My 7 Favourite Desk Accessories

Feb 21, 2024

Desk Setup

3 min

1. Setup Cockpit

Setup Cockpit Desk Shelf

Upgrade your workspace organization and productivity with Balolo's versatile Setup Cockpit, featuring a patented mounting grid system and customizable modular accessories, designed to keep all your important tools nearby.

It's been a couple of months now since I switched my old Grovemade desk shelf with Balolo's Setup Cockpit. Despite the fact that I preferred the look and design of the previous shelf, over time I have become obsessed with organization and productivity while working, and the new shelf helps me achieve that.

How? Well, unlike the Grovemade shelf, Balolo has patented a mounting grid system underneath the main board that allows you to attach modular accessories of all kinds, helping to keep all your important tools nearby. Most importantly, it can be customized to suit your needs.

My preferred configuration for the setup cockpit is composed of the following:

This build will cost you about 600€ (~ $673). Now let's build a similar configuration with Grovemade products:

We would spend $730 (~ 650€), which is a very similar price range. If you noticed, the Setup Cockpit doesn't come with built-in trays like the Grovemade one. But this is good news since Balolo's trays have superior quality compared to the aluminum ones by Grovemade. You can decide whether to get them or not. In fact, they're made of solid steel padded with vegan felt, offering a better experience when it comes to supporting your accessories. They are much quieter and prevent scratching.

2. iPad Holder

Smart Accessory Holder

Elevate your iPad experience with the Smart Holder for the Setup Cockpit—a versatile and ergonomic solution for easy access and a clutter-free desk.

I already mentioned it earlier, but it deserves more recognition. Although the Smart Holder for the Setup Cockpit is designed for quick access to smaller devices like a StreamDeck or a Loupedeck, I think it serves a better purpose by holding the iPad under the monitor.

I'm a huge fan of iPads, and I've been using them since the release of the second generation back in 2012. What once served me as a device for entertainment has become an essential tool in my daily work. I own the iPad Pro M2 12.9”, and its bigger display allows me to use it as a second monitor with my MacBook via SideCar.

In the past, I used to place it on the desk, underneath the main monitor, without any support or stand. This always caused me problems since it never stayed in place and was getting in the way of cables. Now, however, with the new smart holder for the setup cockpit, it has finally found its perfect place.

The holder keeps the iPad about 3cm above the desk at a perfect angle for me to read and work. This is not only good for ergonomics but also useful when it comes to keeping the desk clean.

3. Docking Station

Hyper Drive TB4 Docking Station

Great quality, must have if you want a clean and organized space.

After receiving the Hyper Drive TB4 for review one year ago, there hasn't been a single day that I haven't used it.

I was used to using adapters to connect my SD cards and hard drives to my Mac, and every time I had to connect or disconnect something, I had to move over to the Mac and do it repeatedly.

But everything has changed since I started using this Dock. And you know what? I don't care if you buy this one or another, like the Satechi, for example, the result will be the same. Once you've connected all the USB ports and your peripherals like the monitor or an audio interface, you only need to use a single cable and connect it to a USB-C port on your Mac to control everything.

It's just wonderful. Even more wonderful is the fact that there's an SD card slot right in front, and you can reach it with your hand without having to get up from your seat to insert or remove your cards.

My experience with the Hyper TB4 was smooth, and I never had any issues with it. Sure, it gets quite warm, but it's not a problem for me as long as it doesn't affect my monitor's performance. I've also used it with two monitors, one 4k and the other 2k, and it worked great.

The design isn't very eye-catching, but I must say that I like the flat front part. The only thing I don't like about these docks, and it seems to be something they all have in common, is the front-facing USB-C input that connects to the Mac because it protrudes and ruins the minimalist aesthetics, making the cable pass over the desk when it could simply be at the back.

4. Grovemade iPhone Stand

Walnut MagSafe iPhone Stand

Elevate your iPhone experience with Grovemade's sturdy MagSafe stand, combining unique design and reliable nano-suction attachment.

