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A look inside Tim’s OneNote office

Tim Cowley is a OneNote Software Development Engineer in Test, a Star Trek aficionado and a star in our music video, OneNote Mac–The Song. Check out his annotated guide to learn about all the awesome toys he keeps in his office.

In March, my team celebrated the launch of OneNote for Mac by singing a song and making a music video. If you missed it, check it out—I’ll wait.

A few folks have asked what some of the items are in my personal toy collection/art gallery/clutter/productivity nest, shown in its natural state in the music video. I have a lot of neat toys! Here’s an annotated version of the picture.


  1. Orange balloon from the launch of Office for the iPad. There was a (big) party.
  2. My windows Vista Beta disc collection box. The Vista Boxed Set, as it were. Sadly I only have Beta1.
  3. My awesome earphones which I don’t need to use very often.
  4. A Hoberman Sphere that sort of looks like the supernova remnant in Cassiopeia. Supernovas are awesome! They fuse together the heavy elements like iron and make complex chemistry possible.
  5. My highly customizable Microsoft-standard monitor stand (currently holding a couple of pictures of my spouse).
  6. OneNote water bottle.
  7. The Longhorn Everyday Objects sample pack for designers, sans the material samples. They were these neat rectangles of frosted glass and metal.
  8. A subtly-placed Canadian flag.
  9. All my awesome toys! It’s time for a sub-list:
    1. Plastic dinosaurs from when we sent someone a Jurassic-Park themed care package.
    2. Lego Treebeard, Gandalf, Saruman, Grima Wormtongue from the Orthanc Tower set–the Tower is off-frame.
    3. Domokun. Sometimes I make him jump up and down while I say “developers!” over and over.
    4. N64 promo fiber-optic display, lit up 24/7.
    5. Those wooden building blocks from ThinkGeek with the channels that you can roll a marble through.
    6. Tearaway papercraft models, the main character Atoi, and the computer and squirrel. I’m working on more. Atoi was really difficult!
    7. The Monolith from 2001.
  10. My walking-pace treadmill (paid for by the company! Yay, ergonomics!) that I use to keep my back in shape while I work.
  11. Ergonomic, adjustable chair and desk, which keep an old man like me (I’m 36) able to do software.
  12. Heavy-duty desk-mount support arm, currently holding my weighted companion cube. The cube has little cakes in it.
  13. The Weighted Companion Cube cookie jar.
  14. My 27″ iMac, Windows Server 2012 box, 17″ Alienware laptop, 15″ Macbook Pro. You’ll love it here, doc, we got all the toys.
  15. Ship-it awards for Vista, Office 2007, Visual Studio, Windows 7, Visio, various versions of .net and OneNote.
  16. My couch.
  17. On the couch is a rare Microsoft giveaway item, the OneNote-branded waterproof duffel bag.
  18. The “I love the way we talk” KIN poster. I was really looking forward to this product and almost bought one!
  19. An isometric Silverlight poster. I worked on Silverlight and really liked the poster!
  20. The pack-in blueprint posters from Wing Commander 1.
  21. My two giant windows that I can look out of while I work.
  22. Did you notice I’m wearing a Star Trek TNG commander uniform? It’s pajamas I ordered from ThinkGeek, and I wear them to work every day. Editor’s note: Tim did NOT wear this uniform on April 1. [Tim’s note: the tragedy was that no one noticed my April Fool’s joke.]

My personal favorite thing in this picture is the simple fact that I have the freedom to decorate, clutter up, and organize my office however I need to in order to be productive.

We would love to hear about your favorite thing about your office or workspace–tell us about it in the comments.

Tim Cowley


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