There’s something soothing about a clean, minimal desk when it comes to getting work done. The less distracting the desk, the easier it is to think clearly when you sit in that space to get productive. As we’ve talked about in a prior post and video, we like our desktop setups to stay clean, minimal and functional. It becomes very easy, however, to let that clean and uncluttered space begin picking up more and more stuff as time goes on, and the same is true for us here at Chrome Unboxed.
For me, I found that my desk was slowly collecting more gadgets, more wires, and more distractions over the years. It was never on purpose, but I like things that make my time at the desk easier and more productive, so the transition from clean tabletop to busy desk happens pretty quickly as you begin adding more and more stuff to your desktop setup.
More troubling than a busy desktop, however, is the enslavement a great desktop can have over you. Don’t get me wrong, if your job requires you to be at a certain desk each and every day, trick that thing out with every little thing you want that makes you enjoy being there. The chains I speak of have to do with the fact that I, like many others, have a job where I’m allowed to work from wherever I can find an internet connection and I fail to do so most days.
While this odd behavior stems from many psychological places, part of the system that keeps me metaphorically chained to my desk is the functionality of that desk. It’s a conundrum, really, but it is one that I’ve grown to absolutely detest. Sure, my desk is nice and I love my huge monitor, Chromecast speaker, sit/stand functionality and my comfy chair, but I miss the version of myself that used to love the fact that I could literally work anywhere.
My job hasn’t changed, but the tools I’ve become accustomed to using have, and those tools are most easily accessed at my desk. Frankly, I’m tired of feeling like I can’t be productive unless I’m there, so I’m doing something about it. Having a job where I have the freedom to work in multiple places is a perk that I’m sick of wasting, so I set out to build a desk setup that can work anywhere and can go with me wherever I choose to do my job.
Part of that process was deciding to ween myself off of all the luxuries of my desk, so I’ve cleared off my desk at the office and now carry all the things I need to set up my desk both at the office and/or anywhere I find myself. The result has been liberating and I wanted to share the gear I’m using to do it so that you may find the same freedom I have in this setup. While this stuff all works well, you can use any version of the things listed from any seller and any manufacturer: we just wanted to provide a starting point.
- Lepow USB-C Monitor
- RavPower 45W Power Bank/Battery
- Microsoft Surface Mobile Mouse
- Brydge C-Type Keyboard
- Any Chromebook with USB-C
With this setup, I have everything I need to be productive with an on-the-go multi-monitor setup. No plugs needed, no complex setup, no crazy settings. You can set up this entire desktop in about a minute or two and be ready to work. My favorite thing is I don’t feel limited in any way with it, especially using a convertible Chromebook in display mode with the external keyboard and mouse. With that particular setup (you can see it in the video) I’m able to keep the monitors closer than I would with a large, secondary monitor and not feel like I’m missing much from my enormous monitor I used to use.
Is this for everyone? No, not really, but anyone interested in leveraging a mobile setup would definitely benefit from doing something similar. Not only does this make you more productive on the go, it will help you create new habits that give you the same level of ability no matter where or when you setup to get your job done.