Desk Tools

15 Minute, 25 Minute Timer

You and your busy, busy life. Just when are you going to slow down and concentrate on the important things? Maybe you need a timer that serves as a productivity tool but also looks like a little keepsake when not in use. Turn this 15 or 25 minute hourglass over, and concentrate for the full amount of time on just one thing. The sand will create a background of soft, white noise, which is perfect for meditation, typing up an important email, or counting cracks in the wall. Whatever it is, dedicate yourself fully to the things you value most.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $36.00
Available from: ode to things

Liquid Station Desktop Organizer

The four compartments of the Liquid Station Desktop Organizer will keep your smartphone, pens, and other desk stuff right at hand. If it doesn’t depress you too much, it looks “like a melting iceberg.” Indeed. Be sure to consider the other items in the collection, the Roll Air Tape Dispenser and the Peter Pen Holder, as you wouldn’t want the organizer to get too lonely all by itself.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $32.00
Available from: Luminaire

Merge Concrete Tape Dispenser

Need a tape dispenser? How about a concrete one that won’t move around when you tear off a piece of tape? The Merge Concrete Tape Dispenser from 22 Design Studio is basically a couple of concrete blocks and one cylinder, which gives it a utilitarian sort of style that won’t go unnoticed among your other desktop tools. Does anyone else see a little Bauhaus flavor in the brutal blockiness, or is it just me? Be sure to take a look at the Merge Cardholder Tray and Pen Holder (shown below), as they’d be excellent companions to the tape dispenser.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $65.00
Available from: Gessato

FIELD Magnifier

Don’t you dare say you have no need for a magnifier. What about those tiny hairs and freckles on your hand? The intricate markings of your own signature? The fuzzy anthers of a flower? Or the crisp text on that print out sitting on your desk? This heavy bronze magnifier designed by Daniel/Emma (in collaboration with Field) doubles as a paper weight and will keep your curiosity sharp.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $160.00
Available from: FIELD

Paper Clips by Daphna Laurens

Paper clips! But not just any paper clips, of course. These are Paper Clips by Daphna Laurens in all sorts of shapes to keep all sorts of papers in order. Originally these clips began as line drawings, and then were transformed into functional clips. Will they make organizing your paperwork a little more fun? Yes, absolutely, they will, so much so that your desktop will be the envy of your coworkers.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $10.00
Available from: Areaware

Outline

An entirely new measuring tool that combines three in one is just the thing to reduce desktop disarray. Matching silhouettes of traditional rulers is how Tomas Kral created Outline, and it’ll last well past your drawing days as it’s made from stainless steel with laser engraving. The Outline’s form includes a protractor and right angle with measurements in both inches and centimeters.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $85.00
Available from: Field

Prism Magnifier

You might not need the Prism Magnifier today, but you might make use of it the next time some tiny text with fine details needs a closer look. When you don’t make use if its magnifying properties, it will sure look nice sitting atop that stack of other paperwork that you may or may not have beside your internet machine.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: Areaware

Hay’s Wooden Ruler Triangle Set

These triangular rulers are pretty fun with their stripes and bright color contrasts. They’d probably make you happy every time you used them, or maybe even every time you looked at them, which makes them waaay cheaper than all the other things you do to make yourself happy (maybe).

The set of three is priced at just under the $50 mark, which might make it a good gift for someone who likes to draw or that’s fond of bright desk accessories. The straight Wooden Ruler Set (pictured above) is sold separately ($29), fyi.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $48.00
Available from: A+R Store

Sheffield Kevlar Shears

Arm yourself with these shears and there will be nothing you can’t cut. Designed to cut through Kevlar (a para-aramid synthetic fiber, by the way), the Sheffield Shears will cut through practically any household material- tape, cardboard, thick fabric, you name it- as they’re extremely sharp and indestructible.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $76.00 - 90.00
Available from: Best Made Co.

Keyway Ruler

You probably won’t care much about this ruler unless you spend time with papers and pencils, but for those of us that still rely on old school tools most of the time or occasionally, it’s definitely worth a look. The Keyway Ruler has metric units on one side and imperial units on the other, with a rolled edge that allows you to flip between the two systems. And, if you abhor a smudge, rest assured that this rolling of the ruler will decrease the likelihood of any errant marks or blemishes on your work.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Available from: MoMA Store

6 Inch Scale Ruler

If you use architectural scales at all in your line of work, you might want to add this 6 Inch Scale Ruler to your bag of tricks. It features measurements from 1/32 of an inch up to 1 inch in a precise yet abstract manner. The absence of numerical lettering will keep your desktop a little less full of visual clutter, which you will probably appreciate even more after staring at drawings all day long.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Available from: Cooper Hewitt Shop

Tool The Bookworm

I know, you rarely have time for books, and even then it’s safe to say you’re likely to pick up a Kindle or iPad instead of a paperback or hardcover. However, on that rare occasion you do read a book, it’d be nice to have a bookmark made of a digitally etched sheet of golden brass, wouldn’t it? Tom Dixon brings us Tool the Bookworm, a collection of metal bookmarks in curious shapes, all of which would be quite at home in any of your favorite books.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.50
Available from: A+R Store

CDT Large Gift Set

Wait just a minute, there’s a CDT gift set and I didn’t know about it? Now you know, and I’ve just saved you the trouble of picking out an excellent gift for your design-minded-desk-accessory-loving friend, because this CDT set has a bunch of goodies: stapler, eraser, sticky notes, fountain pens, glue stick, and mechanical pencil. There’s also a smaller CDT Gift Set if you don’t like your friend all that much*.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Shop Cooper Hewitt

Tool Bookmark byAMT

If you still turn paper pages, you might just need a bookmark like these brass tabs by Alissia Melka-Teichroew (byAMT). One brass bookmark says ‘PAGE’ and the other ‘WORD’ so you’ll be able to mark your spot with precision. This set of 2 bookmarks were re-designed in 2014 exclusively for the Shop Cooper Hewitt in conjunction with the Cooper Hewitt’s exhibition Tools: Extending our Reach.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $32.00
Available from: Shop Cooper Hewitt

‘Pretty Things Inside’ Paper Tape

If you’re going to send a package off, you might as well tease the recipient with tape that says something. If ‘pretty things’ isn’t really your style, there’s also the ‘I love it. What is it?’ paper tape, which also does the job of prepping the recipient with positive anticipation. The tape is strong enough for cardboard boxes yet can be teared by hand.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $7.05
Available from: Jelanie