Posts tagged desk
Docks are designed to allow you to sync and charge your phone while it is sat upright on your desk or bedside table. This one (showing off my very dusty iPhone!) is from Mobile Fun.
The dock is good for charging and syncing your phone with your computer, as well as plugging into the mains to charge quicker. It comes with a fairly short lighting to USB cable (also black – it’s long enough to go from the floor to my desk) which is useful, but not the USB mains adapter. The dock is small and actually looks great in glossy black – it has a non-slip base and has a good weight to it.
I’m impressed with how sturdy my phone is when sat in the dock. I worry about things like this being unstable or a bit precarious, and as a result breaking either the lightning connector or connection inside my phone. But this is very solid and my phone clips on very positively and doesn’t wobble around at all. Good.
I’ve now got this sat on my desk at work – my phone can charge and I can see the screen, there’s also no chance it’ll get accidentally swiped off my desk or lost under a pile of papers (not that I ever have massive piles of papers on my desk – if I can’t see the table there’s a good chance I’m stressed!). I can’t decide whether it’s most useful there or at the computer at home, I might need to buy another one. Thankfully they are a lower price than the official Apple ones at £21.95.
You can get a range of iPhone 5 docks from Mobile Fun.
I was sent the metal version of the product which has a really nice look to it – sleek and quite small, it didn’t clutter up my desk on its own, and when it had various cables in it looked neat and functional.
The top part has five grippy rubber fingers with gaps to hold onto your various cables – and you can fit more than one cable in each slot if you have loads of wires to organise. The base is nicely shaped with a grippy bottom so it doesn’t slide across the table.
This cute little thing is very handy. I have a couple of cables permanently plugged into my computer but not always in use, and I’m forever having to fish them out from behind the desk. Having those cables stored in this means I no longer have to get under the desk to find them, and keeps my desk nice and tidy as I like it.
Some of these desk products can be tacky and not very useful in the long run, but this one is a keeper… it looks good and fulfils a function that was definitely needed. It could perhaps have a bit more weight to it, but it works well and looks the part.
If you’re anything like me then your office desk is often covered in Post-It notes or little scraps of paper with “call this person later” or “do this tomorrow” or (most importantly) “don’t forget your shopping is in the fridge”. I wouldn’t function without my lists and notes, I just can’t seem to remember anything without writing it down.
Find Me A Gift asked if I would like to get rid of my scraps of paper and replace them with this erasable memo pad. I thought it was worth a try – I mean, I’m all for saving trees. It comes from American brand Quirky, which encourages designers to submit their product ideas, then asks its users to vote on which they think should be developed. Find Me A Gift are stocking some of the products that have been manufactured as a result, and this is one of them.
It comes with a little stylus that sits in the plastic case so you don’t lose it – all you do is write your note on the screen. The area is about the same size as a standard Post-It note, so you have space to write a quick reminder or task on it. The stylus is quite fat even though it doesn’t look it, so the line you get is also fat – a thinner one would mean you could write more (or do more detailed doodles) on the screen.
When you’ve completed the task simply slide the eraser bar across and you’re good to write another note. You need to slide that bar across slowly… if you do it quickly it only half erases (you can still see your note) and you have to go back and forth a few times. If you do it slowly it takes just one slide to wipe the impression.
Of course you can only write one note at a time on this – you can’t muti-task – so I bet I’ll still end up with Post-It notes on my desk in addition to this.
On the back of this etch-a-sketch-type note pad is a four port USB hub – which comes complete with the cable to plug it into your computer (the memo pad itself doesn’t need any power or batteries etc, so if you don’t want to use the USB ports you simply don’t plug it in). My PC sits underneath my desk, so having a USB hub on my desk into which I can plug my phone, USB drive and anything else I need is actually very useful. You can get much nicer looking USB hubs (a colleague has a fantastic looking robot one on which the eyes are a couple of blue LED lights – scary!) but with its dual purpose this is very useful.
