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Stylish home-office tools for the creative professional

A range of convenient, sophisticated new options are available to make working from home that much easier

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 9:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 12:34pm

It wasn’t so long ago that the standard home-office consisted of a back-breaking CRT monitor and computer tower, a tan keyboard, a chunky mouse, and an inkjet printer. Nowadays, there are stylish and convenient options, many of which have been specialised to serve the purposes and needs of different professions.

As a creative professional myself, the tools and equipment in my home-office are essential to my productivity, because inspiration to write, film edit, design or perform other artistic endeavours can come at any time of the day or night.

When I want to write down a story idea, a proper keyboard is my best friend. Makers in the past have typically gone no further than adding extra buttons, or colouring different buttons, so you could find your hot keys more easily. Enter the sleek Craft keyboard from Logitech.

It’s one of those innovations that make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”. There is a dial at the upper left side of the keyboard, which you can do lots of things with that you’d normally have to use your mouse for, such as adjusting font types, sizes, spacing, etc. It works great with MS Office too. And if you are using Adobe software such as Photoshop, you can tap the dial to pull up a brush’s settings, and tap it again to scroll through different options, such as modifying size and opacity.

I also edit my rough cuts for films and commercials from home before passing them on to my editor. As a result, I’m always in need of data storage for all those massive video files. Take a look at the LaCie 2big Dock 20TB Thunderbolt 3, which has a fairly compact form factor given the amount of data it can hold.

It also has a lot of connections like Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB-C adapter, and you can connect devices to it as well as access and transfer data very fast when editing. It’s nice to have one central drive to keep most of my work on instead of having to search through multiple drives, and there’s an SD card and compact flash card reader built in, to read fresh input from a camera or drone.

When I am working at home, I tend to be writing commercial and film scripts, so having a portable device like the iPad Pro, which I can later bring to my office, is ultra convenient. Being able to mark up photos or storyboards with Apple’s Pencil on the iPad Pro saves me the trouble of having to explain my vision for a scene verbally. Watching movies and TV series in the background next to my main laptop or desktop also helps keep me awake when I’m on a deadline. Most importantly, I often check in on how my little one is doing in the other room by accessing my Spot camera by iSmartAlarm, which I link up with through HKT Premier.

The Spot, in addition to having HD video and two-way audio so I can speak to my wife and hear what’s going on, also has sound recognition and can listen out for fire alarms or carbon monoxide warnings.

If I need to run out for some reason, I like Belkin’s wemo mini smart plug because I can control and access any of my devices and turn them off if they are sitting idle. Additionally it works with Alexa or nest to turn lights on and off, or to run the Airgle Air Purifier so my stuff doesn’t go mouldy or to make my room pollen free an hour before I get back home. In addition to removing odours , the machine kills harmful bacteria using something called titanium dioxide catalyst technology.

I bet you were thinking I’m strictly an Apple guy because I’m a creative type. But here’s a device that I think will play on all teams – the Samsung Qi Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand. It can charge any Samsung products like the new S9 phone, but can also wirelessly charge the iPhone X and 8. It tilts up, so you can still access your phone, but also lays flat when you just want your smart device to take an energy nap and power up.

And isn’t the best thing about working from home being able to lean back, take a nap and recharge, then continue with your work into the night?