Having your desk setup for optimial productivity and enjoyment can be a journey in itself to achieve! Everyone is different and has different needs. Personally, I’m always finding new little tweaks to continously improve my desk setup.
I’m a software architect and developer by profession and have been working from home since March 2020. Like many people I quickly started building out a home office to make working from home more manageable.
Desk Setup Articles and Videos
Best RGB Lightstrip for Streamers/Video Makers [Elgato Light Strip]
An unboxing and review of the Elgato Light Strip. This RGB Light Strip is designed to be camera friendly for streamers and video makers with no flicker.
Record 4k Source with Atem Mini [Ezcoo HDMI Scaler]
I wanted to record my 4k computer monitor with my Atem Mini Pro ISO (now Atem Mini Extreme ISO) without forcing my nice 4k monitor into 1080p mode all the time.
Underdesk Edgemounted USB Hub [for my Yubikey]
I install an edge mounted underdesk USB hub and SD card reader for easy access to my USB and SD Cards. This was in part for my Yubikey security token.
Desk Setup Objectives
My objective in designing my desk setup was to make it permanently productive. That means I don’t want to unplung/replug things frequently or be rearranging things for different tasks. I want everything wired in and mounted so that it is available whenever I need it.
This may sound obvious to anyone who is not a YouTuber or video person. But all the YouTubers will understand how many extra wires and stands are needed to hold your cameras, video lights, and sound equipment. It’s not uncommon for YouTubers to have a number of tripods and stands strewn about their office/studio space. This can result in a cluttered space.
Choosing a Desk
In keeping with my objectives above, I wanted a permanent computer workspace but also some additional space for working on projects or spreading a few papers around. This extra space would also be my YouTube filming desk for a top down video shot. I bought my big Ikea L-desk probably around 2008-2009 and it’s still in reasonable condition today! The L-desk gives me enough space to dedicate one side to the computer and the other side left open for temporary projects or paperwork or filming.
Desk Setup Computer Equipment
For the computer workstation side of my desk, I wanted to keep it as clean as possible. I am using an Amazon Basics Monitor Arm for the primary computer monitor and an extra VEVO Monitor Arm to hold my camera just above the monitor.
For audio I’ve got a pair of Audio Engine PA4 bookshelf speakers, powered by an S.M.S.L AD-18 amplifier with a built in USB DAC. I chose this amplifier specifically because it has a USB DAC built in (you can plug it into your computer with USB) and has an essentially 0 noise floor when not playing audio (no background hiss/hum from your computer speakers). I also chose this amplifier model because it had a front accessible headphone port so I can switch to headphones easily without rewiring anything or changing any settings on my computer. For software developers, a good pair of noise cancelling headphones is standard issue equipment! I’ve got the BOSE QC35 noise cancelling headphones.
My keyboard is a Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard. These Logitech Mechanical Keyboards have a low-profile mechanical switch, so its not as high up off the desk. I find it pretty comfortable for typing as a software developer. I chose the “Tactile” version which is not quite as loud as the full “Clicky” version, but has more tactile feedback than the “Linear” version of the keyboard.
Silent Workstation PC
The workstation PC on my desk is a silent PC build in a MonsterLabo “The First” case. I made a video for this build if you are interested:
For a full parts list and timestamps you can read the SILENT MonsterLabo PC Build blog post.
Future Desk Setup Plans
My desk setup is pretty good right now, but I still have plans to improve it!
I’ve had this desk and ikea furniture for something like 10 years. I’d love to refresh this furniture with a new sit-stand desk. While I’m at it, I’d like to lighten up the colors in my office. Probably a white desk frame and maybe a walnut desk top.
Whenever I do this, I’m going to add some low profile pull-out drawers under the desk to hold some of my YouTube stuff like video light remotes and such. The goal is to have a neat and tidy looking desk while still having everything I need at an arms reach.
I may also put a little bit of backlighting behind the desk. I was thinking of trying out the new Elgato Lightstrip.
Posted By Ben
Ben is a software architect and developer who loves all things tech. When he's not at work he likes to play with computer tech, home automation and video production.