This memo pad and USB hub is quite plastic looking and doesn’t really look that great on my desk, but it is useful for short notes whilst on the phone (it’s always to hand) and the fact that it includes the USB hub means it’s found a space on my desk at least for now.
Find out more about the Erasable Memo Pad and USB Hub on the Find Me A Gift website.
As winter sets in what we eat during the day becomes even more important than in the summer. Those of us who eat at work might find that a sandwich or salad just doesn’t give us what we need – we need something warm, something filling, something that isn’t chips from the local pub! And without proper fitted kitchens in the office we rely on the kettle as our only source of heating up our food.
The Food Doctor have just released these new “Wholesome Pots”. Much like the Pot Noodle “instant hot food” idea, these pots are full of dehydrated food that you simply add boiling water to before tucking in.
The pots contain all natural dehydrated pulses, grains, herbs, spices and vegetables meaning they are a healthy and nutritious snack. They are full of fibre and protein, and provide slow-release energy to keep you going.
But if the thought of “bulgar wheat” doesn’t inspire you, The Food Doctor sent me one of each of the three pots to try on your behalf. And I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I have been known to enjoy the odd Pot Noodle, but not for years now. These just seem like a posh version of that – but would they be any good?
There are three flavours which I tried last week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:
Wednesday: Couscous and Lentil Pot with Tomatoes, Red Peppers and Cumin
This cous cous based pot took just five minutes to rehydrate, and smelt really good. As you can see below this was a cous cous dish with bits of veg in. It was – well – ok. I didn’t dislike it but it wasn’t anything special – it lacked a bit of oomph or something, needed to have a stronger flavour. I didn’t finish the pot, but what I did eat filled me up nicely until tea time - I didn’t need to snack in the afternoon to keep me going (although it was also the day my bike was stolen, so I don’t know how hungry I’d have been anyway).
Thursday: Bulgar Wheat and Quinoa Pot with Tomato, Black Olive and Basil
What is bulgar wheat? Absolutely no idea. I should probably find out.
I wasn’t sure about this pot – I was worried that it would lack flavour like the couscous one. But I was wrong – this was really tasty. The tomato and basil is nice and strong, and the bulgar wheat and quonia (despite not knowing what they actually are), were filling and gave the dish some texture. For the second day in a row I had no hunger during the afternoon (this really isn’t like me!), and this time I had enjoyed my lunch more too.
Friday: Bulgar Wheat and Quinoa Pot with Asparagus, Leek and Mint
Still unsure what bulgar wheat is, I was less concerned about what this might taste like. Of the three this was the one I was looking forward to trying the most anyway (they say “save the best til last”) – I liked the idea of this one with mint and leek and asparagus.
And it was indeed the nicest one of the three. There were lots of veges alongside the bulk and carbohydrate of the bulgar wheat/quinoa (I’m assuming it’s carbs!). As soon as I put the water in I could smell mint, and the herb really came through in the taste. This one is absolutely the best in my opinion, and is the one I will choose in future.
A couple of things in general about these. The fill line is on the outside of the pot (as you would expect!) but as it’s a thick card cup it’s impossible to see the line through to the inside – so one day my food was slightly wetter than another. Also, the two bulgar wheat pots take 10 minutes once you’ve put the boiling water in, still fast for what is essentially a hot meal in a pot, but not totally instant like cuppa soup – make sure you bear this in mind when you’re working out what time to eat!
I’ll definitely be keeping a couple of these in my desk drawer for days when I really need some hot food at lunch time. But these aren’t just good for lunch at your desk, they are great when you’re away from home (you always have a kettle in a hotel room) or if you just fancy something quick and easy in the evening.
Each pot costs £1.39 or £4.99 for four from The Food Doctor website, or for the same price (singles only) from Tesco.
We pretty much completed the move into our new building at work today… so I thought rather than using a photo of the snow for my Year in Photos snap today I’d share a pic of my new desk all set up and ready to start some proper work tomorrow.
(Snow pics to come a blog post very shortly!)
30/11/10: New builidng. New office. New desk. New start?