Sunday, January 5, 2020
Day 5: Organize Your Nearest Desk Drawer
Somewhere, not too far from where you work with your desktop/laptop computer, there is a drawer. Not the big kind that can hold hanging folders, but the shallow kind that can turn into a bit of a junk drawer unless you're careful. The nearest desk drawer should be within arm's length as you sit to do your genealogy research, and there are going to be things that you will want to keep in it and things that you won't want in it. So let's think about that for a moment.
What kinds of things might you want in your nearest desk drawer? Certainly a few backup pens in case the one you keep on your desktop runs out. You don't want to have to get up and look all over your office for a replacement pen.
If your keyboard or your mouse is the type that uses rechargeable batteries (at home my keyboard is, and at my full-time job, both my keyboard and my mouse are), then you'll want both the replacement batteries and the recharger in the drawer so that you can swap out for good batteries. Again, the objective here is to have only things in that drawer that will keep you working, without significant interruption.
Although I'm not much of a paper-advocating guy anymore, you might want to keep some yellow sticky notes in your side drawer. They can be handy for just writing down a name or a number that is needed very briefly. Keep some tape flags there too, in case you want to mark up a document or magazine article for someone else to read (or to review yourself later).
What else should go in there? Scissors, and some kind of letter opener for the mail. An extra USB flash drive or two, in case you need to temporarily transfer a file from your desktop/laptop computer to a computer elsewhere. If you have a corkboard on the wall behind your computer display or otherwise nearby, this drawer can also hold a small supply of push pins.
Other than the extra pens (which you won't need often), all of the other items I've mentioned can go into a tray that rides at the top of the drawer. The tray can be slid back to access the storage underneath for a few remaining items, such as return address labels, bookmarks, deposited checks (until you reconcile them every few weeks with your statements), and a straightedge.
You can probably think of a few more things that might fit in the drawer that could be useful, such as magnifying glasses or extra charging cables. But less is more. Keep the number of items down either by throwing away things that are no longer needed anywhere or by moving the items to other parts of the room or elsewhere in the home because you don't really need them very often. What you don't want is to spend time wondering what is in the drawer (because there is so much in it) or searching through it because one thing is on top of another.