We’ve all been there. You swear you had it “right here” and now you can’t find it. Lifting up one pile of papers after the other on your desktop of stacked stuff. You open up drawer after drawer and yes, you even look under the desk. If only you had a system that kept you organized. If only your papers, files, articles, etc. had a place where you could just put them within arm’s reach and not within another pile.
The Kate and Laurel team feels your pain. We know that a tidy workspace makes for a much more relaxing workday. So, we rounded up a few of our team members and asked them how they kept themselves organized and productive at their desks. Here are some of their best tips:
- Categorize what’s on your desk as: Now, Later, File or Trash (papers are the hardest to throw away, so be strong!) That’s a good start. You’ll need to categorize within your main categories but weeding out the distractions from each pile will get you well on your way to a tidy workspace.
- Zone your space: Work clockwise from left to right and get your workspace working for you. Think about the best setup for your workflow. Is the center zoned for your main focus or would you rather work on the left side? Put your monitor/laptop where it makes sense so you can reach it, but it’s not in the way when you need more space. Do you like your pens in a drawer or would you rather have them in a holder to your right? Take a minute to envision your flow and zone your workspace to go with it.
- Watch that coffee! Yes, your mother was right (the horror!) put that coffee on a coaster. Make it cute, and you’ll be inspired actually to use it. While you’re at it, make it a travel mug that won’t spill if you accidentally knock it over!
- An ‘In and Out’ box really works: whether you call it Active/Nonactive, Today/Tomorrow or just the traditional label of Ingoing/Outgoing, prioritizing your papers helps.
- Get good gear: Most importantly, you need fantastic, functional desktop organizers that work for you and leave you inspired not deflated. Make sure they are pretty, solid and functional! Luckily, Kate and Laurel has a large selection of file, folder, magazine, pen/pencil and laptop organizers with great options that are wood or metal and all in a variety of styles and finishes.
- Maintain your system once you have it looking and functioning to perfection. Go ahead and create those piles but at the end of the day, take 10 minutes before you go home each night to file things away neatly and make notes for the next morning, so you’re ready to start with a clear desk and clear mind!
Good Luck and remember to have fun with your style. It’ll make your workday so much more beautiful.