, available at Amazon, $10.75

It’s an incredibly cheap source of peace of mind. I put a small cover over the camera on my laptop. If Mark Zuckerberg is covering his, the least I can do is cover mine. – Breton Fischetti, VP of Insider Picks


A stainless steel tea flask that brews

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Amazon

T2 Tea Stainless Steel Flask, available at Amazon, $35

One excellent way to stay warm when your office is freezing is to drink lots of tea. I prefer this stainless steel flask to a regular mug because it keeps my drinks hot for hours. It’s not the easiest to clean, but you can buy a water bottle brush for it for less than $10 on Amazon. – Ellen Hoffman, director of content strategy for Insider Picks


A heating pad

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Amazon

Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad, available at Amazon, $34.99

A heating pad is another excellent way to stay warm in a freezing office. This is the one I use; I prop it up so that it’s sandwiched between my lower back and my desk chair. It has six heat settings and automatically turns off after two hours of use. I don’t care if I look crazy to my coworkers… at least I’m always nice and toasty. – Ellen Hoffman, director of content strategy for Insider Picks


A Bluetooth keyboard

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Amazon

Satechi Aluminum Slim Wireless Keyboard, available at Amazon, $74.99

Bluetooth keyboards have become incredibly common, but very few of them are sleek, lightweight, and full-sized like this one from Satechi. I find it easy to type on, and I use the number pad significantly more than I anticipated. – Brandt Ranj, reporter


A wireless charging pad

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Amazon

Mophie Wireless Charge Pad, available at Amazon, $34.97

My desk used to be littered with charging cables, but Mophie’s wireless charging pad ended that madness. Instead of plugging my phone in every day, I put it on the stand when I get into work, and grab it whenever I get up from my desk. Wireless charging still isn’t as fast as wired charging, but Mophie’s pad is quick enough that I don’t notice a huge difference. – Brandt Ranj, reporter


A reusable smart notebook

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Rocketbook

Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $26.99

This is a good compromise for me as someone who learns better by writing things down, but doesn’t want to waste the paper or give up digitized notes. When you write on the Everlast notebook pages with an accompanying pen, you can later erase your writing with a damp cloth and reuse the same page over and over again. You can also digitize your handwritten notes using an app. I personally love it because it feels just like writing on paper, but reduces waste and the storage of tons of old notebooks. We also included it in our Buying Guide to the best smart notebooks you can buy. – Mara Leighton, reporter


A luxe seat cushion

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Purple

Purple Royal Seat Cushion, available at Purple, $79

I asked for a Purple Seat Cushion for Christmas after editing Jessica Klein’s review of hers a few months earlier, and it’s amazing what an instant and marked improvement it’s made! Besides improving my posture while seated, it has made sitting down all day for my desk job significantly more comfortable. – Ellen Hoffman, director of content strategy for Insider Picks


A wireless ergonomic mouse

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Amazon

Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse, available on Amazon, $67

In line with my reasoning for getting a wireless charger, I ditched my no-name optical mouse for the Logitech MX Master 2S wireless mouse. It features rechargeable batteries that last up to 70 days on a single charge, a two-speed wheel scroll for precise or fast scrolling, and an ergonomic design that makes using it all day a lot more comfortable. You can even pair it to up to three computers at once for fluid control between multiple devices. I like this mouse so much, I’ve brought it with me for days where I know I’ll be working from home. – Amir Ismael, reporter


A nice leather mouse pad

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Nomad

Nomad Rustic Brown Leather Mouse Pad, available at Nomad, $59.95

I actually use this as a desk pad instead of a mouse pad. It adds style and personality to my desk while also keeping my keyboard and planner from slipping around. – Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks Buying Guides editor

I love the sleek look of this mouse pad, but more importantly, I love that it’s huge. When I’m trying to screenshot something, drag an image around, or move between my two monitors, it accommodates my sweeping motions. – Sally Kaplan, editor


A nearly indestructible plant

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Leon & George

Zanzibar Gem plant, available at Leon & George, from $109

Plant delivery company Leon & George told me this tropical plant is “near indestructible” and it was completely right. For the past half year, I’ve quite honestly neglected this plant. I water it whenever I feel like it or happen to remember, but it’s still looking great and it brings me a lot of joy. The incorporation of greenery has made my desk set-up feel less sterile, and it couldn’t be easier to take care of. The process of ordering from Leon & George was also painless. You can browse plants by size, benefit, and light needed, and your order arrives to your door fresh and carefully packaged. – Connie Chen, reporter


A wireless fast charger that clears up cables

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Amazon

iOttie iON Wireless Plus Fast Charger, available at Amazon, $39.95

My ideal workspace is neat and clutter-free, so I like to keep the amount of things on my desk to a minimum. In doing so, I’ve gotten rid of wires wherever possible. The iOttie iON Wireless Plus is my solution to doing away with my normal iPhone cable. It looks great, doesn’t take up much space, and charges my iPhone a lot faster than the standard power adapter and cable. – Amir Ismael, reporter


