Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Your Accessibility Conscience

Welcome to my office…Come on in!

Filed under: Work — by Glenda at 11:08 pm on Monday, August 15, 2011

Glenda's corner officeEarlier this summer I shared my temporary work space in gray, windowless CubeLand. I’d like to now share my bright, corner office where I spend way too much of my time.

With windows facing south and west, light floods in on sunny days. On gray winter days, the lime green walls keep the space alive and cheery.

Glenda's desk

Some of the features that make my work time a little easier and more comfortable include:

  1. Spill-proof silicone keyboard: A must for this workaholic who eats at her desk. No more gummed up keys!
  2. Traxsys joystick: Easier for me to control than a mouse. And, it doesn’t cause hand pain like using a mouse does.
  3. Wrist pad: Placed on the topside of the keyboard (rather than the bottom), I slide my hand along the pad while tying with my left thumb. It places my hand in a slightly different position than without the pad, which reduces the strain.
  4. Belkin KVM switch: Allows me to switch between my two computers; the latest with a 6-core processor and 4G of RAM was a surprise from my husband upon my return from CubeLand. Such a sweetie!
  5. Extension cord with switch: Flicking the switch is much easier than twisting a small knob to turn on my lamp.
  6. Oxford dictionary and thesaurus: Obviously a necessity for any writer to have handy. Sometimes I do look up definitions online, but I still like using a real dictionary and thesaurus. They also serve as a visible reminder that I am a writer.
  7. Seedlings growing in a can: Conference swag from Accessibility Yahoo – the best swag I’ve received yet. Most of that stuff ends up in the hotel room garbage can while packing.
  8. Wiskas All Natural Temptations: Treats to keep my cat content while I am trying to work. Product placement perhaps, but if it results in a blog sponsor, bonus! But I really do keep a package of cat treats at my desk.

In terms of software, these are my favourites:

  • Sticky Keys: A feature available in Microsoft Windows that enables me to do a multiple-button command (like SHIFT + M) one button at a time.
  • WordQ: Word prediction software that saves this left thumb several keystrokes. The “read” feature is handy when proofreading my writing. WordQ finally replaced my beloved EZ Keys.
  • TextAloud: The text-to-speech tool I use for creating the audio files for my presentations.
  • SnagIt: A handy screen capture and graphics program that I use almost daily.
  • FreeMind: An open-source mind-mapping tool that is largely, if not totally, keyboard operable. I use it for keeping track of everything I have on the go and everything I need to do.

My cat Faith sound asleep on the desk

And, of course, my office wouldn’t be complete without Faith, my Chief Feline Officer, in her position at my desk.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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9 Comments »

Comment by Tom

August 15, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

Interesting post, Glenda. Thanks for posting your workspace…makes me want to upgrade mine! Fascinated to see that you use FreeMind. I started fiddling with mind mapping software several years ago and it has changed the way I approach some problems. I usually use it as an ad hoc planning tool, but if I can type and tab quickly enough, I can capture great meeting notes, too.

Comment by Sue

August 16, 2011 @ 8:05 am

LOL Glenda! I love how you keep the left wing of your desk clear. For Faith. Who totally deserves her own spot in the sunny bright office!

Those seedlings in a can! I haven’t started mine yet, and now I’m feeling like a dork so am gonna go start mine right now! Best swag ever, too, cuz I love the greenery!

Love the windows! Such a bright comfy place to spend hours a day! :)

Comment by Glenda

August 16, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

Tom, thank you for sharing how you use mind mapping. I didn’t see myself as a mind-mapper; seemed too messy and then would need to retype content into Word to have anything usable. But FreeMind works for how I’m using it. Now I’m curious how others are using mind mapping.

Comment by Glenda

August 16, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

Sue, I’m thinking these desks are designed for pet owners, with designated space for our furry assistants. Faith doesn’t mind if there are a few piles of papers on her area; she excels at folding them her way and holding them down.

Did you start your seedlings in a can? They germinated in a couple of days. It was fun watching them poke their green heads through the soil.

Comment by Sue

August 19, 2011 @ 7:47 am

Hi Glenda! I did, I planted mine yesterday! I can’t wait for them to sprout, and then grow, and then… bloom!!

Your Faith sounds much like my Kassie. Last night I was sorting a pile of papers to be filed. I was sitting on the floor, with piles all around me. Kassie came over, and sat down right in the middle of the biggest pile. Well, OK, make that she LAID DOWN right in the middle. And then she got offended when I started actually filing the papers away!

My Costa (who passed away last year) used to edit for me. If I was editing anything, and set it down, he’d come over, lay down, and put his paw right on the paragraph I needed to work on. I still can’t figure out how he did that!

Comment by Glenda

August 19, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

Sue, enjoy your seedlings in a can! A little patience might be required though. ;)

Didn’t you know cats MUST be the center of attention, hence lying on the biggest pile?

Costa sounds amazing. No doubt his talents are deeply missed. Your Muse from above?

Comment by Sue

August 19, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

Oh Glenda! Costa was amazing. He is still my muse — I have his paw tattooed on my ankle so he is always with me. He is still deeply missed by both his “sister” and his mom! You would have loved watching him do his tricks (he would sit, shake, beg, and high five!).

As for the center of attention… oh definitely! And if you are not bestowing the attentions they know they deserve, they do NOT hesitate to let you know. The feline is definitely in charge in my house, and it sounds like she is in charge in yours, too!

Patience for the seedlings? Ack! I’m so NOT the patient type! But they are sitting here on my desk, so hopefully, I’ll have little green heads peeking at me soon!

Have a great weekend, Glenda!!!

Comment by 45 pounds in 45 days

February 1, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

Great post glenda! I noticed your plants and I gotta say I just put a couple around my desk and I see such a difference in my mood. Not to mention an increase in clean air doesn’t hurt either!

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