8 Things Every Guy Should Have in His Desk Drawer

New to an office, or feeling like the one you're in isn't ready for all the shrapnel work throws your way? Load up on these eight essentials and be ready for anything.

I’ve had various jobs in my young career, including retail, non-profit, freelance writer and motivational speaker. Therefore, I’ve had the need for a lot of various items to be at my quick disposal.


I usually try to keep a little bit of paper and coin money in my desk just for that rainy day when I’ll need 50 cents or I’ll need to coin flip a task with a co-worker. I’m on a great winning streak lately so that quarter is coming in handy. At my home office, cash is always nice because a few of the restaurants I order from don’t take credit cards, so cash is a must for my late night food needs.

Plus, the Girl Scouts don’t take a credit card.

Thank You Cards

It is definitely manly to send a thank-you note. They are simple and very personal. Plus they are pretty inexpensive. Anytime you have a one-time meeting with someone or it’s a special occasion, you should thank the attendees for their time. As we all know, time is money. I may not have a good meeting, but when I get a personal note of thanks, it does help. And if it happened to be a great meeting, that person is likely to move further up my list.

Flash Drive

I think this is pretty obvious for having in your desk drawer, your man-purse, shoulder-bag or briefcase. I use mine to carry documents I reference frequently or to transfer files from my work computer to my home office computer. It is also nice when someone needs a file that is too big to email or you need to work on a document remotely or at the library.

Things in a desk drawer


Remember that garlic pasta you had for lunch with your co-workers? And remember that client meeting you had later that same day that you didn’t land? Oh yeah, garlic! Of course I’m not saying it had anything to do with it, but it could, so why take the chance? I have gum in my kitchen and my office desk. I buy a bulk pack at Costco and it lasts about a year.

Picture of Your Significant Other

While I have seen the case of having too many photos of your children and family in offices, a few on your desk or in your window is a nice way to not only dress up your desk, but also make it personal. It is for you, not your business meeting partners. I’ve heard people say that they don’t want photos of their loved ones at work, but I beg to differ.

At any moment of any day, I can look up and see a reminder of where I’ve been and the great life I’m living.


I like to keep a few flavors of tea in my office drawer. Some are green and some are black teas. That way, depending on my mood and my needs, I can quickly get a healthy, (yes, tea does have health benefits!) flavorful,  warm drink. And nothing shows sophistication like drinking warm tea all year long.

Moleskin Notebook (or something similar)

I personally don’t use a Moleskin, but something with a hard cover with artist quality paper on the inside. I haven’t completely bought into this notebook, but I am someone who constantly evaluates my processes and for now, I’m with this one. But it’s important for me to always have my notebook with me. It is where I keep ideas, thoughts, questions, and all my notes from meetings. There is never a time where I don’t know where my notes from a meeting are at.

Something Motivational

I have a few items in my office that are motivational including a painting I’ve made, a painting I’ve been given, photos I’ve taken and quotes I’ve been given. Those work for me.

I also have a small shelf for my favorite books that are currently inspiring me. These range from fiction to non-fiction, but when I see them, they inspire me to go after my dreams, keep fighting or simply spread love. We all have down moments and imagine what someone feels who comes into your office when they need a lift. Does your office offer motivation?

I know I have way more than these eight items in my drawer, but most of those items are convenience items or things I just don’t want to move. Keep in mind; this is a list for a general man’s desk and is not career specific. And for Pete’s sake, don’t let your desk be a mess!

Richard Dedor

Richard Dedor is a writer, speaker and personal coach dedicated to helping each person achieve their dreams. He ran for political office at age 18 and recently published his first book, Anything is Possible. You can find him at his blog Believe in Possible and on Twitter @RichardDedor.