Question: What's the coolest gadget (high OR low tech) you have to help you keep your office space organized?
Question by: Ashley
Paint the Town Chalk!
"Our office is an inspiration cave. We can draw and write on every surface, from the white board to the conference table to the windows to the chalk walls. This allows us to not only go with the inspiration but also to visualize our projects and workload."
No More Post-Its With Asana
"After my teams switched to Asana for project management, I noticed there were far less Post-It notes, scribbles and half-filled sheets of scratch paper lying around my office. Entering and organizing our tasks in Asana was easier, and it has also eliminated the digital clutter of separate task lists and the old mile-long to-do list."
Move to the Cloud
"Move everything to the cloud, so you don't need any gadgets. If you look at your systems, it is highly probable that you can move many online, so you really don't need an office. Today, there is more technology than ever that can handle an increasing amount of tasks. Begin to move your work to the cloud and lose the office altogether."
Work the Whiteboard
"We whiteboard everything. From projects to team assignments, presentations to goals and numbers. It is extremely powerful to see your messages in big, dry erase markers every time you walk through the office. It reminds you why you are there and what you need to be doing. That keeps myself and my whole team organized."
Invest in IdeaPaint
"We turned our walls into large whiteboards so that no matter where we are in the office, we can write just about anywhere. It comes in handy with the studio setup that we have, and creates a great creative visualization for us too."
Keep It Simple With a Kanban Board
"We've tried all kinds of online apps for organization, and our favorite tool ended up being a physical 3' x 4' Kanban board. It's essentially a whiteboard sectioned off into four parts: to-do, in progress, done (waiting for approval) and icebox (ideas that we put "on ice" for later). We pin colored index cards to the board, and we move them from section to section as we progress."
Mobile Office Grid
"I use a product called Grid-It! by Cocoon to keep my "mobile office" organized. The Grid-It! is a board with a zipped storage compartment on one side and a mesh of elastic bands on the other. The compartment holds paperwork and discs, while the bands hold everything else (cables, gadgets, hard drives, etc). Simple concept, but it's made my carry-on bag far more manageable."
Adapt With Batteries
"I have a battery charger with a variety of different adapters. It allows me to plug most of the gadgets I carry around into it and recharge them. As an added bonus, I'm popular at conferences because I can always provide at least a little charge to anyone with a dying phone, giving us a chance to sit and chat."
There's a Job Position for That
"A Director of Operations is the best way to keep a business organized. Startups are all about swift changes, and a human can help you adapt and keep pace with those changes a lot better than any single piece of technology can."
Rotating Paper Files
"David Allen's GTD system recommends having a "tickler file." Basically, this means that you have a file folder for each month and then a series of folders labeled 1 through 31. As paper material comes into your life, you put it in the correct day or, if it's more than a month away, the folder of the correct month. This is a simple way to keep paper organized and accessible at the right time."
Evernote for Everything
"I scan everything into this program, then tag and sort it. It really takes away the need for me to have paper anywhere in my office. Also, whenever I need something, it is only a quick digital search away -- even from my smartphone!"
Monitors and Mice
"To me, this is a no-brainer, but I make sure every person in my office has a second monitor and wireless mouse. Most people are unaware of how much faster they become with a mouse and second monitor, and I make sure everyone has that opportunity. Some people resist claiming that they "work better on their laptop trackpad." Eventually, they realize."
Cordies for Cables on the Table
"The biggest source of office space disorganization is cords -- they're everywhere! Not only are tangled cables for computers a pain to look at, but they can also be a tripping hazard. Cordies -- starting at just $9.99 -- are available to help. Cordies, created by the cool crowdsourcing invention company Quirky, are design-friendly and effective in organizing stray cables."
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