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Weird Work Accessories You Might Actually Use

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If things are starting to feel a little bland in your work space, it might be time to funk things up in the office. Treat yourself to a few office accessories that might seem a little weird on the surface, but could actually help you out from day to day. Check out the following ideas for fun, funk and functionality.

Freewrite Smart Typewriter

Are you looking to unplug, but still need to write? Sit down and hammer it out distraction-free with a modern typewriter. Its battery lasts for weeks, it stores millions of pages and it's lightweight (just 4 pounds), so it travels easily. The Freewrite's screen is ePaper, not an LCD, so it'll go easy on your eyes and you can take it outdoors. You can also connect the device to the internet and back up your writing on the cloud via Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive.

Personal Zen Garden

It might sound silly, but picture it: Your mid-afternoon slump hits, right along with everyone else in the office. You and your colleagues are sick of looking at screens. You're stressed. You're irritable. You're in your head.

Enter: zen garden.

These miniature landscapes comprise natural elements such as stones and sand, which are deliberately arranged to reflect the natural world. Rearrange the stones and create swirling patterns in the sand to relieve stress and spark creativity. Buddha Groove sells a line of desk zen gardens, designed to bring the art of the zen garden right into your workplace.

Balance Ball Chair

Sitting takes its toll on your posture, mood and overall health, but there are ways to alleviate the effects. Consider a balance ball chair – preferably one with back support – to combat the negative effects of sitting. These chairs work to reduce back pain and improve posture, and some even come with wheels, much like a traditional office desk. PharMeDoc's balance ball chair features back support and lockable wheels to make your sedentary office hours a little better.

Eraser Dust Cleaner

Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but think about it: What's the first thing you do after erasing something you've written in paper? Sweep the eraser dust off your paper with the side of your hand. The cute and car-shaped Midori eraser dust cleaner picks up debris from your work desk just by rolling over it. Easily empty its contents into the trash after you clean.

USB-Powered Mini Desk Vacuum

Take it up a notch from the eraser dust cleaner and spring for a tiny vacuum for your work desk. And here's the kicker: It's shaped like an actual stand-up floor vacuum, complete with a wrap-up cord. Plug it in and embark on a mini vacuum session at your desk, to create both a cleaner work environment and maybe even a bit of zen (a la desk zen garden).

Wood Pencil Extender

Who writes with wooden pencils anymore? Well, if you do, this knick knack might help you out at work. The E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil Extender fits most standard-sized wooden pencils, so when your pencil gets down to its last few inches, simply insert it into the holder and you once again have a full-length writing instrument in hand. The pencil extender comes in a variety of vibrant colors, as well.

Portable Laptop Legs

Your desk at work probably already has a laptop stand, but chances are it's bulky, and not particularly pretty. These solid walnut laptop legs, on the other hand, elevate your laptop at an ideal angle for reading, typing and using the touch screen. They're aesthetically pleasing, to boot, and fold into a slim device to fit into their included carrying pouch.

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About the Author

Brenna Swanston is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She previously reported for the Sun newspaper in Santa Maria, Calif., and holds a bachelor's in journalism from California Polytechnic State University.