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How to organize your workspace for writers

How to organize your workspace for writers

Close your eyes and imagine your ideal workspace. What do you see in your mind’s eye?

My vision takes me across the planet to the utopian island of Bora Bora, but my bank account quickly beckons me back to reality. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Here’s the honest truth: Where you write impacts how you write.

While you may be able to eek out fantastical tales in a less than desirable setting, you don’t have to and you shouldn’t. In my experience, it’s a lot harder to write something epic and moving when your desk is cluttered, you’re overlooking the dumpster, and your chair is more uncomfortable than Thanksgiving dinner after an election year.

The writer’s workspace is a sacred environment where you should be alone with your wild and inexhaustible imagination. Every element of your workspace should be slave to your creativity. This is your profession– you shouldn’t be forced to work or live with inferior tools.

That said, I acknowledge that we’re all working with a finite budget. Therefore, the ideas below apply to those who are able to invest in a full makeover and also to those who can only afford to rearrange furniture in the room.

Let’s get started.

Choose the Right Workspace

All writers should have a dedicated work space even if:

A. You don’t work from that space all the time

B. Your workspace is literally a converted closet in your bedroom

As we’ll discuss in more detail below, your workspace will house all of your writing stuff, from pens and memory cards to inspiration notebooks and edited manuscripts.

If you have a dedicated space for your writer’s office, you can skip ahead to the next tip. But if you’re like many writers who have to create a workspace in the corner of your living or dining room, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right space. Choose a space that:

Provides at least some privacy – You’ll need to be alone with your thoughts and eventually teleport to the world of your characters. That’s hard to do when others are around and in your space.

Has little to no foot traffic – Don’t set up shop in the middle of a high-traffic area. The less people who walk in and out of your writing zone, the better.

Here’s a list of 10 inspirational workspaces for writers. Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

Consider Where You Sit

How to organize your workspace for writers

You’re a writer which means that you’ll spend quite a bit of time on your tush. For this reason, you must give thought to where you’re sitting.

As a young writer, I foolishly thought that I could get by with a cheap chair. Wrong. After a while, the chair felt like a medieval torture device and it constantly distracted me from the process of writing.

If you’re only willing to shell out $20 bucks for the big box special utility chair, you’ll soon regret your decision. You need a high-quality, ergonomic chair (preferably one with good ratings on Amazon). Look for a product that provides lower back support and helps you maintain good posture. Also, if possible, sit in the chair before buying. If you can feel the frame– it’s not the right chair for you.

While this post is sensitive to those with smaller budgets, please don’t skimp on your writer’s chair. Save up if you have to and buy a chair with a price tag that makes you doubt your sanity temporarily. Trust me, it will all be worth it when you’re able to stand up for your chair and not clutch your back in pain.

Make Room for Standing (or Running), Too

Although I’m a big fan of sitting, perhaps you’re a fan of standing.

You’re not alone– standing desks are popular these days and for good reason. Standing can be great for your posture and offers a host of health benefits. Research shows that a standing desk may reduce heart disease, lower the risk of developing blood sugar, and improve your productivity.

But as a writer, you probably don’t want to stand up all the time, so it’s a good idea to get a convertible desk. There are two main ways you can go about this:

  • Buy a (pricy) motorized desk that allows you to go from sitting to standing at the push of a button
  • Buy a bar height desk that you can pair with a bar stool

The second option is cheaper however, if you opt for a non-motorized, bar-height desk, you’ll likely have to settle for a less than ideal writer’s chair.

A derivative of the standing desk is the treadmill desk, which is exactly what it sounds like: a desk attached to a treadmill. To me, this also sounds like a medieval torture device. I prefer to burn my calories the old fashioned way: Typing really fast when someone comes in the room to pretend like I’m actually working.

But if you prefer exercising while world building, there are plenty of options available for buy or DIY.

Declutter

A cluttered desk will not inspire creativity.

Step one is to remove anything on your desk that’s not absolutely necessary for the writing process (or your inspiration). This includes junk mail or other random doodads that have no place in your writing workspace.

