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Have you ever wanted to have more desktop screen space but didn’t want a big, expensive PC or iMac? I felt the same way and decided to convert my Macbook Pro into a dual-screen while sitting at my desk in front of an external monitor.
When I started YouTube channel in 2017 it was tough on such a small display with an older laptop like my 2010 13″ MB Air; however, I upgraded this year got a new 15″ MacBook Pro for video editing purposes – accessories are shown below are what makes up today’s work area.
The best part about this setup is that you save money by using an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse instead of buying a desktop computer.
This setup cost me under $500 and a new iMac starts at $1200. Win!!
One of my students asked me to show her how I set this up, she found it so useful that I thought that I would share it with you here as well.
Here’s my current desk setup:
1. MacBook Pro : I have the Space Grey MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 and 16 GB Memory)
2. Apple USB-C Adapter:
This part is worth its weight in gold.
- a usb-c port (which I use to plug in my power cord)
- a hmdi port (I use this to plug in one of my computer monitors)
- a standard USB port (I plug in the USB port extender that is listed below from Anker)
Note: Be sure to look for a hub that is compatible with the model of your laptop.
3. Anker USB Port Extender: The best thing about this port extender is that you can use it for other things like charging your phone or other USB devices.
4. External 27 inch Monitor: When I bought this monitor it was under $200.
5. Palette Gear Expert Kit: This was a gift from my husband and I had no idea what it was when I opened it but now it’s my favorite thing when editing videos. This kit allows me to use my hands for editing instead of using mouse clicks. I am able to edit by using the sliders, buttons, or knobs on this kit. Highly recommend.
6. LogicKeyboard with Adobe Premiere Pro CC Shortcuts: This keyboard is another helpful tool to use when editing videos. I love that the keyboard lights up and is easy to navigate. This is a definite for any video editor using Premiere Pro.
When I’m not sitting at my desk, I love to use this keyboard skin with shortcuts for my Macbook Pro keyboard!
7. Apple Magic Mouse: I have the one in Space Gray to match my MacBook but I love this mouse so much and to me it’s worth the money.
Budget-friendly: Wireless White Mouse: I love how this mouse fits in my small hand and it’s also great for photos for my blog or social media like this one below.
8. Logitech C920 Webcam: As an online educator, I use my webcam a lot. For live streams, accountability calls with my students and recording quick training videos for my YouTube channel. This one has been great, but this is the upgraded version.
9. JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom. Flexible Tripod with Ballhead Bundle: This tripod is super versatile. Great for when sitting at my desk but also good on the go. My next tripod will be this one though, the SwitchPod.
10. Yeti Blue Microphone: I get so many questions about this microphone and while it is a good mic, i find myself just using my headphones from my iPhone more often out of convenience. 😉
11. Ikea desk add-on topper: My desk is from pottery barn but this desk topper is from IKEA and it is amazing for making this whole setup work. I’m able to gain more storage on my desk and have a place to store all of my cables and laptop when I’m sitting at my desk. Highly recommend!
And even though it’s from IKEA, you can order it online and it was way easier to put together than most IKEA furniture!
12. Rifle Print Co Prints (Blue botanical print, Rose botanical print) : I get a lot of questions about these prints and even though they aren’t technically on my desk, they do help my home office desk view look nice. I used these brass frames from Target.
Other helpful resources:
The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a youtube channel
Want see how it is all setup? Click below to watch the video:
The best part is that you can still use your laptop when you’re not sitting at your desk so it feels like you have two setups.
If you found this post helpful, I’d love it if you share it on Pinterest or with a friend.