Jaillen Yehia

What’s On My Desk? Freelancer Favourites

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Post Categories: Freelance Life | Homepage | Savoir Stuff
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Needlite lamps

My Needlite & Notebooks

The clocks have gone back and that means it really is Autumn, so it’s time for me to pull something out of hibernation to put back on my desk; my Oreo cookie-shaped heated coaster to keep my tea warm while I’m working (while simultaneously making me want a biscuit).

My desk with Needlite

My desk

It spurred me on to write a post I’d been meaning to get round to for a while; listing all my favourite things which live on my desk (apart from my laptop because that would be too obvious!).

A lot of these things really make my work more comfortable  – or just more fun – so I thought I’d list them here in case it can help or inspire you.

1.Oreo shaped tea and coffee warmer

Needlite Review

My cookie-shaped hot coaster

I bought this cookie shaped coaster as gift to myself one Christmas when I was buying stocking fillers for other people (you know how it goes, one for them, one for yourself…) and it’s a good one – it amuses me and keeps my tea a bit warmer at the same time. Silly but cute.

2. Needlite Desk Lamps

Needlite logo

Needlite’s understated branding

I am a bit of a lighting nerd, I am in love with Scandi design (see number 9!) and I prefer to work later in the day. So these special lights called Needlite  – which cast a unique warm glow over a workspace instead of making you feel like you’re sweating under the spotlight of a normal lamp – have revolutionised my desk.

You turn them on and off, or dim them, simply by touching and they come with a mobile app which turns them on when you get near your desk – and they match perfectly with my Mac and iphone which greatly pleases the eye. They also look a bit like light sabers which makes them extra cool.

3. Valentino Geeky Glasses

Needlite Review

In Vancouver with my newly purchased glasses

I must have tried on a hundred pairs of glasses last time my prescription changed, and even though these light pink frames aren’t exactly what I thought I was looking for I kept thinking about them after I left the shop so I knew they were meant to be.

They live on my desk because they have a special blue reflective coating which helps with glare and are perfect for screen work and they are incredibly comfortable.

P.s. I also found from a lot of experimentation that the formula for glasses to look geeky in a cute way as opposed to full on librarian is to make sure they are so oversized that the bottom of the frame actually touches your cheek. Go and experiment and tell me if I’m wrong!

4. BRADA Ikea laptop support

Literally the best £4 I ever spent. Well I’ve bought one 3 times so £12, but still, bargain.

5. Transcend drop-proof hard drive

My previous hard drive met a sticky end in a branch of Starbucks so I made sure I got an indestructible one next time round and plumped for this drop proof hard drive which has ‘a three-stage shock protection system that meets U.S. military drop-test standards’ according to the manufacturer. Reassuring.

I’ve had this for a couple of years now and so far so good – I haven’t tested it by flinging it from buildings but it hasn’t let me down either.

6. Pretty Notebooks

notebooks and lamps

How pretty is this?

I’m still a notebook fiend though I buy far less now than I used to and almost none with Hello Kitty on. I got this one in South Africa and the other in the pictures is from a shop in Valencia.

7. World Map Desk Mat

I went into Ryman for some boring stationary product or another and I came out with this huge laminated World Map for my desk, but I absolutely love it, it really brightens up my desk no end and makes me dream about where I want to go next. I also came out that day with a tiny Bluetooth speaker shaped like a little dog, so I think that says a lot about my shopping style.

8. Cool Business Card Holders

Needlite lamps

I make my own business cards and I keep them in vintage cigarette tins and recently added a new one to my collection that I picked up in Petticoat Lane, Ramsgate.

9. Danish Flag

Central Copenhagen

I’m an honorary Dane – in that a lot of my family live in Denmark (Aarhus to be exact) and if there’s one thing you need to know about Danes they (or we) love the flag. For those who want to know more about the habits of the Danes that go way beyond just hygge I recommend this easy read all about life in the design-obsessed and quality of life-obsessed nation. Once you read it you will totally understand why the Needlites couldn’t really have been made anywhere else too.

10. A Cat

Needlite review

Standard.

A real freelancer’s favourite here. Yes like many people who work from home, a lot of the time I have a cat on my desk.

I must confess this isn’t that helpful for productivity and mainly he is just here to soak up the warmth and use my Mac and Needlite lamps as something to scratch his face on, but he is definitely my most favourite thing on my desk.

Needlite Review

Gratuitous pic of my other favourite thing on my desk I collect gazelles & antelopes and I even have a gazelle tattoo

For a bit more info on some of my desk favourites you can watch this video.

Disclosure: The Needlite lamps were sent to me free of charge to try out. Having tested them out thoroughly for months I would happily buy them today. The Tech21 Macbook Pro case  pictured was also given for review purposes, and similarly I continue to use it months later because it works well. All other items were bought with my own hard-earned cash. I also include links to Amazon or other online stores in case you want to purchase some of these products  – and in some cases these are affiliate links, meaning that should you purchase the product I would get a small commission of the sale but the cost to you would not be any higher. 


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  • Some great ideas here and I really love the sound of the World Map desk may. Must get one, although it might make me day dream even more than normal about my next great adventure.

    • Yeah it does! I catch a glimpse of some tiny island somewhere and suddenly I’m really distracted! But coincidentally I have a competition coming up to win a really cool map by the people who actually make this desk mat so keep an eye out for that 🙂

  • Sara @ Travel Continuum

    I’m really impressed by the Needlite lamps – I recently attended a talk which explained just how much our circadian rhythms are being disrupted by poor/excessive artificial lighting, so these are undoubtedly the way forward (especially if they come down in price a bit). Having said that, nothing beats your cat – catz roolz!!

  • I absolutely LOVE that coaster – what a flipping great idea, my tea always goes cold! I am with you with pretty notebooks – I get so excited at work when my current pad is almost ready to replace!

  • I wish my desk was that tidy! I can’t help myself when it comes to notebooks and I have a whole stack of them ready to fill with ramblings and travel notes. I just love that coaster – I’m the world’s worst at leaving my tea to get cold!

    • I have to admit that I tidied up my desk before taking the photos! But usually I’m pretty good, I can’t work with a messy desk for long, it drives me mad!

  • Lucy Dodsworth

    So interesting to see an insight into your workspace! Mine always features a cat too – though right now he’s on my lap on the sofa as my office is being renovated. I haven’t had a proper one for three years so so excited to have a real space and be able to decorate it!

  • heatheronhertravels

    Great to see behind the scenes, I’m afraid that my desk is a lot less pretty and a lot more messy