However, if there’s anything worse than a cluttered desk, it’s this: Successfully cleaning off your desk but then having no place to put it all.

Therefore, your perfect writing space must have storage space. You need someplace to hide, or rather store, your necessary but ugly stuff.

Add Multiple Screens

How to organize your workspace for writers

Although not a necessity, having multiple screens can truly boost your productivity. Imagine having one screen dedicated to storytelling and another screen for research or looking at your outline. Alternatively, your second screen can be used for all non-writing related tasks, like checking emails or getting caught up on social media.

Multiple screens seems like overkill to uninitiated but give it a chance. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll love having everything in front of you without clicking through screens.

Display Your Inspiration

Your desk shouldn’t be all business.

Surround yourself with art, photos of travels or loved ones, treasured books, and other trinkets that remind you of who you are and what you adore.

Stumped on what to include in your office? Start with nature. Green plants can serve as a muse and bring life to the room, both literally and metaphorically. Plus, they help circulate the air in the room. Yay for health benefits.

Remember that your workspace should be a place where you actually want to spend time in. Fill it with things you love and want to see.

Over to You

What are your favorite and least parts of your current writing space? Let us know in the comments below.

Here’s a list of 10 inspirational workspaces for writers. Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

If you’re tired of your daily routine and want to shake things up a little, then I have good news for you: There are plenty of different ways to set yourself up for success each day. Whether you’re a pen and paper to-do list type or a block-by-block scheduling kind of person, you have lots of options to switch it up and see what else works for you.

Here are 12 different ways that you can structure your workday and keep things interesting.

The most common strategies for success involve structuring the day by the time. That is, finding out if morning, afternoon, or evening are the most productive periods for you to work, and sticking with it. (TeamGantt)

You can also model your day after looking at what successful people do, and seeing what works best for you to emulate. (Forbes)

If you need a more detailed structure to stay on task, check out this hour-by-hour plan for an ideal work day. (Quartz)

Want a more productive morning? Ditch the emails and do something exciting for yourself first. (AllBusiness)

Another way to motivate yourself to get stuff done is by visualizing what your tasks are instead of writing (or typing) them out. (Zapier)

The ultimate routine doesn’t just stop during your hours at the office—it accounts for nutrition, exercise, and plenty of rest. (The Huffington Post)

You can also take a peak at what the rich live like, though Ramsay at Blog Tyrant explains why that may not be the best goal to strive for. (Blog Tyrant)

Are you someone who needs creative energy to get work done? Here’s how to schedule your tasks to achieve peak creative performance. (Fast Company)

If fulfillment from your position, along with productivity, is what you’re after, try tricks like having a single goal each day to drive your motivation. (Pick the Brain)

And don’t try to switch it all up overnight—you’re better off making simple changes . (Freelancers Union)

Are you a freelancer who gets to set your own hours? Check out these schedules of other freelancers to get an idea of how you can spend your time. (Site Point)

Not ready to completely let go of your regular routine? No problem. Instead, you can start small by organizing your to-do list differently to see what works for you best. (The Daily Muse)

How to organize your workspace for writers

A clean, polished workspace can improve your productivity. Getting rid of clutter alleviates anxious feelings so you can focus on your work instead of cleaning. To prevent clutter from building up it helps to put in place organizational systems. Having a spot for everything will make you feel calmer and ready to tackle any project that comes your way.

Here are 10 ideas to take your office from chaotic to clutter-free so you can get down to work.

Keep Desk Accessories Clean and Simple

How to organize your workspace for writers

If you organize anything in your office, make it your desk. You’ll feel a lot better if it looks organized. The best way to achieve that is to purchase a few efficient and visually-pleasing accessories that can give your desk a streamlined look. This desk from Fancy Things keeps clutter off the surface with a cup for pens, a magazine holder for folders and small journals, and a stacked drawer unit on the far left that blends in seamlessly with the desk and wall to keep papers and other small items out of sight.

Bring in Plenty of Shelving

How to organize your workspace for writers

No closet, no worries. Use open shelves to organize and style your home office. In this office by designer Joanna Whittaker, the two white shelves put a substantial amount of empty wall space to good use while leaving enough room for a floor lamp. The chic arrangement is kept organized with the use of two large baskets on the bottom shelves that hold the messier work items. Keep books on shelves from looking too disorganized by keeping them in order using sturdy and decorative bookends.

Customize a Working Wall Calendar

How to organize your workspace for writers

Placing a calendar on the wall helps you keep a better eye on your planning needs. The result? You’ll feel far more efficient and in control of your time. This DIY calendar system from Polished Habitat adds coordinated and customized glamour to an office with other gold accents. Three frames were painted gold on the inside of the glass. White tape creates the boxes and dates can be written in erasable ink or pinned with sticky notes.

Organize Items in Cubbies

How to organize your workspace for writers

Do you have hard-to-store inventory or need to display items for guests who come to your home office? If so, a cubby system can be your best organizational tool. This stylist’s cubby bookshelf elegantly holds jewelry and accessories. The beauty of a cubby system is that it’s naturally neat, symmetrical, and perfectly proportioned to give the appearance of organization. Slide decorative storage baskets into cubbies to hide items small or items that would otherwise look disheveled.

  • Featured Stories Slider
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Anya Gruener, Video Editor
January 18, 2021

With “National Clean Your Desk Day” on Jan. 11, it is important to keep your workspace clean to maximize your productivity, especially when attending class online. Students shared organization tips and how they organize their own workspaces.

Online school has forced many students to work from home, and that means many messy desks. With ‘’National Clean Your Desk Day’’ on Jan. 11, it is important to keep your workspace clean in order to maximize your productivity. Over the online learning period, many Gulliver students have learned hacks and items which make having a clean desk easy and quick.

“I have to use a certain level organization I didn’t use before because I’m spending a lot of time at home,” said sophomore Ainsley Kling, who is currently attending school in-person but is used to switching between physical and virtual classes. “I have pen holders and pencil holders for mainly stuff that’s not as commonly used, and I also have a little filing cabinet for all my schoolwork and a bookshelf for all of my books that I use for school.”

Other students are still finding it difficult to organize their workspace.

“When managing my workspace, I’m not used to this so my desk is kind of a mess right now,” said junior and virtual student Ethan Melendi. “I try my best to keep it organized, but sometimes that doesn’t work out.”

All in all, students are trying their best to keep their workspaces clean during this online learning period.

“During this online learning period, I’ve had to adapt to life from home,” said freshman Olivia Johnson. “On my desk, I usually have a pencil holder, a few papers, and a few books. I don’t really like having any distractions on my desk because then it’s hard for me to pay attention to school.”

Online learning has been tough for all of us, but by keeping your workspace clean you will be able to maximize your learning. This is Anya Gruener, reporting for The Raider Voice.

So what if you have a messy, unorganized desk?

When someone hires you to do a project, you get it done. On deadline.

And your client never thinks about the state of your office. Why would they care? Or would they?

How to organize your workspace for writers

Creativity or conventional thinking?

Working at a messy desk can help you think more creatively and stimulate new ideas.

So says a 2013 study by U of Minnesota professor Kathleen Vohs and fellow researchers (see the abstract here.)

On the flip side, they found that working at a clean desk promotes healthy eating, generosity, and conventionality.

As a B2B copywriter, which do you prefer?

And which do you think your clients are looking for: creativity or conventional thinking?

My bet is that more clients are looking for writers with fresh ideas and a new way to tell the company story, rather than a stale, been-there-done-that approach that won’t engage anyone.

However, studies done in 2010 show that a mess increases stress and can cost you almost two weeks a year in lost time.

The bottom line seems to be that a mess can boost creative thinking—but it costs us time and money.

How about a happy medium? What about creating a somewhat controlled mess, where everything has its place but there are plenty of kooky, fun items to keep us inspired?

Now is the time to create that kind of stimulating but functional office space for yourself.

We’ve had very few entries in That Messy Office Contest so far, so there are some sweet prizes up for grabs.

And there’s still plenty of time: three weeks until the deadline.

To help you along, we asked an expert for some tips on dealing with office clutter.

Some professional organizing tips

How to organize your workspace for writers

Virtual assistant Brenda Spandrio is happy to talk about messy offices.

After all, she was once known as The Declutter Lady.

During her time, she saw some doozies. In fact, the photo above is from one of her clients!

And she learned the main reason why people’s offices get overwhelmed by clutter.

Spandrio says the biggest issue for her clients was always ineffective decision-making.

“Decisions are essential to making progress on any task or project. And those decisions do not have to be extremely complicated,” she says.

“The only real decision you need to make is this: What is the next action to take regarding this (book, letter, craft project, notes for my next project)?”

Spandrio’s recommended process for making decisions starts with asking yourself the following questions.

What is it? Identify the item or information.

What’s the next action? The bill has to be paid, the invitation answered, or the research incorporated into your white paper.

When is it due? If the required action takes just a minute or so, take care of it immediately. Otherwise, schedule the date into your planner.

Who needs to take the action? Can you delegate this to someone else?

Even independent copywriters often have bookkeepers, and some have virtual assistants to take care of many administrative chores related to the business.

Spandrio herself now works as a virtual assistant, doing exactly this.

Who else needs this? For an invitation, you will want to pass the particulars on to others who are included.

For a white paper, you may need to e-mail a query to your client, or circulate your next draft to all the reviewers.

Where will I put this, so I can find it when I need it? Don’t think about where you should file something. Consider where you would expect to find that information next time you need it.

When there’s a date associated, make sure to note that in your calendar. You can also jot down in your planner where you put a certain item.

Set up some “holding bins”

How to organize your workspace for writers

Spandrio highly recommends having a “holding bin” of some sort for things you haven’t dealt with.

For example, a basket on the counter can hold the mail until you’re ready to process it, instead of tossing it on the dining room table in a disorganized pile.

The ideal process is to have a specific time when you deal with these “incoming items.” At the appointed time, you take one item, make the appropriate decision, and then put it in the next place for further processing.

Sometimes that place will be its final home. Other times it will be a different holding bin.

“When the mail comes, I have a specific place I put bills that will be paid. I open the bill and jot on the envelope the due date and the amount,” Spandrio notes.

“I have a reminder in my Outlook calendar that pops up on Wednesdays and Fridays to pay bills. I can quickly see if any are due, and take action.”

The point of the process, says Spandrio, is to keep each item moving forward by considering the next action in sequence.

Postponing a decision is not procrastination if you assign a specific date to make your decision and then put the item in an appropriate place where you can easily find it.

And that’s not in a pile on the floor.

Getting clutter-free

Looking at your clutter, you may feel pretty hopeless. But rest assured; you can get organized.

After all, Spandrio says she wasn’t born that way. But through personal coaching from someone more organized than her, she learned to make faster—and better—decisions.

We’ll bet you can too.

And after your office is all cleaned up, make sure to enter That Messy Office Contest 2016. We’ve got prizes in two categories: Messiest Office and Most Improved.

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How to organize your workspace for writers

Owen Williams

Jul 11, 2018 · 18 min read

How to organize your workspace for writers

It’s might be easier than ever to write everything down, but I swear it’s harder than ever to find anything.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and over that time I’ve stumbled across so many tools that promise to make me more productive, better organized, or ultimately, a better writer.

Despite all of those promises, I’ve struggled to cobble together a workflow that actually made me more productive without it falling over itself, and until recently, just wrote straight into a CMS out of frustration.

I make a li v ing from crafting sentences, from both writing posts like this one, to UX copywriting, so I’m writing constantly but actually organizing my digital brain has been impossible until recently because it was slathered across four different tools, each with their own prescribed workflow.

Switching to Notion changed everything for me.

I realize the irony that comes from writing something about how another tool in my workflow has helped organize my life, but it’s impacted the entire way I write, do business, plan my day and so much more.

Here’s how I’m using Notion, and a look at why it’s been transformative for how I write — and think — on a daily basis. I hope it helps you get started, and provides a way to jump off for your own sweet setup.

Being organized isn’t natural for me, so I’m a sucker for tools as a way to workaround my own limitations and hack my brain into getting stuff done. Before I switched to Notion as an all-in tool for both writing and organizing my life, I used a dizzying array of tools that didn’t really work with one another.

Here’s my original workflow, which I’ve now replaced entirely with Notion:

Minimal writing: Dropbox Paper / iA Writer
Discovering distraction-free writing tools was something of a holy moment for me; for years writing apps were covered in buttons and features that didn’t really add much value, and made you write in a layout that looked just like an A4 piece of paper.

Before switching from Mac to Windows, I wrote directly into iA Writer, particularly because I loved that it was able to handle Markdown natively. While this was great, it had some flaws: it was inherently not shareable with my writing clients, and I’d forget to save all the time.

After switching from Mac to Windows I used Dropbox Paper because it’s superb at just getting out of the way of the writing process, it helped me focus on just the piece at hand and it didn’t require remembering to hit the save button all the time.

Planning/task management: Trello / Todoist
Kanban is the new cool, and Trello was go-to app for organizing my workload, writing ideas, phases of projects and whatever else I could think of. Trello’s workflow focuses only on Kanban, which I used heavily to track the phases of projects, including what’s in the backlog, due dates and comments about the project itself.

To track thoughts or ideas relating to the task, I just commented on the card directly. The only problem? Actually remembering to check it and keep it up to date.

As for the everyday tedium of life, which certainly needs basic checklists, I would use Todoist to manage these with my partner. Shopping lists, books I wanted to read, house chores and more lived there, with no particular rhyme or reason to them.

Notes, research and more: Google Keep
For random scribbles, ideas and whatever didn’t fit anywhere else, Google Keep was a perfectly fine place to brain dump. If I had a random thought that needed a place to live, it would go right into Google Keep, probably to be lost forever.

As you can tell, my brain was scattered across a bunch of disparate tools. If you’re in Trello, you get Kanban, and you’re going to be using that forever. Notion is different because it’s the only tool with a philosophy of allowing you to mold it into whatever you need it to be.

Sally is a writer, speaker, and communications coach. She teaches her clients how to express themselves with power and impact.

Are you part of the creative class that works mostly from home? Are you a freelance writer trying to make a living from your craft or do you write just because it satisfies a creative need and brings you joy? No matter what you reason for writing—for profit or pleasure—if you work from home, you’ll want to create a writing space that is all your own.

Whether you have a large home and you have separate room to write in with a door, or you’ve set up your computer in a nook underneath the stairs just off the kitchen, these tips for setting up a beautiful writing space at home will make any work in progress feel like a blooming bestseller!

How to organize your workspace for writers

Whether your writing space is simple and understated or grand and richly appointed, you can make your space more warm and welcoming with a few simple tricks.

Create an Inspiring Ambience

Is your chair comfortable? Do you have fresh air flowing around your desk? Is the lighting strong enough, or is it too bright? Can you position your writing space in such a way that you can use natural light for most of the day? Having a healthy, fresh work space will keep your energy levels up and encourage you to write more frequently and with greater enthusiasm.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Working under natural daylight is so much nicer than working under bright office lights. Make sure that you also have good task lighting for when you are working in the evening or on dark, gray winter days.

Keep It Clean

Finding a calm, inviting, and inspiring workspace doesn’t mean that you have to have a fancy desk or a pretty view of the ocean. Your writing space doesn’t need to be big, just big enough to hold your favorite writing tools, books, and mementos. If you have a small space, especially a small space in your home, guard it carefully. Keep non-writing clutter at bay. Don’t let your workspace become a catch-all dumping ground for things that don’t serve your writing practice.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Even if your writing space is a table pushed up against as wall, or tucked into a corner, keeping it clean and tidy will make the space feel less cramped and more spacious.

