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Make sure that you choose a sturdy desk that you can keep for a long time. It is better to dish out a few more bucks now then to have to replace your desk in a year. Also, find a desk that is at a height that is comfortable for you.
If you don't have enough money to buy a new desk, try visiting Salvation Army or a used furniture store to save money. You might also try building a desk from items you already have or need. You can use a door on top of filing cabinets, bookcases, milk crates, or another item.
2. Chair - You chair is one of most important items in your office. If you purchase a cheap chair, you could hurt yourself or hate working in your office. Choosing a good chair reduces fatigue and other pains that occur when posture is bad for long periods of time. Buy an adjustable chair (height, armrests, back angle, and lumbar support) so you can enjoy your office and avoid pain and injuries.
3. Bookshelf - How big your bookshelf needs to be depends on how much room you have left in your office after your workstation and chair are in place. My suggestion is to install your bookshelf right behind and above your desk. This way books are always at arms reach and you saved yourself a lot of room. Purchase as big of a bookshelf as you can. You will be surprised how fast it fills up.
4. Filing Cabinets - You will want to purchase at least a four-drawer filing cabinet. It is crucial that your filing system is organized and easily available
5. Telephone - It is important to get a telephone that has a hold and speaker button. It is a good idea to get a separate line for telephone and fax / modem.
6. Computer - The computer will most often be most expensive piece of equipment you purchase for your office. Because of large amount of variables involved we have devoted a whole separate articles just on this topic. Briefly, however, here are a few suggestions. These are broad strokes, read full article for specifics.
Your first decision is going to be operating system for computer. Unless you have a reason to choose otherwise, you are going to be looking at a Mac or a Windows machine. If you have experience on one platform you should stick with it. When you are working on your own without any kind of system support you want to use a computer you are comfortable with. All things being equal, if you are a graphic designer or desktop publisher use a Mac, anything else get a PC.
The second decision is who to buy machine from. Keywords here are reliable, reliable, reliable. If you are buying a Mac purchase straight from Apple. If you are buying a PC make your purchase from Dell. You may be tempted to buy from a no-name or even somewhere with a good reputation because price is mouth watering. It's your eyes that will be watering when your computer stops working at one A.M. with a looming deadline. You want good support; Dell is rated as best over and over by all publications that count.
Since we are on topic of support . buy service contract. If you are buying a Mac, that support is three years of "Applecare". If you don't buy straight from Apple your reseller may try to convince you their private support is as good, or even better. To keep it short, THEY ARE WRONG! I am yet to find third party support that beats Apple's. I have always found it to be worth money. As for Dell, purchase three years of onsite support. If you can afford to be without your computer for a few days you can save a bit by using their mail in service, but who can afford to lose those days.
Finally we are left with computer's configuration. This was probably your first question, but for most of you it is probably least important. For most part computer power is far superior to software that can run on it right now. Since new systems are constantly brought to fore we can't give specific numbers. The best buy for money is usually going to be a based on company's mid-level offering. The cheapest way to increase power in your system is by adding RAM, make sure computer you purchase has at least 128 mb. If you are a designer that minimum is 256 mb.
I hope this article has helped you plan out and design your office. Once you have purchased all necessary items, move them on in and start your freelance business. Good Luck!
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