What’s on your desk, Victoria Song?

Victoria Song (known as Vee to the staff) does The edge‘s senior reviewer, covering all things wearables, health tech and fitness tech. She says, “I’ve been on this beat for almost seven years now. For The edgeI was there Gizmodo do the same. That’s what I was there for PC Magazine and had a stint as a laptop reviewer before turning to portable music.”

And before that? “I cut my teeth off The Yomiuri Shimbun, both in Japan and in their New York City office. In Japan I was an editor for their English-language edition and coincidentally ended up as a junior reporter in New York when I moved back home – although the role was more like a stringer, reporter and translator all rolled into one. I covered everything ranging from #BlackLivesMatter protests and the annual UN General Assembly to factories in Baton Rouge making baseball bats favored by Japanese players.

We asked Vee to take a look at her workspace.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>That is a pleasant looking environment. Where in your house is it?

I just bought my first house in December and this office is one of the guest rooms on the third floor. Being a modest townhome, all the space is stacked vertically. However, it’s the first time I’ve had an office to myself! Before we moved, my husband and I had shared a tiny office for five years. The only downside was that I wasn’t prepared for all these stairs. My various trackers tell me that I average about 20 flights of stairs per day.

I only got my standing desk last month, but I consider it the final form of all the desks I’ve had over the years. I’ve always had a combination of a desk with built-in shelves and a separate monitor stand, but something was always wrong. Either the monitor stand wasn’t high enough, or there wasn’t enough storage space for all my trinkets and office supplies. My previous desk looked like this desk, but was way too narrow. I saw moving as an opportunity to start over And buy a standing desk. Now I try to stand for at least two hours a day, usually when I’m doing passive tasks like answering emails.

What I like about this desk so far is that I can tuck my keyboard away and still have a place for my journals. The drawers on each side hold 90 percent of my office supplies, and there’s enough room to put my laptop on the stand. I went from having two bookshelves in my office to just one.

An easy-to-use sit-stand desk with two drawers, shelves and three preset buttons.

I have the Herman Miller x Logitech Embody gaming chair. And no, I didn’t pay full price because it was an inheritance from my husband when they got a new office chair. They wanted to sell it, but were tired of hearing me complain about my old broken chair. I feel happy because it is very comfortable for long writing sessions and I no longer need a seat cushion. I also like that there is a pop of color on the back. I can be frugal to my detriment, but my husband was right: you shouldn’t skimp on your office chair.

Right now my personal laptop at midnight is an M2 MacBook Air 15. I kind of regret it, as I wrote in my review of the M3 MacBook Pro 14. I got the base model with 8 GB of RAM and every time I open one tab have too much open… beach ball starts. Our former laptop reviewer Monica Chin was also right that it’s a bit heavy for an ultraportable laptop. I took it to CES for the extra screen real estate, but my back hurt after lugging it around Vegas all day for a week. For the rest it is a great laptop; I wish I had 16 GB of RAM.

An ergonomic mouse specifically designed to reduce muscle tension and improve performance.

I have a Logitech MX vertical ergonomic mouse. I’ve been a vertical mouse evangelist for years and of all the variations I’ve tried, I like this one the best. It’s not too complicated and it has reduced my wrist pain dramatically. I also have an Elgato Key Light, which helps when my office gets dark and I need to look presentable on a Zoom call. It’s also just a great light for when I’m journaling at night. (I, on the other hand, have a smaller lamp for evenings or cloudy days.)

I don’t know my exact LG monitor. All I know is that it’s 27 inches, which allows me to enlarge my text 150 percent, and I got it for free when my husband upgraded theirs. (I do this often.)

I also got the Insta360 Link webcam because I was tired of looking like a blurry potato during phone calls. This one is nice because it tracks your position, although sometimes it doesn’t always work as it should and my colleagues can look at a close-up of my forehead.

The Link is a top-tier webcam that offers a gimbal, impressive software, and a great price.

My keyboard is a Keychron K2 with brown switches. I’ve used mechanical keyboards on and off since 2016, but most of the ones I tried were gaming keyboards, and they work best on Windows computers. I liked the feeling, but I have a Mac and was annoyed by all the key mapping solutions. An old colleague recommended Keychron during the pandemic because their keyboards are Mac compatible – and I haven’t used another keyboard since. However, I’m thinking of maybe switching to the Q1 with the button. (I don’t know, the button seems cool!) But I’m trying to be good and wait for this one to die. I’ve witnessed too many friends say, “Just one more keyboard,” only to find themselves in a pile of twenty keyboards and dozens of keycap sets.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>What’s in that shelf to the left of your monitor?

That’s where I keep my extensive washi tape collection (and some post-its, stickers, chapstick, binder clips, etc.). I am a calligraphy and junk journaling hobbyist. I use washi tape for a lot of journal spreads, as well as when I send letters and cards in the mail. It is also a good option if you want to use a softer tape that is easy to remove. For example, if you want to create watercolor in a journal, you can use washi tape as a kind of painter’s tape. Some of these rolls I have had for over 10 years and were purchased when I lived in Tokyo.

It is Papier’s undated daily planner. Our former policy reporter Makena Kelly (a fellow stationery nerd) recommended it, and I’ve been hooked for the past year. It’s a great way to organize my thoughts about the week and structure my time. I love that it is undated and if you use it daily it will only last about four months. It offers flexibility that annual planners do not offer. On Sunday evenings I take the time to decorate the next week’s overview with a mantra for the week or a song lyric/title that I like. It’s a fun way to get some calligraphy practice. (And it’s a lot less time-consuming than creating my own bullet journal spreads from scratch, like I used to do.) I don’t always manage to achieve my goals, but the act of physically writing things down helps me being conscious about how I spend my time.

$35

Hardcover notebooks for organizing your life, undated and featuring a mind map page and goal setting pages.

They are the Solaris Tarot cards by Elithien, an artist I follow on Instagram. I love her witchy art style. I’m not a superstitious person, but I love doing tarot spreads when I’m in a writing rut. It gives me a mental break, I get to look at beautiful art, and I can always blame the bad state of a design on those in power. I have a lot of tarot sets, but I’m lifelong Star Wars nerd, so I had to buy this for my desk.

My cats are Petey (the tabby) and Pablo (the big boy). Petey is a seven-month-old kitten, and we had no idea there was a rapper named Petey Pablo when we named him. He hangs out in my office most of the day and is miffed because he’s starting to outgrow his sleeping spot under my laptop.

Pablo is almost eight years old and is my husband’s cat, although I have known him since he was two. He prefers my husband’s office, but sometimes he hangs out with me because there is enough sunlight in the afternoon for him to take a nap. They help with the work occasionally. Pablo is a published blogger and will occasionally add or delete sentences from my work when I go to the toilet. Petey likes to chew on all my smartwatch bands for durability testing.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>That’s a great collection of stuffed animals on that couch/bed.

It’s a lounger! My office serves as a guest room for the time being, but it is also the place where I go to read after work. Together with my partner we have a huge collection of stuffed animals. This is maybe 10 percent. Most of them are souvenirs from friends, but a few of them I have had for over ten years. Sometimes I feel ashamed because I have so many, but they all bring back memories. My favorite is the giant peas in a pod. They come from one ToyStory movie, and my mother and I bought a matching set when she visited me while I lived in Tokyo. My mother was quite stoic, but she grinned like a little kid when she saw them, so we did had Unpleasant. She bought a mini version, I bought the large one for my student house. When she died and I had to clear her office, I discovered she had had it on her desk for over fifteen years. Her mini version is now mine too, and when I finally unpack the box it comes in, it ends up on my desk too.

Photography by Victoria Song / The Verge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *