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Dissecting the Perfect Workspace

Essential tips and tricks for organizing your desk.

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Albert Einstein once asked, "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" We all know your office space can be a tricky thing to master. Even ol' clever Albert pondered the question.

Should you use your notes app for reminders, or keep it old-fashioned and opt for a pen and notebook combo? How about leaving your accessories out on display?

With the help of Michelle Setty, designer extraordinaire at Workscapes, a Florida-based office furniture dealer and interior design firm, we came up with a handy guide to create a stylish and productive workspace, a space that even the father of relativity would approve of.

Desk Essentials

Aside from paper essentials, desk accessories add a personal touch to your space and make your work less drab, more fab. Some of these can definitely be hidden away in a drawer to save desk space, but if styled the right way, your tape dispensary, scissors, and stapler can look like abstract pieces of art. Poppin is a modern office furniture site where colorful desk tools are taken to the highest level.


Toss the old black stapler. This colorful collection will keep the office culprits in check. Don't worry about stamping your name on your stapler either. Everyone knows that highlight green ensemble is yours and yours only.

Tech Essentials

Do you ever feel like there are too many cords in your life and somehow you can never find the one you need? Aux cables, phone chargers, computer cords...When does this string of madness stop?! Answer: When you add a cord catch to your desk. Chargers are an obvious must at work and with this item, you can anchor all your needed battery lives in one spot. You'll have the inevitable makings of a cluttered desk, but can instead enjoy a clean, cordless look for your workspace.

While you're at it, get yourself a weighted knot charger. These are simultaneously stylish and functional. See that bundle at the end of the charger? That serves to hold your cord in place. Genius. Plus, these cords are extra long, so say goodbye to the days of dropped cables and the no texting while charging dilemma.


Easy access to your cables and power decreases set up time in the AM and the PM. By removing these little nuisances, you'll stay on task much easier.

Paper Essentials

We get it. We're the app generation. Everything we do is digital, paper-free, and, if the wifi is good, done in less than two seconds. Still, your work area should include a couple of those ancient bits. When your eyes are straining, it's good to have your favorite pen and highlighter on deck to jot down notes. And stickies. Stickies will always be a must for mental notes. They're the OG of reminders.

Naturally, this section will be a little more cluttered, a little more tousled, and will show that there's a human working behind this desk, as paper clips, notes, and an assortment of your favorite writing tools are dead giveaways. But if you score some stationary from The Scarlet Letter, this section of your desk can be a beautiful mess.


Notebooks are great for to-do lists. To make your day easier, split your notebook in half. Use the front half for note-taking and the back half strictly for tasks. Also, wrap up your workday ten minutes early to prep for the following day. By jotting down the top five tasks you want to accomplish the next day, you'll know that you've finished your work for the day. So don't take your work home with you and enjoy that glass of vino stress free.


Business card holders, a cup of joe, and your work chair are the last three things to round out your perfect workspace. Replace that boring holder for a fun, patterned plate. It's not the conventional way to store your cards, but adding this personal fashion item makes your space look and feel like home. Another homely item to decorate your desk with is a mug. Everyone needs a morning, afternoon, and evening pick-me-up, so make it a cute one. This mug is here to stay.

Finally, the most important part of your desk is you. Where you sit and work needs to be as comfortable as your mattress. After all, you spend the same amount of time, if not more, on this chair as you do on your bed. Constantly adjusting yourself decreases your focus, which decreases your productivity. Plus, a bad chair equals bad body aches. Make your seat a good one, and you'll be on your way to CEO status, not a masseuse.


The items on the surface of your desk should foster the work you are doing, so if something isn't being used on the daily, put it in a drawer. Less is more and more is less. Take a seat. You're now desk-ready and all set to take on the workday.