Grovemade and Balolo stand out as my two favorite brands for desk accessories. Their shared commitment to delivering exceptional quality and user experience makes them my top recommendations, and I personally use their products.

Among Grovemade's offerings, the MagSafe stand for the iPhone truly stands apart from the rest. Its design is not only unique but also impressively robust. Crafted from a solid ¾" (19.05 cm) thick piece of steel, the stand carries a substantial weight of 2.9 lbs (1.31 kg), giving it a premium feel.

The MagSafe charger attaches to the stand using a nano-suction material with microscopic suction cups, eliminating the need for traditional adhesives. Initially, I was skeptical about its durability, fearing that the material might degrade over time. However, after numerous cleaning cycles, I can attest that it works remarkably well, sometimes making detachment a bit challenging.

For added functionality, the stand features a thin layer of cork at its base, ensuring stability on the desk's surface and preventing unwanted movement. Additionally, Grovemade has thoughtfully incorporated a conduit within the base for the cable to pass through, cleverly adding a curve that further secures the cable in place. While this setup is a brilliant idea, one downside is that the cable may eventually develop some warping.

5. ScreenBar Halo

BENQ ScreenBar Halo

Enhance your monitor experience with the ScreenBar Halo—an adjustable, sleek light with a touch remote controller for effortless customization of brightness and color temperature.

I've been using the ScreenBar Halo for over a year and a half now. It comes with a touch remote controller that activates when you pass your finger above the surface, thanks to its optical tracking sensor.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this controller. On one hand, it's awesome, and I really appreciate its sleek design and functionality. However, the optical sensor can be a bit finicky when there's direct light pointing at it. It actually works best in shadowy lighting conditions. This can be quite frustrating when the light sabotages its own sensor.

Despite that issue, I find the soft glow of the light behind my monitor very pleasing, especially at nighttime. I've chosen to use the ScreenBar more as a backlight for my monitor since my eyes tend to get tired when using the front light for extended periods. Placing it at the back of my Huawei monitor has worked wonders for me, providing a relaxing and gentle illumination, particularly with the warm light during evenings.

The remote control allows me to adjust the temperature and brightness levels with ease. I can also save my favorite configurations using the heart button or simply let the ScreenBar automatically adjust with its automatic dimming feature. The round shape of the controller serves a purpose as it features a ring around it, which I can rotate to control both the color temperature and brightness effortlessly.

6. Walnut Laptop Stand

Walnut Laptop Stand

Elevate your laptop experience with Grovemade's Walnut Laptop Stand—an exquisite, ergonomic design perfect for seamless photo editing and enhanced productivity.

The Walnut Laptop Stand by Grovemade is simply the most exquisite stand I've come across. After seeing my content creator friend, Kevin De La Cerna, use it, I was instantly captivated.

After getting my hand on it, I can confidently say that it lived up to my expectations. During my days of photo editing solely on my MacBook, before getting an external monitor, a stand like this would have been a game-changer. Its angle and height are perfectly tailored for seamless and natural editing.

Not only does it provide an ideal typing and trackpad experience, but it also elevates the MacBook to an ergonomic height. Crafted almost entirely from Walnut with a stainless steel stop lined with premium vegetable-tanned leather, its design exudes both elegance and functionality.

7. Extra Large Matte Desk Pad

Extra Large Matte Desk Pad

Small to Extra Large. Organize Your Workspace. Crafted from All-Natural Linoleum and Cork.

With a layer of natural linoleum, which is a widely used material in flooring (for its durability), the matte desk pad from Grovemade has been with me for over a year now. The surface is smooth to the touch and hard to fold.

The base featured a layer of cork that prevents it from slipping and its works very well. I chose the matte desk pad over the felt or the leather one because I think that is the only material that could last longer. Normally leather tends to shrink overtime and I've seen pretty ugly leather pads out there.

The felt on the other hand tends to attract a lot of dust and it's very difficult to clean. The matte desk pad seems the only option that makes sense for me if you want something that lasts.

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