5 Desk Organization Tips to Tame Your Tech

Overhead view of desk with computer, keyboard, laptop and notebook

“Happiness is a very small desk and a very big wastebasket.”
-Robert Orben

Chances are that if you’re busy, your desk has seen better days. The combination of wires, mobile devices, and various drives has probably gotten your workspace piled up with more technology than you care to admit.

Even though you need all the items that are on your desk, there are a few simple ways to clean them up and get them organized. Check out these five desk organization tips and get your tech under control now.

1. Cables

One of the biggest messes any computer user has to deal with is wires. Everything we use has at least one wire attached to it, making for quite the rat’s nest behind and on top of our desks.

Mini CableDrop cord clips

If multiple wires are your issue, something like the Cable Zipper is a great option. Wires are held together in a strand, stopping stragglers from heading in every direction.

If your cables are constantly moving around and falling behind your desk when unplugged, try the Mini CableDrop (pictured above). These will secure your wires to the desk while allowing them to move freely.

Need a little more cable management? Something like the Plug Hub might be for you. Wires as well as the power strip are kept in place and hidden away, making your desk much tidier and more organized.

2. Your Laptop

Many of us use a laptop-style computer for our day-to-day work. It comes in with us in the morning and goes home with us at night. This means that unlike a standard desktop machine, the laptop needs to be mobile and easy to take in and out of your office.

Belkin Zero Stand holding MacBook Pro

This doesn’t mean it has to just sit on your desk and take up valuable space, though. If you use an external keyboard and mouse on your computer, a stand that raises your laptop up off the desk to eye level is probably best, like this simple yet elegant stand from Belkin.

If you use an external monitor and your laptop just provides processing power, there’s an even cleaner-looking solution. You can stand your laptop up so it resembles a thin, barely-there tower that can easily fit behind a monitor or next to a desk. This stand from Cooler Master makes your MacBook Pro take up just about as little space as possible.

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3. Mobile Devices

It’s pretty common today to have at least a smartphone and a tablet computer with you at work. These commonly just sit on our desks taking up space. Worst of all, leaving your expensive devices at desk level leaves them open to damage from a water or coffee spill.

There are hundreds of mounts and stands out there for mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones, but the best ones are those that will work with your specific setup.

For example, check out the Une Bobine stand, which uses a fully adjustable 2-foot arm that mounts onto your USB port.

Stable iPad Stand pictured from behind

There are other stands, such as the OCDock, built specifically for the iPhone and Apple’s cinema displays, and for the iPad owner, there’s the simple Stable iPad Stand (above).

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4. External Drives

Most people have at least one external drive at their desk for additional storage or backup. These can be unsightly, not to mention a real pain to work around, especially if you’re aiming for a clean desk.

There are a few ways to get around this clutter. First, you can get an under-desk mount used for cable management like this one from IKEA and stand your drives on it. As long as they’re smaller in size, this should be the perfect hiding spot for them.

If you need better access to your drives, you might want to look into purchasing drives that are stackable, to save as much space as possible.

5. Everything Else

There’s a digital solution for just about everything on your desk right now.

Those papers you need to reference that are taking up space? Scan them using your iPhone or with something like the Neat Desk scanner to digitize them. Now not only is your desk cleaner, but those files are searchable.

How about that notebook you have for meetings? Ditch it and go for Evernote to keep notes in. Don’t have an account? Sign up here for free and start keeping your notes a lot more organized. (Or try OneNote for Mac.)

RELATED: 6 Reasons OneNote for Mac is Better Than Evernote

Finally, get yourself a wireless keyboard and mouse with rechargeable batteries. No messy cables, and they’re easy to move when you need more space on your desk. This will also free up USB ports for plug-in devices that need the extra juice – like that iPad that you’re using for notes now, right?

Bonus: Computer Desktop Cleanup

A final extra tip: Don’t stop at cleaning up your personal space. Your computer desktop could probably use a good cleaning, too.

Icons on the desktop take up RAM in your machine and also make it difficult to find what you’re looking for. Take a little time and go through those icons, deleting the ones that aren’t needed anymore and filing the ones that are.

Don’t be a digital pack rat. Honestly evaluate which files you need and those that you don’t. Try to keep no more than one to three icons on your desktop at any time. If you need more than that, use folders to keep the number low. Your computer and your brain will thank you.

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