Limit Distractions

Choose a place to write that helps you to stay focused on your work for reasonable amounts of time. Keep non-work gadgets at a safe distance away from your writing space. TVs, video games, and other electronic appliances including vacuums, dishwashers, and washing machines can distract you from your writing projects. Soon that pile of laundry you stopped to do will divert you to the dishwasher that needs to be loaded, and then “Oh, the floor needs sweeping!” Before you know it, your house is clean, but you’ve fallen behind on your writing project deadline.

A woman must have money and room of her own if she is to write fiction.

Make Yourself Comfortable

This is your home office and you don’t have to ask your boss for permission to modify your workstation: you are the boss! Here are some things that you can do in your home office that you probably can’t do at work:

  • Choose your paint colors. No more boring corporate beige! Paint the wall above your desk a color that makes you feel creative and full of positive energy.
  • Create your own playlist and crank it up to whatever volume you like! Do some of your favorite songs contain NSFW lyrics? No problem! If you like to listen to music when you you write then set up a good quality sound system, whether it’s just your iPhone with earbuds or a surround sound system hooked up to your desktop computer.
  • Sitting for too long is now recognized by many health professionals as a serious concern. Unfortunately, not all office managers and bosses agree and many people who work outside of the home have to sit all day. But when you work from home, you get to decide how long you sit and stand each day. You could consider designing a writing space that has multiple surfaces of varying heights and then move your laptop or keyboard to sitting and standing heights throughout the day.
  • Use feng shui to help you chose the best place to position your desk. For example, ideally you should position your desk in what’s called the command position, that is, you are sitting facing the door so that you can see anyone who enters your room. There is nothing worse that being caught up in your writing, head down, eyes glued to your paper or screen, and having someone walk up behind you and scare the living daylights out of you.

A Glimpse Into a Few Famous Writers’ Hideouts

How to organize your workspace for writers

Prolific writers such as Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw turned ordinary woodsheds and garden cottages into private writing retreats.

Mark Twain’s writing space was painted a glorious shade of deep red. He brought in a large pool table and placed it in the center of the room. After all, when you’re faced with a spell of writer’s block—as all writers do—taking a break for a bit of play time is always a smart idea.

Virginia Woolf, who famously said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” did most of her writing in a toolshed with a garden view, a plain wooden table and an oil lamp.

Like many writers, George Bernard Shaw preferred to work in solitude. Of his writing space, whick consisted of a white painted desk, a wicker chair, and a typewriter, “People bother me. I came here to hide from them.”

You can check out gorgeous pictures of the studios, offices and hideouts of some of the world’s most creative people at thewritelife.com.

The most important thing in designing your writing space is that it makes you feel like a serious writer, with serious work to do—even if you are writing as a hobby. A good writing space will inspire you to be disciplined. It will make sitting down to work every day feel like a treat.

Check out the video montage below of gorgeous home office ideas.

© 2017 Sally Hayes

Comments

Isla Fanning on January 21, 2020:

I think the author’s idea is really good.

Sally from Fort Worth, Texas on April 13, 2017:

Nice article. It’s very helpful.

RTalloni on April 12, 2017:

Nicely done article with interesting tips on creating an optimal space at home for writing projects. This post would be useful to anyone working from home because it could help them think through their particular needs.

Inspire productivity in your office with these DIY storage solutions.

How to organize your workspace for writers

For most people, a cluttered workspace makes for a cluttered mind. Not only will having an organized desk look more inviting, but it’ll motivate you to get to work, especially since you won’t have to clear paper piles and junk out of your way to make it happen. Browse through these super-smart desk organization ideas to find simple yet highly effective ways to tidy up your space, whether it’s in your home office or at your 9 to 5. With pegboard walls, DIY organizers, and color-coordinated dividers, you can give all of your office supplies, documents, and planning materials a designated spot. That means you’ll know exactly where to look when you need something, and you won’t have to rummage through cluttered drawers along the way. As a result, you’ll have a stress-free space that lets you focus on what’s really important: taking care of business.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Expand your work space with just a few taps of a hammer, making room to store extra tech items or books. It’s also a clever way to display artwork; you can easily swap in new frames or layer pieces that you love.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Make sure you have enough space on the top of your desk to read, write, and work by hanging organizers straight to your wall. Attach a cork board to keep your calendar, schedule, or to-do list in clear view, and fill mason jars with all of your office supplies.

