The Best Desk Setup & Accessories in 2019

A workspace to keep you grinding around the clock.

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

I recently went through a massive overhaul to my workspace.

The image above is my current setup and surprisingly, it’s not that hard to achieve.

I did a lot of research on deciding what I should do. Let this serve as your guide to what I found in creating the best minimalist desk setup for 2019. Updates will be made here as new things come long.

We’ll start off with the best desk accessories, move on to desk tech, go over the actual build of the desk, and wrap it up with a monitor and PC.

Let’s get into it.

The Desk Accessories

Hitting it off with the accessories that anyone can easily add to improve their setup. All of these items are available on Amazon.

1. Industrial Desk Lamp & Vintage Edison Light Bulb

A great looking industrial lamp that adds a lot of character. The Edison bulb is a must here. The filaments on these bulbs look amazing.

2. Cement Pencil Cup & Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Pens

This pencil cup is high quality, has a lot of weight to it, and looks great partnered with the wooden desk.

For the aforementioned pencil cup – the best pens you can get for a reasonable price. Writing with these bad boys is butter.

3. Desk Plants (2-Piece)

A subtle addition but ties it all up nicely. Adds a nice contrast to the industrial setup.

4. LED Strip Lights or Smart LED Strip Lights

For my desk, I use regular LED strip lights coupled with a Kasa Smart Plug (below) to make them Alexa-compatible and it works seamlessly.

The LED lights with smart functionality included supposedly can change colors and modes by asking your smart assistant to do so. I haven’t tested these, but I personally enjoy having most of my products tied into the Kasa ecosystem.

5. Mouse Pad

For the mouse pad, we have the Glorious Helios. This mouse pad has a hard-plastic polycarbonate finish and is ultra-thin clocking in at only 0.5mm. A strong silicone adhesive base keeps the pad steady on slick desk surfaces. It’s hard to explain, but your mouse glides while using this. I tested out a few competitors and the Glorious Helios immediately became my favorite.
 
This is a premium mouse pad without breaking the bank.

The Desk Tech

1. Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) or Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

Your choice here is largely dependent on what you are wanting to do. Do you want to pair this device with your computer and use it as a speaker or listen to music in addition to controlling your devices? If the answer here is yes, you are going to want the Amazon Echo.

Do you primarily only want to use this to control devices in your setup or around your house? Then the Echo Dot will suffice.

2. Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Lite (2-Pack)

I currently have 6 of these around my house. I love them.

These plugs allow you to control your LED lights and lamp on your desk with Alexa or the smart home assistant of your choosing. These plugs will also support HomeKit in the near future. This will allow you to control your devices with Siri. Needless to say, as an iPhone owner, I am pumped.

They can do all sorts of things like put on schedules, timers, and even track electricity usage.

3. Apple AirPods

There’s not much to say here. If you read my guide on iPhone Accessories in 2019, you know why I love them. They make listening to music a more enjoyable experience and admittedly, I use these with my PC more than my iPhone. Forgive me for my transgressions, Apple.

4. Kasa Spot Indoor Camera

I like keeping an eye on things when I’m not home and when I lived in an apartment, having this camera hidden on my desk behind one of the plants concealed it perfectly.

Combine this camera with the app IFTTT and you can create a routine that turns the camera when you leave the house. Pretty nifty, right?

5. Wireless Charger

I prefer a wireless charging pad over a stand for my desk since I will usually have my Apple Watch on and can see notifications there. I don’t need my phone stood up as an additional distraction while trying to work.
 
The fabric charger form PeohZarr looks great at a solid price point. If you prefer a stand, the iOttie iON Wireless Charging Stand should be your choice.

6. APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with USB Ports

With this much value packed into your workspace, it’s vital to get a surge protector to safeguard your setup. I love this power strip for several reasons:

  1. Numbers of outlets (8 + 2 USB ports)
  2. Outlets designated for wide plugs and power adapters (which fit the Kasa Smart Plug Mini perfectly)
  3. High surge protection at 2630 Joules
  4. Ability to cover up inputs not in use
  5. Lifetime warranty
  6. $100,000 insurance for devices damaged in a power surge

7. Cable Management Clips with 3M Adhesive

Now, you have a great setup. Don’t be a heathen and ruin it with cables running rampant all over the place. These clips can hold several cables and have a strong 3M adhesive backing that stick strongly to desk surfaces. Use these clips to make nice hidden “tracks” around your setup.

8. Velcro One Wrap Thin Ties

These Velcro ties partner perfectly with the clips from above. They tie all the cables into a nice, neat bunch while the clips route where your bundled cables go. These 2 combined will perfectly hide all the cables around your setup.

