top home office gadgets

Top 10 genuinely useful desktop gadgets for your home office

Disclosure: Just so you know, we may sometimes earn a small commission from affiliate links on this site.

If you are starting or running a work from home business then this list of the top 10 most useful desktop gadgets will definitely make your work life more productive.

I'm not a particularly tech gadget type person, and my work-space is a little on the bland side - but after researching office gadgets for this article, I'm definitely going to be investing in a few that will make my life easier.

So, whether you are running an eCommerce store from your garage, or blogging up a storm from a local coffee shop, this list should help you discover some cool, but practical, tech stuff.

Top 10 desktop gadgets

I've tried to keep this list quiet broad and you'll hopefully find a decent balance between high tech electronics, and practical gadgets to suit the nerd, entrepreneur, and hard worker in you.

1. Multi-purpose shredder

Shredding stuff can be a lot of fun - but only if you can shred more than paper. Fortunately, the Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder can shred a whole range of satisfyingly crunchy office stuff.

And, at only $43, it's pretty much the cheapest way to destroy stuff properly.

Remember that shredding stuff is also a necessity for some businesses.

It's important that you shred documents that contain potentially sensitive information, or financial data - especially if its client data.

In fact, some documents must be shredded by law, and failure to protect client and employee data by shredding certain documents could, potentially, land you in hot water.

So important is shredding, that this particular gadget is one of the best sellers on Amazon.

2. Fancy wireless all-in-one color printer

So I don't tend to opt for super flashy stuff, but there's a lot to be said for buying something that does everything really fast and really well.

The aptly named Epson WorkForce color printer is just a such as gadget.

It does and has the following things:

  • Color inkjet printing
  • Scanning
  • Copying
  • Wireless connections
  • Print & scan from anywhere

An impressive item given that it's asking price is only around $89.

3. Free land line calls

Honestly, there is very little need to pay for phone calls anymore. However, if it just so happens that you are not in a position to use a virtual phone system and be done with land-lines altogether, then the OBi100 VoIP telephone adapter can help.

To quote, "The OBi100 is perfect for customers who do not have a traditional telco phone service and want the savings and simplicity of using a VoIP service for all their calls.".

So if you're looking for a way to save on monthly bills then this VoIP gadget will only set you back a once-off cost of about $37, and you should be able to reduce your phone bills to virtually zero.

4. Stylish and slick projector

Most businesses, even home based ones, inevitably need to communicate their ideas, products and services to range of different people.

So whether you need to gather up a handful of employees for a presentation, or take a presentation to a potential client, the BenQ home theater projector has everything you need to do a great job.

Ok, so it's also an awesome home theater that will allow you to kick back and watch your favorite movies in style. Just don't let it get in the way of real work...

As a dual purpose (leisure and work) item, it's going to set you back a little more than the other items so far. On a good day you're looking at about $869.

5. Serious external hard drive

I have personally had my PC hard drive crash three times in the last five years. I don't know what the guys at my local computer store are up to, but there you have it.

If I wasn't in the practice of keeping offline backups, things might have gone a lot worse for me (with expensive development projects being lost).

Knowing that, at only $130, the WD My Passport portable hard drive should give you some peace of mind.

Of course, you should already be using cloud based storage and sharing for your business, but it's also useful to have an external hard drive to physically take with you.

With 2TB of data, there's room to haul your movie and music collection wherever you go - useful if you are caught without access to the Internet and cloud.

6. Super serious flash drive

Talking of storage, if you're thinking of buying a flash drive, why not do things properly?

The Patriot Supersonic Rage has super fast read and write speeds and comes with 64GB of storage.

In order to protect this super high performance, it comes coated in rubber with a retractable head, making it pretty durable and immune to most forms of daily abuse.

Weighing in at $45, it's likely to be the only flash drive you need to invest in for some time to come.

7. USB mini air conditioner

If, like me, you live in a part of the world where summer gets a bit too hot for comfort - making work a little unpleasant.

And, if like me, you would rather not purchase a huge air conditioner that sucks a lot of juice, cooling the entire room or office, then the Handy Cooler fan and air-conditioner is a perfect compromise.

It uses a wet sponge to cool down air (via evaporation), and will also use much less power since you can focus the cool air only on you - and not the entire office space.

At $60 its cheap enough to prevent you from getting too hot under the collar.

8. USB solar charger

Hands up everyone who loves that moment when your wireless mouse (or any other device that uses batteries or USB charging) dies, and you realize that there is no way to charge it?

The days of having devices fail on you just before submitting an important business document are behind you. The PowerFilm USB+AA solar charger allows you to charge two AA batteries, and will also charge most USB devices for the very reasonable sum of $76.

Perfect for any modern home office.

Let's face it, we all have devices to charge on a regular basis, so why not do it the eco-friendly, cheap, and convenient way?

9. Electronic whiteboard

Ok, so the Panasonic electronic color whiteboard is going to set you back about $1500, so it has to be something you find really useful before you can consider buying it.