How to organize your workspace for writers

With a pegboard backdrop, you can customize your office to store supplies, hang decorations, or a mix of both. But if you want to make the most out of your space, attach wire baskets, shelves, and cup holders before you go all out with decor.

How to organize your workspace for writers

If you’re still a fan of pen and paper, make sure you never run out of writing room by attaching peel-and-stick chalkboard tape straight to your desk. That way you can jot down notes with a chalkboard pen and then wipe ’em away when you have new ideas.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Keeping function and style in mind, color-coordinate your office and craft supplies in clear jars and matching bins. Take advantage of free wall space by sticking them on lined shelves rather than using up prime desk space.

How to organize your workspace for writers

If you opt for a modern desk design, stick a complementary storage caddy near one of the desk’s legs to hold all of your work must-haves.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Every desk needs a lamp, a pencil cup, and a knickknack or two, but keeping everything strewn across your desktop makes it difficult to get to work. Make sure there’s a clear space to keep your computer and plenty of empty desk space to write and spread out.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Keep your favorite photos and trinkets neatly within eyesight without cluttering up your workspace.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Take a cue from Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth and DIY a desk organizer from wooden boxes to hold your to-do list, pens, and notebooks. (FYI: This easy project doesn’t involve any hammers, nails, or drills!)

How to organize your workspace for writers

Can’t help but keep things on your desk? Tidy up your notes, documents, and supplies by arranging them in a clear acrylic tray.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Old postcards and notes don’t have to stay in stacks on your desk. Tack them on the wall next to some of your favorite art to create a fun display.

How to organize your workspace for writers

With this nifty keyboard tray, you can keep your laptop or notepad safely stowed when not in use.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Follow Marie Kondo’s lead and only hang on to things that spark joy to prevent your desk from becoming the catch-all spot in your house.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Conquer your desk drawer junk with an assortment of acrylic organizers. Keep sticky notes, business cards, and flash drives in their own compartments to easily grab and go.

Related To:

How to organize your workspace for writers

Stylish Home Office With Open Shelving

Keep your desk surface clear by adding a book spine to your space. This home office’s open shelving allows magazines and books to be in close proximity while freeing up desk space.

Photo by: Chris Tsambis

Hide Cords

Electrical cords can become a tangled mess inside a drawer or desktop. Use a small, stylish storage container to store and hide all the wires.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Organized Home Office Desk

Electrical cords can become a tangled mess inside a drawer or desktop. Use a small, stylish storage container to store and hide all the wires.

Use Mason Jars As Cubbies

Keep all your writing utensils organized and at hand by putting them in Mason jars right on your desk.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Mason Jar Office Supply Holder

Make your own utensil case by turning a few Mason jars on their sides and gluing them together. Each jar can hold a different type of writing utensil so you don’t have to search through a messy drawer for your favorite highlighter.

Install Open Shelving

Keep the desk surface clear by adding a book spine to your space. These easy-to-build shelves allow you to stack magazines and books in close proximity while freeing up space on your desk.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Vertical Book Storage

A spine bookshelf keeps books organized with a minimalist design. Books and magazines blend in to the shelf, almost giving the illusion that they’re floating.

Use Drawer Dividers

Large drawers are great for storing paperwork, but small desk items should be separated into small sections with drawer dividers to help keep everything organized.

How to organize your workspace for writers

Cardboard Drawer Dividers

Large drawers are great for storing paperwork, but small desk items should be separated into small sections with drawer dividers to help keep everything organized.