A tea infuser dish set

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Amazon

FORLIFE Extra-fine Tea Infuser and Dish Set, available at Amazon, $18

I always drink coffee before work, but when I’m in the office I prefer to drink tea. This is the best loose-leaf tea infuser I’ve found (and I’ve tried several). It’s perfect for the office because it fits any size mug and comes with a dish so I can take the infuser out of the tea and leave it on my desk without causing a mess. It’s also really easy to clean. – Lauren Lyons Cole, director of Personal Finance Insider


Computer glasses

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Felix Gray

Nash Eyeglasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95

I don’t need prescription eyeglasses, but I wear a pair of blue light glasses when I work long days and later at night to avoid messing with my circadian rhythm since that’s the kind of thing that can ruin a week (and my energy) by Wednesday morning. They’re also just a welcome break from direct exposure to my devices sometimes. – Mara Leighton, reporter


A 4K HDR gaming monitor

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Amazon

BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor, available at Amazon, $347.99

I’m one of those people who works best when tons of apps are open at once, so I need a wide-open space to work with. BenQ’s 28-inch 4K monitor is physically large enough that I can easily read text or make out details in small pictures, and high resolution enough that they all look sharp. – Brandt Ranj, reporter


A temperature control mug with a heating pad

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Amazon

Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug, available at Best Buy, $149.99

I’m the kind of person who makes tea and forgets about it until it has become iced tea. Having a smart mug that keeps itself warm with a heating pad is life-changing. My Ember mug – which I named “Hot Stuff” as a joke and a reference to an album by The Killers – keeps my tea warm hours after I’ve made it. – Malarie Gokey, senior editor


A cute post-it note dispenser

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Amazon

Post-it Cat Figure Pop-up Note Dispenser, available at Amazon, $8.39

I’m obsessed with Post-It notes and cats, so this cat-shaped Post-It note dispenser is one of my favorite desk decorations. It holds my Post-Its perfectly and it looks cute on my desk. It’s also weighted so it’s hard to knock over, and if a real cat happened to walk on my desk, they’d struggle to knock it off. – Malarie Gokey, senior editor


A wireless mouse

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Amazon

Anker Wireless Mouse, available at Amazon, $17.99

It’s not just that this mouse is wireless and thus de-clutters my space, it’s also that it’s ergonomic. It’s never glitched out on me and it always does what I need it to do – it’s that simple. – Sally Kaplan, editor


An insulated sport water bottle

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Takeya

Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Water Bottle, 24 oz, available at Amazon, $26.39

I use this water bottle everywhere I go. It keeps my tea hot for hours, my cold brew cold for over 24 hours (with ice cubes intact), and has a conveniently durable build and no-drip or drop design for the gym. It’s pretty cheap for a stainless steel water bottle, and the clip at the top means I can attach it to backpacks or duffel bags with clip-on straps for easy carrying. – Mara Leighton, reporter


A weekly planner

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Amazon

Hashi Weekly Planner Pad, available at Amazon, $8.60

Between my Post-Its, Trello board, and this weekly desk planner, I make to-do lists for my to-do lists. I love this planner for its simple weekly layout, lack of dates that ensure it lasts longer than a year, and its adorable designs. As you flip through the weeks, you get cute cacti, airplanes, flowers, and other fun designs. It doesn’t take up much desk space, either. I have mine right above my keyboard so I can refer to it all day, every day. – Malarie Gokey, senior editor


Small memo sheets

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Amazon

Pusheen Memo Sheets, available at Amazon, $5.70

We’ve established that I love making notes and lists, right? Oh, and that I love cats. These Pusheen Memo Sheets keep my desk cute and remind me of all the things I need to do. – Malarie Gokey, senior editor


A good-looking box of succulents

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1800 Flowers

Mini Trough Succulents, available from 1-800-FLOWERS, $39.99

Succulents are the perfect desk plant: They almost never need water, they don’t care if they miss sun, and they’re small. This little planter looks great on a desk. – Malarie Gokey, senior editor


A wireless charging pad

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Neiman Marcus

Courant Catch 3 Wireless Charger, available at Goop, $175

Courant is a new startup that takes care of your functional needs (like charging your phone) while maintaining style and sophistication. Its sleek, Qi-certified wireless charger is made from high-grade aluminum and features a braided nylon cord and pebble-grain Italian leather top, making it the most luxe charging option your money can get. If you want to make your desk look as stylish as you do, this tech accessory will impress both you and your coworkers. – Connie Chen, reporter


Where to find more desk recommendations

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Logitech/Business Insider