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What's in my desk? — Marie Cosgrove-Davies


What's in my ... ?

April 14 · Issue #98 · View online

Each week, one interesting person shares four favorite things in their bag or in their desk or fridge or closet or wherever they keep things.

Marie is a Product Manager at a large tech company. She’s been working from home on and off for five or so years. When she’s not at her desk, she’s out in the garden or working through her book backlog (booklog?).

About the desk
My work is mostly video calls and writing. I was (voluntarily) remote for a while even before we all went remote a year ago, so I’ve spent some time refining my desk set-up. I use a bamboo-topped electric adjustable standing desk, and aside from the pictured items the most interesting things on my desk are probably my sun lamp (crucial in the winter, plus I look like a washed-out ghost in meetings!) and a wand cat toy (so when a cat comes and begs for attention during a meeting I can entertain them without getting too distracted).
What's in my desk
FM3 Buddha Machine. It plays a small set of ambient loops, and has two controls: a volume dial that’s also on/off, and a loop selector slider. This is great for me because I find it hard to focus in silence, and I also get easily distracted by words and music playing (even instrumentals). There are a bunch of great online ambient sound generators, but I wind up not using them because of the pain of switching audio from headset to laptop speakers. The simplicity and ease of using this gadget is perfect (you’ll probably have to eBay-stalk them to find one of your own, though).
Clay aromatherapy diffuser (leca balls). I was ogling fancy clay scent diffusers as an alternative to the candles I’ve been burning all winter and then realized I could prototype them for free with my gardening leca balls, a small cup, and aromatherapy oils I have on hand. It’s working pretty well so far!
Dentek mini brushes. I had braces a few years ago and got hooked on these little brushes, and have kept using them even now that my braces are off. I love that they come with their own easily pocketable carrying case and the little brushes fit well into my teeth so I don’t have to run to the bathroom post-lunch.
Humidifier remote. This is a bit of a cheat since you obviously need the humidifier as well, but having a humidifier with a remote in my office makes a HUGE difference — I can turn it on/off easily during or between meetings, and this one even has a timer so it’ll turn off after a certain period.
What's in your ...?
We want to hear about unusual and unusually useful items that you have in your desk, bag, closet, fridge or where ever you keep things. It can be anything really: work bag, pantry shelf, beauty drawer, toolbox, etc. Start by sending an email to with a photo of the things in your chosen space (you can use your phone). If you get a reply from us, fill out the form. We’ll pay you $50 if we run your submission in our What’s in my …? newsletter and blog.
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