The Most Productive Desk Setup Ever

Okay, fine. That title is clearly clickbait. Desks aren't productive--the people behind them decide how much work actually gets done.

But a good setup helps, and I have optimized mine to an irrational level. Part of it was a desire to kill every excuse I could ever have to do subpar work.

The Specs

Before I upgraded to this system I had a few requirements in mind:

  • Must be Sit/Stand capable
  • Must be Youtube- and Zoom-ready (no trashy webcams allowed)
  • Must use an ultra-wide monitor (for editing video and to have two windows open side-by-side)
  • Must run entirely off my Macbook Pro, so that it takes <30 seconds to pull my Macbook out of its case and get to work

How it Works

Note: most of this design is courtesy of DSLR Video Shooter on Youtube.

The 34" monitor connects to the Macbook with a Lightning cable. This means that the cable that connects the Macbook and the monitor both sends the signal and charges the Macbook.

The Sony camera uses a $15 unit that fits inside the battery compartment. This replaces the camera's battery with steady power from an outlet, and the camera is always on.

The camera's signal is fed through a Camlink 4K and into the Macbook. From there that input acts just like a regular webcam--except that it's ridiculously high-quality.

The light is there for illumination during Zoom calls and Youtube video shoots. It also doubles as a therapy light to help me wake up quicker or stay awake longer.

I use both a mouse and a trackpad. The mouse is ideal for most of my work, but the trackpad is great for working in Figma and Photoshop (pinch zoom ftw).

The Goods

Upgrading your own desk setup? Here's a list of the items that went into mine:

Ikea Skarsta Sit/Stand Desk ($240)

LG UltraFine 34" UltraWide Monitor ($1400)

CamLink 4K ($130)

Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse ($100)

Twelve South BookArc Vertical Desktop Stand ($60)

Apple Magic Trackpad 2 ($130)

Apple Magic Keyboard ($100)

Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera ($900)

Sigma 16mm Lens Bundle ($400)

NEEWER Microphone Boom Arm ($15)

Rode VideoMicro Microphone ($60)

Andoer Travor LED Light ($200)

VESA mount no. 1 ($40)

VESA mount no. 2 ($20)

VESA mount no. 3 ($20)


Folks will drop $3000 on a mattress because "30% of our lives are spent in bed".

But that 30% rule roughly applies to our desks as well. Since I've started using the UltraWide monitor, there's no going back for me. Invest in your desk setup and see what it does for you.