If you’ve recently been forced to work from home for the first time, you are likely discovering that there are countless pros and cons to that situation. More time with family is a big pro (presumably), but a lack of structure can potentially make things harder.
One big advantage that many people don’t realize right away though, is that they can use their new freedom to create a more ideal workflow. Seeing as you’re working in your own environment and with no desk buddy to bump elbows with, it’s up to you to decide how you want to organize your day, and what productivity gadgets can help you to get more done.
And this is a big deal, seeing as the right productivity gadgets can perfectly complement your workflow and even automate some aspects of your to-do list. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Top productivity gadgets for working from home
A tablet can actually work wonders for your productivity by giving you the option of upright computing. To me, that means being able to check emails, chat on Slack, and browse Asana while relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee. I can even check a few things while I’m making said coffee. It also means being able to sketch out ideas for thumbnails in the evenings without it feeling like work.
A tablet can likewise act as a second screen for answering emails while you’re working, providing you with more real-estate for productivity. Tablets are of course more limited than computers in terms of what they can do, but it’s that form factor that makes them so accessible and ideal for specific types of work (predominantly media consumption).
Then there are all the other things you can do, like using a tablet to extend your display!
My personal choice for productivity tablet is the iPad Mini 5. I love the size, the power is absurd for the price, and the stylus is amazing for design work. Of course, this being Android Authority I should probably also recommend an Android alternative. You can find a list of what we think are the best tablets for business right here.
Ultrawide monitor/Multimonitor array
I can’t remember where I saw it, but I read once that an ultrawide monitor could increase productivity by 30%! Now that sounds like arbitrary nonsense sure, but I definitely agree that a wider screen has significantly boosted my own work output. Having more space to arrange windows is perfect when I need more than one reference to write from, or when I’m editing videos and want to see more of my timeline.
In all honesty, I’m now so used to working on my LG Ultrawide, that I actually find it extremely claustrophobic going back to my regular 15” laptop! This is probably one of the most recommended productivity gadgets for a wide number of people.
Digital assistants generally live in the kitchen as glorified egg timers. While that’s certainly a legitimate use-case, I really believe that an Ech0 Show or a Google Home can serve as an effective “JARVIS” for your home office.
As well as setting reminders to answer emails (which helps you focus on other tasks without forgetting), adding to your to-do list, and even making quick calls in some cases; this is also a quick way to get information from the web without having to Google it.
This may be an indulgence for a lot of people and I’m certainly not suggesting that a second computing device is essential (third if you like the tablet idea!). However, having a really small laptop has been extremely useful for me. Firstly, it acts like a smaller splinter unit I can take with me when I’m heading out (which I hope to do again someday).
Also read: The best mini laptops you can buy in 2021
At the same time, it means that I can easily type in other situations – like when I’m on the couch in the evening and don’t necessarily want to be fully immersed in a big-screen experience.
This is great for note-taking, writing down ideas, and answering urgent emails. It’s so light I can bring it with me into the kitchen and it takes up zero space on the countertop. I use a GPD Pocket which is an old 7” laptop. That has since been replaced by the GPD Pocket 2 and the GPD P2 Max which is a little larger. A Surface Go is also a great choice, and especially as it can also be used as a tablet.
Nothing on this list is essential, but a smartwatch can be extremely useful for taking notifications off your screen and putting them on your wrist. That means you can quickly check whether a message is essential and needs to be answered immediately, without having to interrupt your flow.
Also read: The best smartwatches you can buy (2021)
The right Smartwatch can do a lot more too – such as putting your to-do list right on your wrist, or being used to set reminders. Many people don’t think of these as productivity gadgets, but they can fit very neatly into a great workflow.
The right keyboard
A great keyboard can make all the difference to your productivity. If you get this right, it should be comfortable and quick to type on for long stretches, while also giving you access to macros. Macros will let you quickly launch apps and perform other functions with the press of a few keys, which can be extremely time-saving over the long term.
For many people, being finally able to listen to their own music while working is game-changing: no more having to listen to Linda’s choice of radio station!
Moreover , this is a great way to tune out distractions and stay focused on work. High quality headphones can help you get into the zone much quicker and are practically essential as productivity gadgets! Check out the Sound Guys guide to the best noise-canceling headphones!