By Eric Yang
on 3.23.09

desk-office-drawer-essentialsA man’s workspace is an extension of himself. Men relegated to working indoors spend a majority of their time confined to an office or cubicle. This is Gear Patrol after all, so we’ll pose this question: is your office drawer equipped with the essential gear?

The essentials of an office drawer will inevitably vary from man to man. The image you see here happens to be the actual top drawer in my office (though, slightly more organized for this photograph). The motivation for the gear in my drawer is driven by one thing – what I tend to need on a regular basis. These items fit my particular lifestyle and may not be perfect for yours, so adjust accordingly.

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A. Crest Pro-Health Mouth Wash ($8)

I typically use mouthwash after my morning coffee, after a spicy lunch, before a meeting, or if I’m headed directly out to meet people for dinner or a drink. Bad breath appeals to no one. Crest is a great mouthwash that’s widely available and is alcohol-free.

B. Seagate Freeagent Go 320GB Hard Drive ($90)

My work necessitates that I keep a lot of large files and that I tote to and from work. I use a MacBook Air, and its internal hard drive is pathetic, so its nice to keep this USB-powered (no power supply) hard drive that’s super light and easily fits into a pocket. It’s also good to keep as a back-up for the documents you keep on your work computer. I typically back-up once a week (hey, you never know).

C. Lab Series Active Hand Cream ($15)

I wash my hands at least 12 times a day. Call me phobic, but when it comes down to it, New York is great, but it just isn’t that clean of a city (subway, street vendors, office bathrooms – all of which I use). I don’t carry around my own soap, so I’m relegated to the abrasive pink goo in all the dispensers. It’s hell on my hands, so I keep hand cream in my drawer to enrich my skin post-wash. Yes, you can be a manly man and still use hand cream.

D. Coffee People K-Cup Coffee Packs ($13 per pack)

A great way to save money is to not buy coffee out. Your morning Starbucks adds up over time (actually a Tall Brew of the Day isn’t bad). I switched to a Keurig Brewing System and K-Cups after reading Dusty’s post and have since been turned onto K-Cup Coffee Packs by Coffee People. At the moment I’m testing out Cowboy Coffee and Donut Shop Coffee blends. There’s always a dozen or so in my drawer and I’ve calculated that they save me approximately $400 a year based on my two-cup per weekday intake as compared to Starbucks. Not shabby.

E-F. Personalized Letterpress Note & Business Cards ($550 & $90)

I’m a sucker for great business cards. The cards that the Gear Patrol management team members use are created in the traditional letterpress printing method. In this day of modern social media, it’s nice to still have a quality business card that represent what you do. The response we get from ours is always positive and they’re immediately recognizable (read: remembered) down the road. We use a similar letterpress note cards, also from The Mandate Press for written correspondence. I keep a stack ready to go at any given moment.

G. Cole Haan Nappa Leather Cashmere Lined Gloves ($135)

Daily pedestrian commutes are cold during the New York winter, so having the proper work gear is important. These are a bit of a splurge, but wrapping your hands in cashmere and Nappa leather never, ever, gets old.

H. Banana Republic Tailor Fitted Lightweight Wool Slacks ($98)

Every guy knows to keep an extra clean shirt in their drawer (not shown here), but what about a pair of slacks? Yes. You never know what last minute plans (job interview, date, etc) will come up.

I. Original Penguin Sneakers ($50-$90)

I love a good pair of white sneakers just as much as the next guy. The problem is that they’re not conducive to work-attire, except on Fridays. Like anything, it’s good to keep options, especially with Spring around the corner.

J. Field Notes Memo Pads ($10 for 3)

Another daily work/life essential of mine is to keep a notepad on me at all times. The iPhone’s notepad serves in a pinch, but in meetings or otherwise I like to have the visceral feeling of writing on actual paper. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe it’s still the only way to take notes (forthcoming Apple Tablet rumors or not). These pads from Field Notes are svelte, have some handy measurement conversions on the inside back flap, and are a nice alternative to moleskins – especially with their khaki/safari aesthetic.

K. Uni-ball Vision Elite Pens ($9 for 3)

Recently I spoke about a few of the different pens available. My personal favorite is the Uni-Ball Vision Elite (micro) roller-ball pen. I keep plenty at the office and at home – for fast writing when taking notes, they can’t be beaten (in my opinion). Stop using that 10 cent pen.

L. Klipsch Image Headphones ($350 $200)

I wouldn’t normally propose using $300+ headphones, but I spend a lot of time walking and having a pair of light, high-quality headphones is important to me. There’s nothing like some Rush or Counting Crows on the morning walk. We reviewed the Klipsch Image Headphones a while back, and, to date, they remain my favorite pair of headphones.

M. 3M Post-It Notes Page Markers ($2)

Post-It notes are great and are probably the note-taking medium of choice for most offices (unfortunately?). I love Post-It notes, but my partially-sticky-paper of choice are Post-It Page Markers. I bookmark my notes, excerpts, and pages like a mad man with them. I keep a few colors, but orange (of course) is my bookmark of choice.

N. MD Skincare One-Step Daily Facial Pads ($48 for 45)

The amount of time I spend in the bathroom on any given morning usually depends on how many times I’ve hit snooze and when my first meeting is set to go down. That usually means that part of my morning grooming regimen takes place in my office. MD Skincare One-Step Daily Facial Pads are a life/timesaver. They’re specifically designed to address shaving-related skin issues and irritation, while providing moisturizing, nourishment, and antioxidants. They’re also great after a long day when your face needs some refreshment – it beats cold water in the bathroom sink.

O-S. Individual Packs

Purell Hand Sanitizer ($2), Visine Eye-Drops ($3), Listerine Fresh Breath Strips ($1), Crest Glide Floss ($1), Advil Single Dose Packs ($1)

T. Lifestyle SKYN Condoms ($13 for 18)

Hey, you never know what might happen after (or at) the office. Might as well be prepared.