I’m obsessed with Random House’s pinterest, particularly their ‘Essentials’ boards. So, in the spirit of sharing, here are some of my absolute must-haves for work!
Lipstick is the perfect accessory. You can change the color depending on your outfit, your mood, or the person you’re meeting with. Whether it’s a business meeting, or lunch with an agent/editor, I’ve got an arsenal of colors for every occasion. My current favorite is Sephora’s Crush 23. If you’re not a lipstick girl, my other go-to is Dior’s Addict Lip Glow (I hear Sephora makes a similar product as well, and for way cheaper). I can’t leave the house without it. It’s really more of a gloss that changes color based on your body’s chemistry to create a natural glow without all the fuss.
2. The Perfect Bag
My go-to is the Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Pretty Nylon Tate in medium. I have it in both the polkadot pattern, as well as a solid quartz grey (which is more of a light nudey tan), and will swear by them until my dying day. They fit your computer, manuscripts, shoes, a sweater, makeup, and lunch, all in one go. They’re ridiculously durable, and the fact that they’re nylon means they’re easy to clean. In my opinion, they’re worth every penny. I’ve had mine for nearly three years and they still look brand new.
3. Desk Calendar
I don’t know why, but I absolutely have to have a desk calendar. Every morning I sit down, turn on my computer, and cross off another day. Maybe it makes it easier to keep track of which day it is? I don’t know. But it’s fun to watch the months tick by, and see which pattern a new month brings. I’m especially loving the one pictured above from Sugar Paper, which I’ll probably be ordering for 2013.
4. Thank You Cards
I always keep a stack of thank you cards in my desk — you never know when you’re going to need one, whether it’s to thank a colleague for a nice lunch, an editor for sending books, or a client sending a Christmas gift. Lee’s Art Shop on West 57th Street in NYC has a great selection, as does Papyrus and Sugar Paper.
I’m in love with the Staedtler triplus finliner markers, and have been editing with them for years. They have a great color selection if you’re one for color coding, they don’t dry out (I’ve left mine uncapped for weeks at a time), and won’t bleed through paper. Not only do I use them for editing, I use them for sending the aforementioned thank you notes, signing paperwork, and sending inter-office memos. You can get them at pretty much any craft store, and I think even Staples carries them. If not, they’re super easy to order online.
6. Moleskine Planner
I would die without my planner. I’ve been using moleskine for years, and absolutely love the variety of layouts they offer. In college I used to use their weekly layouts, but now that I don’t have a billion assignments to keep track of, I stick to the XL soft cover monthly version. It’s just enough to keep track of my bills, vacations, and after-work shenanigans. The staedtler markers also work great for filling in my planner too, because I don’t have to worry about January’s vacation bleeding into February’s meetings.
7. No-Heat Curls
There are some mornings where I’d just rather sleep in than rush around trying to get ready. If I know tomorrow’s going to be one of those days, I can always count on no-heat curls to do the trick. Just wrap damp hair around a headband, sleep on it, and remove. Voila! Perfect curls and zero effort!
8. The Perfect Pant
JCrew’s Minnie is the best pant around, if you ask me. They come in a multitude of colors, are ridiculously comfortable, and look good with t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, and more dressy tops. I have them in three or four colors, and definitely plan on snagging a few more. They’re a little pricey, so watch for sales!
I like heels, don’t get me wrong, but I hardly ever wear them. I’m constantly running around the office, or the city, and I want to be wearing something comfortable. Lately it seems that I have a bit of an obsession with Nine West’s tasseled loafers, but my favorite pair are still the old, worn-in brown loafers I found at Goodwill for $1. If they’re flat and cheap, I’ll take ’em!
10. Magazines and Catalogs
My train ride in the morning isn’t the hour it used to be, so I tend to keep magazines and book catalogs in my purse for subway reading material. Right now it’s Vogue and Grand Central Publishing’s fall/winter 2012 catalog.
So maybe I don’t have enough time to read books on the train anymore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t listen to one! Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS is my favorite, and I just finished “rereading” it this week. Jim Dale could read me the phonebook and I’d still be enamored.
Honestly, I just hate carrying around a 500-page manuscript. This is way lighter, and much easier to keep track of.
What are your work essentials?