Another option is to pick up a bead in your non-dominant hand and place it on the needle. This method takes somewhat longer to do, but is comfortable for some people. This method works well when picking up larger beads such as pressed glass or larger gemstone beads (4mm or larger) when doing beadwork.
In some cases, if you have a small pile of beads on a beading mat, you do not have to aim for a particular bead. Simply “stab” your needle into the pile and you will pick up one or more beads onto your needle. You can then add or remove beads as necessary.
Use whatever type of beading container (beading mat, bead dish, bead tray) is most comfortable for you, depending on where you are sitting and your surroundings.