As a curious kid inclined to tech, I had always dreamt of having a proper desk setup. While my dad did set up one for me as a child, it was pretty easy for me to outgrow in no time. When I graduated from college, moved back to Nepal, and started working remotely in 2020, I had a perfect excuse to invest in a space that invites me in every morning and inspires me to do my best work.
As Marie Kondō, a Japanese organizing consultant writes in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”
The concept of my desk setup is focused on usability, aesthetics, portability, and ergonomics. It is also a safe space for my creative expression, as I spend most of my time here working on my remote day job, creating Youtube videos, or writing blog posts like this one. It has been an ongoing process since early 2020 when I initially designed the space in Sketchup and made a list of all the components that would be essential and gradually upgraded the system as my personal and professional requirements started evolving.
The desk is made up of 6x2ft Mango wood slab over welded metal legs that I designed myself.
I initially wanted to go with a standing table on a motorized two legs layout but they weren't available locally and the pricing was through the roof (US$700+) with shipping and customs charges to Nepal.
I designed a few options on Sketchup and went to a local welders shop to weld the metal pipes to make the legs of the table. Once they were ready, I painted it out and joined the top using some self-drilling screws.
Minimizing visual clutter while maintaining flexibility is a challenge in every desk setup. All the devices requiring power are connected to a power strip from Digicom and to hide excess wires, I have made a cable management system using a networking cable raceway.
The ambient light on my desk is the smart light strip from Govee which is colorful and practical to use. It can be controlled using a built-in controller, including a remote, or via Google Home or Alexa system.
My current chair of choice is Geeken G-550A. It is a mid-back chair and is affordable yet sturdy with a mesh at the back to keep me dry during summers. It has been very reliable to keep me comfortable and back pain-free during my long work hours.
I have two computers powering my workflow at the moment. I use my custom PC to handle the content creation side of things and my Macbook for productivity purposes.
- CPU: Ryzen 3600 on Stock cooler
- Graphics Card: MSI GTX 1660Ti 6GB Ventus OC
- Motherboard: Asrock B450M Steel Legend
- Storage: 1.0 TB WD Black SN750 NVMe storage
- RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB 3200Mhz
- Power Supply: Corsair RM650x
- Casing: NZXT H510 (White)
MacBook Pro 14"
Another computer on my desk is the base model Macbook Pro 14". It sits on a generic vertical laptop stand and is a perfect fit for both productivity and performance tasks I throw at it. It's priced a bit too steep for a normal consumer however, it has been worth it for me considering its performance on such a portable form factor.
Its performance is on par with my custom PC and the added portability with the 14-inch XDR 120Hz screen is a cherry on top. I am even considering to get rid of my custom PC soon as my workflow has been absolutely flawless so far powering my desk with the new apple silicon.
I have found a single cable solution to switch my peripherals between my computers. All the peripherals are connected to a USB Hub that I have from Aukey which connects to a USB C extension cable. It also has a power pass-through feature and allows me to connect all my peripherals and charge my Macbook at the same time with just one cable for a hassle-free connection.
I use a 27-inch 1080p monitor from Dell as my monitor of choice at the moment. Although it's not the most color-accurate panel for my needs, it pretty much gets the job done as I use color codes in the design software anyway. It is also bright and sharp and has very thin bezels around the side.
The monitor is mounted on a single monitor arm from Amazon Basics. It is a bit of pain to adjust its height but holds up the monitor pretty well. If I want a bigger screen real estate for more documents or windows, however, I use my laptop's screen on a collapsible aluminum stand by the side.
I have been using the MX master series of mice for over 4 years now and cannot think of moving to any other ones quite yet. The MX Master 3 that I currently have is comfortable to hold, glides precisely on any surface, and has multiple sets of buttons and gesture functions to get more work on without the need for a keyboard.
- Logitech MX Master 3s (Newer)
The Air 75 keyboard from NuPhy is also one of the newest additions to my desk. It is a low-profile mechanical keyboard with Gateron Low Profile brown switches. The typing is very satisfying and its portable form factor allows me to move around very easily.
I am using a reversible Desk Mat from Scarters. It has dual colors in navy blue and yellow and is made up of high-quality PU leather. It provides a cushioned support for my wrist to use my mouse and keyboard and also reduces visual clutter from my peripherals that would be more noticeable otherwise.
I have a set of speakers from Creative on my desk. For just under 40 US dollars, they are an incredible value for money. Their bass is loud and clear and the zen garden stones-inspired round design ties up the setup together.
On the side is the artificial plant from Ikea, to sum up, my desk setup together with a mascot of my university and a charging puck for my watch.
- Creative Pebble V3 (Newer)
I use Audio-Technica M30x as my choice of headphones. They are a comfortable set of over-ear studio monitors which I typically use to monitor audio levels for my video. While the frequency response is not totally spot on, it works for basically every situation reasonably well.
It sits on a locally made wooden headphone stand inspired by Grovemade when not in use.
My current microphone of choice is the compact mic from Shure, the MV7. It sounds great if not as good as its more popular bigger brother, the Shure SM7B. But for almost half the price, it serves me perfectly well to record voiceovers like this or to talk to my colleagues at work over Zoom or teams. It’s connected directly to my headphones for audio monitoring and is compact enough for me to effortlessly carry it around during my travels.
To bind the setup and with my space, I have also added three frames with a custom-designed map of different cities I have lived in so far. It’s Pokhara in Nepal where I was born and grew up, Kathmandu where I spent a few years in high school, and Bangkok in Thailand where I spent four years of college.
So, these were the items on my desk for 2022. Please feel free to contact me for more information or follow my social profiles using the links below!