What Are The 7 Desks of Highly Effective People?

What is your desk like and have you ever wondered what it says about you?

In our increasingly connected world, so many jobs require us to be ‘desk dwellers’ – and even if you’re not office based, you may well sit at a desk at home to do your accounts or surf the net.  I spend hours at my desk and it is ultimately one of the reasons I’ve had a bad back and needed to see a chiropractor recently!  But I’ll save that for another post sometime.

Today, I wanted to talk about the desks of highly effective people.  Why?  Because it’s fascinating, I think!  And maybe we can learn something about ourselves, as it turns out there are certain types of personalities that show through when it comes to your desk.

Inspired by the famous business manual, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Fellowes – a market leader in office products supply – has identified seven different desk typologies and the most common objects found at these workstations.  By researching this topic, they hope to highlight the different types of desk set ups that help us get the most out of our workspaces!

So let’s delve in and take a look – and maybe you’ll identify which type you are…

The Neat Freak

Neat Desk

Oh I wish this was me, but alas!  The super efficient neat freak always keeps their desk clean and tidy, with everything in its rightful place.  Files and systems are beautifully organised and maintained.  Everything labelled and logged.  You can bet their inbox is never overflowing.  The neat freak desk dweller can put their hands on any file or laminate a document at lightening speed.  Impressive!

The Creative Kid

Creative desk spaces

The creative kid finds inspiration everywhere and is always thinking about the next great idea!  Visual stimulation is key to their creativity – their desk will likely be surrounded by photos and editorial images, mood boards and inspirational quotes.  They love going on adventures and being inspired.  No doubt their favourite social media platform is Instagram and they’ll love to explore Pinterest, immersing themselves in a richly visual world.  They often make great problem solvers, too!

The Social Butterfly

Are you a social butterfly?

A bit like the creative kid above, but more outgoing and certainly a people-pleasing team player.  The Social Butterfly’s workspace will be surrounded by funny photos and reminders of great times with friends.  Confident communicators, their phone is always at hand and their systems may be a bit chaotic, with colourful post it notes of reminders or ideas everywhere!  Their wall planner will be chock full of social events, as well as work engagements!

The Number Cruncher

What desk type are you?

I have an in-built fear of Excel spreadsheets, so this one is definitely not me!  But if you love number crunching, income and expenditure sheets, graphs, tables and bottom lines, maybe you’ll relate to this desk type.  With your desk calculator, ruler and shredder for sensitive documents to hand, this is the desk of someone with great attention to detail.  Analytical, precise, logical.  The desk top is a practical and no nonsense space, free of distractions, to keep you mind focused on the task in hand.

The Nester

What your desk says about you

Are you a desk nester?  Typically, the nester makes their desk a comfy ‘home away from home’ with sentimental family photos, drawings by their children, thank you notes, their kids after school schedule and plants.  There’s a big cheerful mug on a coaster and a selection of flavoured teas and coffees to choose from.  Forget austere, this desk is like a big warm hug and the nester is a good listener, always happy to dole out advice and chocolate biscuits.

The Health Nut

Office personalities

The office health nut may make you feel a bit guilty!  With their giant bottles of water, healthy salads, nuts and seeds, break time yoga sessions and lunch time power walks, their noticeboard has the business cards of personal trainers and gym timetables pinned up.  Expect lumber cushions on their chairs and ergonomic keyboards to look after their posture and avoid strains and injury.  They’ll never be the last person to leave when it comes to office drinks as they’ve got to be up early for a run!

The Globetrotter

Desks of highly effective people

The Globetrotter lives for holidays and is always planning their next trip.  Their workspace is brimming with post cards and souvenirs from far flung places.  Their pencil sharpener is a globe and they can happily work from anywhere – an airport lounge, a European coffee shop, or cross country train – and they never forget their phone charger or sunglasses.  With an overnight bag ready packed, they are always up for attending a conference at short notice!

So there you have it; did you identify your desk type?  I think I tend to be a creative kid, but with a messy desk, so I need to get on top and hopefully become more efficient!


If this post has inspired you to get more organised, too, you’ll be glad to know that Fellowes are giving away a binder or laminator to help the creative process and enable you to manage your work area better.  All you have to do is share what YOUR desk looks like on social media using the hashtags #fellowes and #inspiringcreativity.  OR you can choose your Fellowes typology and leave a comment below.  Feel free to do both!  The giveaway closes at 12am on Monday 18th September and the winner will be contacted and announced shortly after.

Post written in collaboration with Fellowes

© Copyright 2017 Antonia, All rights Reserved. Written For: #tidylife


  1. August 31, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Oh my goodness, I think I’m the neat freak! My desk is always tidy – I hate when there’s just random crap on it so it gets tidied every single day and even now (looking around it as I sit here), everything is in its place – haha! I’ve never been one for moodboards either, as much as I love seeing other peoples’ because I would find it too distracting to have tear outs and things even in one spot 😉 However, I can assure you that my inbox is ALWAYS overflowing. So there’s that 😉 xx

    • Antonia
      August 31, 2017 / 5:34 pm

      Ha, definite neat freak tendancies then I reckon, in the nicest possible way! I aspire to be like that, one day when I grow up 😉 x

    • Antonia
      September 9, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      PS – I think the overflowing inbox is a curse on all bloggers 🙂 xx

  2. August 31, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    Ha! This made me laugh as I actually did that original course at work. I’m a cross between a neat freak and a number cruncher. Everything in its place and a place for everything. I just can’t help myself. It’s hard to leave my finance roots behind even though I do a much more creative job now 🙂
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  3. Sarah Mackay
    August 31, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    I’m most definitely a neat freak

  4. Emily C
    August 31, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    I’m a Neat Freak crossed with a Nester – I have a few personal touches but they’re all evenly spaced, tidy, and unobtrusive!

