20 Desk Essentials That Will Get You Excited for Work This Fall

let's recapture that back-to-school shopping magic

Some kids waited all year long for the last day of school and the sweet freedom of summer. Me on the other hand? I dreamed of the day my mom would take me back-to-school shopping so I could pick out new binders, notebooks, and pencils. Honestly, not much has changed decades later, only I’m taking my new planner and pens to work instead of school. As the summer winds down and we find ourselves returning from PTO and shifting our focus away from rooftop bars and back onto our career goals, it’s time to stock up on work supplies. Read on for a list of back-to-work desk essentials (for both in-office and our WFH girlies) just as good as the school supplies you loved as a kid.





I don’t know how I ever lived without a planner, and once you start using one too, you’ll understand why. I love having all my project due dates, upcoming meetings, vacation days, happy hours, and more all in one place. If you prefer digital, that works too, but there’s just something about a paper planner that hits different.


Notepads and Sticky Notes

Call me old fashioned, but if it’s not written down, it ain’t happening. That’s why notepads and sticky notes are must-have desk products. Stock up for the season to make sure you’re ready for all the notetaking to come.

Cloth & Paper

Transparent Stick Notes

6 colors available


Pens & Pencils

If you identify with Rory Gilmore in that you’re a self-proclaimed pen snob, this one’s for you. As you head back to the office after summer vacation, make sure you’re fully stocked on all your favorite writing implements, especially since your co-workers have probably “borrowed” a few in your absence.



Late-night study sessions are (hopefully) a thing of the past, but the desire for colorful highlighters remains (speaking from personal experience here). Mark up documents or color-code your planner with these pretty pastels.


Desk Accessories

Coffee Warmer

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably known for microwaving your coffee two or three times a day. Save yourself a trip to the office breakroom and keep your morning beverage at the perfect temperature for hours on end with a self-heating coffee mug or warming coaster. You and your 2 p.m. slump will thank me later.


Seasonal Candles

OK so this isn’t necessarily essential for your desk setup, but a scented candle will instantly elevate your workspace and help you romanticize your 9-5. As we head into the colder months, one of the below options will help capture the cozy vibes of the season and make you excited to sit at your desk each day. 


A Cozy Blanket

Whether your office is criminally cold or you’re working from home in your favorite lounge set, a cozy throw blanket draped on the back of your chair is the perfect accessory—both for practicality and aesthetics. 

Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia | Target

Plaid Throw



Whether you want to enjoy your own private Taylor Swift concert, listen to the latest episode of your favorite podcast, or just want to block out ambient noise, you’ll want to keep a pair of headphones at your desk. If you’re often on the phone for work, consider opting for a headset so you can easily take calls during your lunchtime hot girl walk.


AirPods Max

2 colors available


Office Supplies

You may not be cutting and pasting anymore, but it never hurts to have all the quintessential office supplies available. Sets include a stapler, tape dispenser, and scissors to make sure you and your colleagues have the right tool for any office-related job.


Desk Chair

I truly believe that seating can make or break productivity levels. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day makes it hard to focus, so if you work from home or are lucky enough to pick your chair at your office, find one that’s both comfortable and supportive for long days sitting at your desk.


Ergonomic Chair

7 colors available


Cross Legged Office Chair

5 colors available


Storage and Organization

Desk Organizer

Have you ever heard the saying “tidy space, tidy mind”? If your space is cluttered, it’s difficult to think clearly. That’s exactly why a desk organizer should be included in your “back-to-work” shopping list.


Laptop Stand

If you’re constantly looking down at your computer for work, a laptop stand will save you from the pain of tech neck. Add one underneath your monitor to raise your computer to eye level for a more ergonomic desk setup. As an added bonus, most stands have shelves for organization.



Folders are on every school supply list from kindergarten to college and for good reason. They’re the easiest way for even the most unorganized of people to corral their loose documents and papers. As an added bonus, label each one or color code them for even better organization.


Clear Expanding Folders

4 colors available


Laptop Case

If you’re an overachiever and plan on taking your work home with you at night, a laptop case or sleeve will protect your precious cargo. If you’re accident-prone, opt for a padded waterproof version, but if you just want to avoid scratches an aesthetic leather sleeve will do the trick.


Laptop Pouch

3 colors available

Mark & Graham

Vegan Leather Laptop Sleeve

2 colors available


Work Bag

Your beloved JanSport or monogrammed L.L. Bean bookbag may still have plenty of miles left on it (I mean, the quality speaks for itself), but you’re probably due for a more sophisticated version. Trade in your canvas backpack for a sleek nylon or leather version or swap styles for a classic-looking tote or cross-body.


The Large Work Tote

4 colors available


Commuter Backpack

4 colors available



If you’re still brown bagging your lunch, it’s time for an upgrade. Not only is a high-end neoprene or leather lunchbox an improvement in terms of style but packing your lunch every day will help you save money instead of ordering in.

Dagne Dover

Axel Lunch Box

5 colors available


Insulated Lunch Bag

10+ colors available

Modern Picnic

Large Luncher

8 colors available


Personal Care

Blue Light Glasses

Speaking of staring at a computer screen all day, add blue light glasses to your shopping list. These yellow-tinted glasses block the blue light produced by electronics and can help reduce eye strain.

Pair Eyewear

The Larkin

6 colors available

Pair Eyewear

The Reese

6 colors available

Pair Eyewear

The Murphy

6 colors available



There’s nothing worse than realizing you have coffee breath or messy hair right before a big meeting or starting your period unexpectedly. Having toiletries on hand will help with any last-minute emergencies like these. Pro tip: store your items in a cute makeup bag or small pouch for discreet and organized storage at work.


Water Bottle

It can be tough to stay hydrated when you’re focused on getting work done, but keeping a water bottle at your desk can help remind you to take a drink. If aesthetics are important, there are plenty of pretty options available, but if you need all the reminders you can get, opt for a larger size with hourly drinking milestones to get those ounces in.


Hair Clips

This may not seem like an “essential”, but for those of us girls who simply cannot get any work done unless our hair is up and out of our face, this is an absolute must-have. Keep one at your desk and one in your work bag to cover all your bases.


Claw Hair Clip

6 colors available


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