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Home Workspace

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  • Home Workspace

    I'm looking for advice on setting up a home workspace for a very small home, or possibly a totally portable option.

    I have everything setup and working well at Work with filing, supplies and everything arranged just how I need it, however, I feel that not having an area to work in/around at home is making things outside work slip.

    I don't think from a practical level that a dedicated home office type solution would work, we just don't have the space.

    Any advice on how to achieve either a solution that can be used and then packed away in a cupboard, or a totally portable solution would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    There's a wide variety of portable options now, because many people travel so much.

    First, if you can afford it, take advantage of portable technology like laptops and portable scanners/printers.

    I like those file boxes that look like milk crates. You can just move these around, and stash them in a closet when you don't need them. They don't take up permanent real estate like filing cabinets do.

    You will need some sort of surface to work on. This can be anything from a dresser, to a foldable TV or card table, to a traditional desk, to a plank mounted to the wall with hinges on the bottom that pulls down and is held up by wire. In my office, I have one of those old-fashioned desks that opens and closes - it is very small but perfect for a laptop.

    You need someplace for your pens, pencils, tape, etc. This could be a shoebox. I have mason jars lined up on a shelf.

    (My entire office except for my laptop is free, scrounged from things that were going to be thrown away, by the way)

    Finally, you need a place for your works-in-progress - your files, current papers, planner, etc. I just use my briefcase since much of that stuff goes to work with me anyway.

    You don't really need an ultra-traditional office - whatever feels organized will work for you.


    • #3
      Well, part of the answer comes down to how broadly you define your system -- do you include pens and pencils, for example? What about backup drives?

      In my home studio, I have the following:
      • Laptop, which contains my Next Actions @Laptop
      • Filing cabinet, which contains an A-Z general reference system and my tickler
      • Physical inbox tray
      • Clipboard, which contains my Next Actions @Home and Projects.

      That's the core of my system; it's all I really need to do GTD. Depending on the size of your paper filing needs, you may be able to trim that down to a portable filing box; I've seen ones about half the size of a box of copier paper.

      Does that help?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brent View Post
        • Laptop, which contains my Next Actions @Laptop
        • Filing cabinet, which contains an A-Z general reference system and my tickler
        • Physical inbox tray
        • Clipboard, which contains my Next Actions @Home and Projects.
        Just to echo Brent's setup - mine is very similar. My home "office" is a laptop, inbox, file cabinet, and a notepad.

        The laptop travels with me, the inbox sits on an end table, the file cabinet sits in a low-traffic area of the living room.

        - Don


        • #5
          Before the birth of our daughter, we had to move the guest bedroom furniture into our home office to make room for the nursery furniture. In the process I lost my home workspace and I felt lost for a time. My wife had her own computer desk but I didn't feel like using hers as I wanted a space I could call my own.

          After a while, I was able to put my home desk which is really just a small dining table in our bedroom. All I have on there is a lamp, a cup with some pens, a portable printer, my personal laptop, and my work TabletPC. Whenever I bring work home I bring it in a cardboard box and I pull out what I need when I need it.

          If I could have more space I would, but this is so much better than what I had for a while. The biggest downside is having to do work in my bedroom which is better suited for rest and relaxation.