Here at the Strategist, we know that finding the “best” product really depends on exactly whom you ask, which is why we’ve devoted a new series to squeezing in as many informed, trustworthy opinions as possible. And we’ve come up with dozens of ways to do this, among them: surfacing reader reviews from across the internet, taking quick polls (among our most insane friends and fellow shopping-obsessed Strategist editors), and partaking in some advanced internet snooping.
For this story, we’re rounding up the best bulletin boards to help you stay organized and zuzh up your work from home (or school from home) space. Our picks range from the oversized cork board John Krasinski used on his quarantine news show to the linen bulletin board writer Alice Gregory recommends as a gift.
Expert Approved: Bobby Berk’s home office upgrade
If anyone knows how to update a space from blah to actually stylish and functional it’s Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk. When working from home became the norm for most of us we asked the interior designer for a bunch of tips on making the most of any home office. To create a custom bulletin board near your desk Berk suggests hanging this roll of corkboard to the wall with brass tacks. The rolls come in two thicknesses and measure 4-by-8 feet, allowing you to easily cut them to the size you want. Berk has also used this on top of his desk to prevent scratches.
Snooping: John Krasinski’s Some Good News Bulletin Board
John Krasinski’s web series Some Good News, filmed in his own home, was a bright spot during quarantine that the actor filmed from his own home — often sitting in front of a giant bulletin board. We reached out to him to find the exact brand he used, but so far we haven’t heard back. In the meantime, this one looks pretty similar, comes in multiple sizes up to 8 feet long, and has excellent ratings on Amazon.
Ask a professional: writer Alice Gregory’s stylish bulletin board
When we asked writer Alice Gregory to recommend gifts that other writers might actually like, she pointed us in the direction of this linen bulletin board. Whether it’s for organizing plot lines in an upcoming novel or keeping track of invoices, this stylish bulletin board will make any home office look much less chaotic — and might even curb procrastination.
Snooping: a professional organizer’s pick for remote learning
Boston-area professional organizer Michelle Kenney recently posted a photo to her Instagram of a shared study space with matching back to back desks and matching bulletin boards. The boards feature a corkboard for pinning photos or important notes, a dry erase calendar for scheduling, and a convenient shelf to hold the included dry erase pen and eraser. They come from Pottery Barn Teen and would definitely make a great addition to a high school or college desk setup. But we think they’d be nice in a grown up home office too.
Expert Approved: a less expensive student pick
Here’s a much more affordable bulletin board that’s also half whiteboard and corkboard. It was recommended by 17-year-old student Pratika Katiyar in our article about upgrading study spaces at home. Katiyar keeps the two-sided board right next to her desk, planning out each week on the whiteboard and pinning important papers to the corkboard. She says it has helped her “visualize things so much better.”
Snooping: an interior designer’s desk nook solution
Interior designer Paloma Contreras was recently featured in Architectural Digest along with 20 other designers and their work from home spaces. Her space, a desk nook with a bulletin board backsplash, may be on the small side, but she makes use of every inch filling the space behind her computer with a warm beige linen-wrapped bulletin board. You can recreate her setup by ordering a similar board sized to fit your particular space. This one from The Corkboard Shop comes in a bunch of different standard sizes (or you can have one custom made in whatever size you like) and you can choose from a bunch of fabrics including a very good linen dupe for the one Contreras has.
Cinematic classics: the bulletin board from The Usual Suspects
In the 1995 thriller The Usual Suspects, an aluminum-framed bulletin board from a company out of Skokie, Illinois, plays a pivotal role. In fact it’s the brand, Quartet, and the place where it was manufactured that helps special agent Dave Kujan discover the true identity of Keyser Söze. Of course this bulletin board is not the exact same model as in the film — it’s been 25 years after all. But it is framed in aluminum just like the one in the movie and it’s made by the same company.
People’s Choice: a highly rated and stylish bulletin board on Amazon
Dozens of customers who bought and rated this bulletin board positively called it good-looking and more attractive than other bulletin boards. “This is the most tasteful bulletin board I’ve found after lots of looking,” says one five-star reviewer. Another happy customer called it pretty and classy, saying “It doesn’t take away from the room décor, it adds to it.” In addition to how nice it looks, reviewers also say that it’s sturdy and easy to install. A customer who gave it five stars says “I needed a way to organize all my notes and odds and ends. This looks much nicer than the typical cork board, and it’s sturdy enough for my purposes. Came with easy mounting instructions and hardware. All you need is a level and a hammer.”
Quick Pick: a Strategist writer’s pick after an hour of research
Though I like the idea of norm core style office supplies, I set out to find a bulletin board or several that look sophisticated and don’t remind me of school or homework. None of the above quite did it for me though I liked the gold accent on Gregory’s pick. Then I found this pair of bulletin boards (you can choose between the oval or the rectangle shape) from Pottery Barn Teen and fell for them right away. First of all I love a matching set, though you technically you have to buy these separately, and they would definitely zhuzh up a home office or bedroom study space. They are linen-wrapped and finished with thin gold frames making them perfect for decoration and hanging photos or creating mood boards. But they’d also elevate a coffee stained receipt or post-it note reminder if need be.