Regardless of if you work in an office or in a spare room in your home, everyone knows your desk is command central. The state of my desk typically reflects my ability to work for the day. Messy desk means less productivity because I’m constantly distracted by the clutter. A clean, organized and efficient desk means I’m in the work zone and can crank out some much needed work and get several items checked off my to-do list.
I have come to find that in all the desks I’ve had in my life, I have several must have items that absolutely must be present for me to be efficient in my work. Keep in mind these must haves have traveled with me through both the non-profit world, corporate jobs and into my current profession as a consultant. I have also been able to get some awesome products from a brand new company that I want to share with you. Here are my must-haves in order of importance:
A Notebook organization system. I use notebooks for everything. I’m old fashioned that way. I have tried to compile notes on my computer through the years, but I always revert back to pen and paper. My notebooks are all together in one place in my office. Each notebook is labeled with the main topic that I use it for to jot down notes. For instance, I have two notebooks for all my blog work. One notebook is my organization and planning notebook and the other is a brainstorm notebook. One notebook is reserved for my random thought processes and for jotting down new ideas as I come across them. The other notebook is very methodical and linear. It’s full of schedules, post topics, cross marketing plans and strategies.
I have a simple magazine holder for all my notebooks so I always know where they are. I also just got a six journal gift set. The journals are already labeled with titles like “Dreams,” “Successes” and “Actions” for easily organizing your thoughts. Plus, they came in an adorable holder with little colored pens to write in them and a cute set of magnets for further creative inspiration.
Business Card Organizers. Everywhere I go, I collect business cards for both business and networking purposes. Keeping these business cards organized is an absolute must if I want to be able to reference them appropriately. If you are good with names, then any business card organizer that allows you to alphabetize your cards is a good find. But I’m not very good at that, so I use this a desk business card organizer. It gives you tabs to organize your business cards by category rather than name. The categories include “Personal,” “Opportunities,” “Prospects” and more. The other thing I like about this particular organizer is that it’s stylish. I don’t have to have a generic business card organizer anymore. I can use one that is both nice to look at and functional.
A Calendar. I have two calendars on my desk at all times. One is my appointment calendar. I use a PlanAhead calendar that gives me both monthly and weekly views to keep track of both personal and business appointments. On my desk is another adorable desk calendar so I can schedule things quickly when I need to. Plus, it gives an extra feminine touch to my desk. Keeping your calendar within arm’s reach when you work is a must so that you avoid double-booking yourself and so that you can pencil in “heads down” time when you have to have a few hours to get some much needed work done.
Pen and Pencil Holder. Since I love to use pen and paper, I keep all my pens, pencils, highlighters and other writing tools in one spot that is easily accessible when I’m working. Finding one that fits your style and keeps everything neat on your desk may take some time, but the extra effort is worth it.
Keeping your desk organized is the first step to a more productive work day. Since I spend an awful lot of time at my desk, I also want to be comfortable there. Do you cringe when you look at your desk or do you feel at home? If the former is how you feel most often, some easy changes to your physical desk top is definitely in order.