Ben Brooks:

An additional note: I keep the smart cover as you see in the picture. This allows my left hand/wrist to anchor the iPad in position while I write — and keeps the iPad feeling much thinner (hand is held higher because of the cover and iPad is lower than if the cover was folded behind it) than if I were to fold the cover back behind the iPad. So while it looks a bit silly, it works much better this way and feels more comfortable.

Ben is extremely particular about what ventures onto his desk and in what form it stays on his desk. There has to be a reason for every item. Otherwise, it doesn't fit into the workflow and the item is jettisoned completely.

Obviously this can apply to nearly every aspect of life, but it's especially powerful in the office. I look around at my desk and see two items not currently in use and three papers that need to be thrown out. In reality, those five items are distracting me and taking away from my work.

So get rid of 'em.

The other thing I like about how Ben has set up his workspace is the division of his desk into zones. Since he is a left-handed writer, his writing instrument is on the left side of his desk. His right hand is primarily his phone hand, so his iPhone lays on the right.

Simple brilliance is always obvious upon realization. The more I learn about brilliant design, brilliant people and brilliant ideas, the more I realize how obvious they are after thinking them through.

And organizing your desk with such simplicity fits right into this category.