  5. Graham Ross
    September 1, 2017 / 3:02 am

    I do have neat freak tendencies

  6. Sheena Batey
    September 1, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    I am afraid my desk is not only not tidy but dusty and has remnants of various lunches still in evidence so no hope I am afraid.

  7. Angela A
    September 1, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    I’m mostly The creative (old) kid with a little of the nester and a lot of hoarder. Spring cleaning is something that happens to other people as a rule but I really should have a clear out and tidy up more often.

  8. Ritchie
    September 1, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    I’m the Globetrotter type.

  9. Chris Andrews
    September 1, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    l’m a hybrid . . . . part messy part organised . . . . so does that make me ‘morganised’?

  10. September 1, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Love this post! I have a post planned on my own desk for next week and this is making me rethink it now, hahah.. I def aspire to be the Neat Freak, but always end up in ‘Creative Kid’ zone (that’s the polite way of saying ‘a total mess’, right? ) x
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  11. Joo Dee
    September 1, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    try to keep my desk tidy for sure, would love a laminator always handy

  12. fiona waterworth
    September 1, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    my desk is decked out with sunderland parafanalia, seeing as I work in newcastle

  13. September 1, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    I find myself in all of those! Weird! Maybe I am just getting old!

  14. Anthony
    September 2, 2017 / 5:35 am

    Wow. According to this, I’m actually a neat freak. I guess I just never considered myself to be so “efficient”. But that’s definitely me. A big no-no to clutter. Even my inbox… Hahaha, how funny! But perhaps the other desk types sound a little more interesting.

  15. Megan Williams
    September 2, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    I am probably a teeny bit of all of those things but as a trainee accountant it would be wrong if I didn’t say the number cruncher!

  16. Denise Houghton
    September 3, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    I’d like to say neat freak but probably more like creative kid

  17. Kirsty Greer
    September 4, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    I am def The Nester x

  18. Susie M
    September 4, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Every Monday morning I start out as a Neat Freak. By lunchtime I’ve descended into a Creative Kid and stay that way until Friday afternoon when I tidy it all up and become a Neat Freak again.

  19. sarah birkett
    September 4, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    Out if the above I would say I was a number cruncher. I try and start each day as a neat freak but I dont seem to end the day that way

  20. Sidrah Ahmed
    September 5, 2017 / 1:06 am

    I am the neat freak

  21. Sanam Ali
    September 5, 2017 / 1:08 am


  22. Jo Carroll
    September 5, 2017 / 8:40 am

    I’m a neat freak…everything in it’s place is my motto 😉 x

  23. Chris Hobbs
    September 5, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I’m a Health Nut. Always a bottle of water on my desk and two bottles of vitamins for me to remember to take daily. I put fruit bars in my drawer and yes actually have my running shoes on ready for the lunchtime jog to save time getting out the door xx

  24. Gareth Evans
    September 5, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    My desk on my ship is pure globetrotter but then it would be lol

  25. leanne weir
    September 5, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    I’m actually in all of those which is quite worrying!

  26. hannah igoe
    September 11, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    I think i am the creative kid!

  27. Stevie
    September 15, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    This sounds a coincidence but my general rule is to not have any more than 7 items on any surface. Speakers count as 1.

  28. Caroline Blaza
    September 15, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Oh I think I am the number cruncher both at work and at home. x

  29. Jessica Barber
    September 16, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    I’m definitely a nester!! A desk isn’t complete without a hot coffee!

  30. carol boffey
    September 17, 2017 / 8:45 am

    im the creative kind

  31. Kim W
    September 17, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Well I seem to be a little of all 3 of these – Nester, Globetrotter and Health nut ! No extreme one, but a mix of each.

    September 17, 2017 / 5:13 pm

    I am a Social Butterfly

  33. Arabella Bazley
    September 17, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    I’m not so sure I can be pigeon-holed. I think I am a “Creative Nester Cruncher” with an occasional neat freak thrown in (there’s only so high the piles can get before filing/tidying has to occur) 😉

  34. Alison
    September 17, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    I am mostly the creative kid with a little bit of neat freak thrown in.

  35. Kristy Brown
    September 17, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Mine looks messy and unorganised – thejoys of working from home. I never seem to have enough time to get it sorted

  36. Vicky Robinson
    September 17, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    I’m a neat freak. I like everything tidy and organized so I can always find everything I’m looking for!

  37. September 18, 2017 / 12:33 am

    Im abit OCD! It can get a little messy at times though. But then i’m on it faster than you can say bobs your uncle! x

  38. Paula Phillips
    September 18, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    I’m the neat freak, I like there to be a place for everything so I know where it is.

  39. Champaklal Lad
    September 18, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    what desk, luxury item

  40. Natalie Gillham
    September 18, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    My desk is embarrisingly messy, which is why I’m now tidying it, thanks for the motivation!

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