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Every person with a desk job needs a few office supplies. Even those who work from home will find some to be a necessity. Which supplies are basic and which ones aren’t?
Among the most basic office supplies are writing implements. Even if the majority of someone’s job is spent working at a computer, pencils and pens are needed once in a while. Along with the pens comes a notepad of some description. Depending on the length and frequency of use, a notepad may need to be a legal sized pad, or it could be a block of sticky notes. Sticky notes should probably be in every basic list of supplies, since they have so many uses. A worker will also need a holder of some kind for pens and pencils, even if his desk has a lap drawer.
Most desk workers will also need a stapler, scissors, tape dispenser, tape, letter opener, a calendar and a couple of storage bins. The bins may serve as in and out boxes, or they may simply be for paperwork storage. However, they will probably be used frequently. Stacking files may also be good for the “bin” purpose. Most people also find a box of tissues is among the office supplies they can’t live without. For those who use computers and CD software frequently, a small CD organizer is also a good item to have on the desk.
Many people also find that keeping highlighters on their desks is helpful, especially when marking text for emphasis. A ruler is another helpful item, as is a paper clip holder, stocked with both large and small paper clips. A letter opener should also be included among helpful office supplies. Those that look like a slim, serrated steak knife are useful and durable. Even if the person owns a personal digital assistant, having an old-fashioned calendar is handy, and can contribute to the individual feel of a desk. A home office should certainly have a ream or two of printer paper available, as well.
Office supplies are a continuing issue in my office. I order supplies, and I swear, some people must *eat* ink pens. They disappear.
A regular office supply order for my office will include a box of black pens, a box of blue pens, a dozen legal pads, a dozen steno pads and a dozen reporter's notebooks. Every couple of months, I'll order paper clips and sticky notes. Once a year, I get calendars and/or planners for everyone. That takes up a huge chunk of our yearly budget, but reporters have to have calendars!
I try to send off orders no more than once a month, and try to get people to conserve supplies. Sometimes it works better than it does others.
I have a black stacking file on my desk as my "in" box and a file on the right side as my "out" box.
I keep about three ballpoint pens, a pencil, a red china marker, a red ink pen, a Sharpie marker, sticky notes, a paper clip holder and a stapler on my desk as my major supplies. I also have a notepad and a box of tissues, scissors in my desk drawer and blank forms in the drawers, too.
Everyone is different, but those are the basics I need to get through the day. I also keep a container of "canned air" and screen cleaner in another cabinet. If I had them on my desk, they would disappear.