Keyboard

1. Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard

The K780 is the best combination of price, form, and function. It excels at multi-device use with support for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

A lip at the head of the keyboard serves as a stand for phones and tablets if you wish to type on such a device or like the idea of your phone conveniently docked right in front of you. This keyboard can sync with 3 different devices and easily cycle between them via Bluetooth or the included USB dongle.

2. Logitech K800 Illuminated Wireless Keyboard

Multi-device usage or an attached phone stand isn’t your thing? The K800 only works with Windows but adds a backlit keyboard.

3. Azio Retro Classic Luxury Illuminated Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

Do you laugh at the idea of budgets? The Azio Retro Classic stands above the rest as the most beautiful keyboard ever fabricated and fits the industrial aesthetic perfectly. A backlit mechanical keyboard provides a pristine typing experience with “clicky” key presses. Both Mac and Windows are supported. I want this.

Mouse

1. Microsoft Surface Mouse

High quality, minimalist design, and a reasonable price make this mouse a great choice. It can only be paired to one device at a time, though, so you’ll need to re-pair if you want to switch between devices. It also only uses Bluetooth and does not include a USB dongle, so your device will need to be Bluetooth-compatible. It can also connect to Apple products.

2. Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse

A multi-device master, this mouse easily switches between 3 different Mac and Windows devices. It can connect via Bluetooth or the included USB dongle.

3. Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse

A fantastic budget option, this mouse is whisper quiet. Similar to the Surface mouse, the only connection option is Bluetooth and a single device can be connected at a time.

The Desk Build

A particular desk top from IKEA has become the gold standard for these kind of setups. The funny thing is, it’s a countertop.

1. IKEA Karlby Countertop in Walnut

The IKEA Karlby countertop in Walnut looks great and won’t cost you an entire paycheck. I got the shorter 74″ version (which is still very long for a desk because it’s meant to be a countertop) but they also make a crazy long 98″ version.

2. IKEA Lerberg Trestles

For the legs, I got 3 of the IKEA Lerberg Trestles – one on each side and one in the middle. Now I don’t think the middle one is super necessary, but it gave me some piece of mind because their have been reports from other IKEA hackers using the Karlby that it can sag in the middle over time. If you’d prefer having storage space, the IKEA Alex Drawers are a very popular option for the desk base.

3. 3M Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener

To keep the 3 trestles aligned and in their proper places, I picked up some of the strongest Velcro-like material you can purchase. This isn’t exactly Velcro, but it’s functionally similar, and it provides a 5 times stronger hold. If you wish, you could also go with some Industrial Strength Velcro.

The Monitor

I debated heavily over an ultrawide monitor vs. a dual monitor setup. I went with an ultrawide for the cleaner look and I’ve been happy with that decision.
 
I highly recommend a monitor with a higher refresh rate (at least 100Hz). That’s very important for gamers, but even for regular use which is what I primarily use it for, it makes everything so much smoother. These panels do cost a bit more, but it’s worth it. The Alienware is what I’m currently using in my setup.

1. Dell Alienware AW3418DW Curved 34″ 1440p 120Hz Ultrawide Monitor

Widely considered one of the top monitors available by gamers, this Alienware ultrawide features an IPS panel that boasts a better color accuracy than the more common VA panels. A 2K resolution and 120Hz refresh make this a beast of a monitor. G-SYNC capability really pushes this monitor over the edge for gamers. Subtle RGB backlights add a nice premium effect on a very premium monitor.

2. Acer ED347CKR Curved 34″1440p 100Hz Ultrawide Monitor

I actually bought this monitor before finding a great deal on the Alienware on Black Friday but that’s not to say I wasn’t happy with it. The specs that you’re getting at this price point are insane.
 
The only real differences between this and the Alienware monitor are 20Hz and G-SYNC. If you aren’t familiar with G-SYNC, it’s important for better gaming performance with NVIDIA graphics cards. That’s the main advantage the Alienware has over the Acer. If that’s not super important to you, the Acer ED347CKR is a fantastic deal at several hundred dollars cheaper than the Alienware. I thought I may start using my new setup for gaming, so that’s why I opted to upgrade to the Alienware.

3. Viotek SUW49C 49″ 1080p 144Hz Super Ultrawide Monitor

The first time I saw a super ultrawide, I seriously considered buying one. They are truly a sight to behold. If you have the desk space, you can’t go wrong with one of these. Samsung started the super ultrawide party and due to its popularity, other brands quickly followed suit. This Viotek monitor also features a whopping 144Hz response rate and while it wins there, it loses in resolution with only a 1080p display.

The PC Build

If you’re interested, you can see the details of my PC build below. I went with the Phanteks Evolv Shift Mini ITX Case and I’m loving the way it looks on my desk.

The Night Shift

Summary

That wraps it up for the best minimalist desk setup in 2019. Have any suggestions for this guide? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send me a message.