7 Thrifty Ideas For Improving Your Workspace

By Joel Widmer | Tools & Resources

Sep 06

I’m moving to a new office in two weeks! Actually I’m moving everything because I’m getting married! I have a lot of ideas for my new office but before I buy anything, I like to research. My number one trait on Meyers Briggs is analytical and if you know me, you know it’s right on target. I like to research EVERYTHING before hand and figure out/calculate all the possibilities that a decision may include… ESPECIALLY where to buy and any better alternatives that may include. Here’s a list of 7 of my favorites that I’ve discovered over the years that have saved me money and made my office an awesome place to work!

Buy Tileboard NOT Whiteboards.

You can get tile board at Home Depot and usually Lowes. It comes in 4’x8′ sheets so make sure to either cut it up or get a big vehicle to haul it in. (I cut mine into three pieces to get it into my car.) I didn’t follow the post and screwed the shower board straight to my wall. It has gotten a little warped but really not too bad. I always use Expo dry erase cleaner spray to keep it clean and after a year, it still erases and write great. 4’x8′ whiteboard from Home Depot: $256 And 4’x8′ Tile Board from Home Depot: $13-$20. Savings: $236

Office Whiteboard Alternative

My 4'x8' $13 Office Whiteboard

Buy Your External Monitor from Slickdeals.net NOT a Retail Store (e.g. Target, Walmart etc…)

If your not in a huge hurry, keep your eye out on Slickdeals.net for anything electronic. You can get a great deal on a quality computer monitor to use as an external for your laptop at home. And something to keep in mind is that the quality of the monitor can make a big difference in eye fatigue if you use it for long periods of time. You don’t want to be stingy on this!

Image from Newegg.com

Use Binder Clips as Cable Catchers

I got this idea from a Lifehacker post and love it! If your always dropping your cords while plugging and unplugging them into your laptop, this is the perfect CHEAP solution!

Image from Lifehacker

Try Craigslist for your next Office Chair

I made the mistake of buying my first office chair based only on good looks. After 6 hours of sitting in it day after day, I found that I could care less about how it looks and it’s worth taking the time to figure out the differences between each. Right now I’m on the search for a Herman Miller Aeron Chair and have found that you can get them $200-$400 cheaper than buying them new from a manufacturer. If you can’t find anything on Craigslist, Sams Club or Costco is also a good choice.

Aeron Chair Image from Hermanmiller.com

Monitor DODTracker.com for deals on Lighting and Office Accessories

This is another great site if your not in a hurry to get all your office supplies at once. DOD Stands for Deal of the Day Tracker and it’s a hub for every single deal of the day site that allows you to keep track of all the sites at once. There are over 50 sites in just the “Home and Jewelry” category and always good deals popping up. Note: You do have to do some sifting because there’s a lot of junk on there but it’s always worth it.

Screenshot of dodtracker.com

Use  Google’s New Gmail Calling feature Instead of Skype or a headset

Yes, this last one is personal preference BUT hear me out… If you have a Google Voice Number, you can make phone calls straight from your computer to anyone in the US or Canada for no extra charge. I have a cheap $20 usb mic that I speak into (which is crystal clear) and the person’s voice on the other end of the line comes through my speakers perfectly. Since I use google voice, all my contacts are synced and I can call anyone. I HATE using my phone and this sure beats a headset. You can also record phone calls (Take that Skype) or if your leaving and need to transfer the call to your cell phone, you can just hit the “#” key and it will seamlessly connect without dropping the call. Check out this post from Google describing it! And of course, it’s all free:)


About the Author

Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife and son.

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(1) comment

Hunter February 3, 2011

nice tip on the Tile Board. need more white board space and that may be just the trick.

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