It's such a shame because I could really, really use this in my day to day work.

Part of my job is to figure out complex problems (or elegant solutions to simple problems) and I spend a lot of time scribbling things down - not quite flow diagrams, not quite text.

The long and short of it is that an electronic whiteboard is the perfect companion for any type of work that involves brainstorming, spit-balling, strategy, and planning.

If you have a spare one, please ship it out to me.

10. Sanity preserving USB cable clips

I can't begin to explain how enraging it is to have loose USB cables lying around all over the show. Why I haven't sorted out this mess earlier, I don't know.

But, I have finally resolved to sort out the problem using super cheap (around $10) cable clips like CableDrop.

If you are sick and tired of plugging in the wrong USB cables, dropping USB cables, and generally wasting your life around USB cables, then take the plunge and get a bunch for yourself.

I look at it as an investment in my mental health.

So that's my list of the top 10 coolest desktop gadgets for the home or small business office. What are your favorite gadgets?

Share your tech, geek, and gizmo tips and advice in the comments.

Find cheap office supplies

Whether you are starting a home based venture or running a busy office, finding the right office supplier(s) is an important part of streamlining costs.

How to prevent spammers hijacking your servers

There's nothing worse than finding out your business website has been hacked and is being used to send out bulk emails, spam visitors, or spread malicious software.

If it hasn't happened to you, don't fall into the trap of thinking that this scenario is something that happens to other people. Spam hacks are absolutely rampant.

Fortunately, the business model of spammers requires them, more often than not, to automate their hacks to seek out vulnerable Web servers and sites, because they have to do things on a huge scale to turn a profit.

Universities wanting to offer a course on Internet entrepreneurship can start here

Being an entrepreneur is something that should be encouraged and nurtured in everyone from an early age - especially in a country like the U.S. where the economy relies on small business.

Every school and university should offer a range of courses designed to empower young people to take an idea and turn it into a profitable enterprise, with confidence and competence.

Sadly, most educational institutes seem intent on sticking to dry, academic curricula that might teach young minds how to think, but don't prepare them for the harsh realities of the real world.

Think of the Internet economy as a farmer’s field full of little green plants. Each plant represents a business, and the stuff that makes them grow is traffic (just like rain makes real plants grow).

Now, imagine that in between the rain clouds and our fledgling plants, there is a huge funnel that collects the rain and pours it over the field. Let’s call this funnel Google.

Google’s job is to make sure that all the sprouts get a fair share of water (provided they are of good quality), and that any weeds that are harmful to the ecosystem aren’t watered. All day long Google funnels rain onto various different plants in order to help them grow.

Tools and tips on how to source products online

Small retail businesses and eCommerce sites need to consistently choose the best products to sell in order to maximize their profits.

But trying to find this information is not always easy, and there are plenty of "silver bullet" sites (and con men) that will try to make a profit by advising you to stock products that give them commission.

It's far better to be able to do your own research into which products offer the best value for money for your own customers and clients. After all, you know your business best.

Top startups that have used crowdfunding succesfully

Crowdfunding is a relatively novel way for startups and entrepreneurs to raise money to support their fledgling companies - and sometimes it actually works.

customer relationship management how-to

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is about reaching out to the right people, convincing them to do business with you, and then maintaining and nurturing

A look at the latest trends in business technology

Starting and running a successful small, home or online business these days means that you are going to have to rely on technology to handle most things - if not everything.

There isn't a single aspect of the modern business that doesn't have software, online software, cloud solutions, or innovative hardware and gadgets to save time, streamline processes, maximize efficiency, and save on costs.

The problem, especially for first time business owners, is knowing which technology is the right one for your company, and how to use it effectively to ensure that it provides value and/or good returns.

A cash flow statement usually includes money flowing in and out of a company, but this article is full of ideas and tips to get more money flowing in.

Because cash is king for all entrepreneurs, SME/SMBs, and home based ventures, it is crucial that you can generate as much revenue as possible, as early as possible.

This article will look at a very simple sales forecast and provide plenty of great sales strategies, ideas and advice for you to incorporate into your own plans.

Successful online business without Google traffic

Organic search traffic from Google is so valuable that many businesses come to rely on it as their primary source of income.

And while it may seem that the sun will never set on high converting organic traffic from the search giant, you might want to think about what would happen to your enterprise if the flow dried up.

I've experienced both the frustration and despair of losing Google traffic to an unknown and unexplained penalty (only large, important businesses get the information they need to recover in a matter of days or weeks), but have also seen how other companies have thrived without Google entirely.

Inspirational entrepreneur quotes

Life as an entrepreneur can be extremely tough, which is why it is important to sometimes pause and listen to inspiring quotes that keep you going.

Vote on the factor that you think most influences business success

What it takes for entrepreneurs and small business owners to be successful can vary from person to person, and industry to industry.