Desk for Success

The type of workspace you keep says a lot about you. Not only to the people around you (we all have that coworker with week-old takeout containers on their desk), but you can also learn a lot about yourself.

So, before you even think of tackling workspace organization, take stock. Do you tend to work better in a totally clean space, or does a more chaotic and creative environment push you to do your best? Total honesty with yourself is essential — your workspace should ultimately function for you, after all.


Once you’ve assessed what kind of work environment you prefer, get to organizing. The following tips will help you purge what you don’t need, tidy up what you do, and increase productivity:

KonMari Method™ with a Twist
Instead of keeping only the things that spark joy (notebooks and pens don’t really make me happy, but they do make me productive!) keep only the things you use. Do you have a stack of books on your desk that you never open? Donate them. What about that desk calendar you bought in January and never use? Recycle it. (And make a mental note not to buy one next year.)

For papers and files, we recommend a binder with a few sections. If a paper isn’t worth punching holes in to store it, it’s not worth keeping.

Reduce Visual Clutter
Keep only what you reach for multiple times a day on your desk.

For me, that means my computer (obviously) and a pen cup with a few pens and a highlighter. Everything else is can be neatly organized and stored in a drawer or a filing cabinet. Don’t have a drawer? We recommend keeping staplers, pushpins, tape, etc. in a box on your desk to reduce visual clutter


Purge the Post-Its & Pads
Sticky notes and legal pads are convenient tools, yes, but they’re a waste of paper and create visual chaos. Try using your phone’s notepad, or your computer’s Stickies app.

If you’re a die-hard physical paper kind of person, try to consolidate. Instead of having a legal pad, a notebook, and a bunch of sticky notes, try keeping a single notebook or a custom binder planner. We love the customizable binder and inserts from Appointed.  

Eat Somewhere Else
Not necessarily an organization tip, but an important tip nonetheless! Not only does eating at your desk reduce productivity (nobody can actually multitask!), but it’s distracting to coworkers. Plus, moving around is good for your health, and changing your surroundings sparks creativity.

Make sure to go through this process every 4-5 months or so (things pile up!). Taking just an a half hour out of your workday to organize and refresh your workspace can make all the difference.

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