Neat vs. Organized

Although they are often used interchangeably, “neat” and “organized” are not necessarily the same thing. You can be very neat and still not have what you really need to be reminded of in a place that you will be able to see and evaluate when you know you ought to. Likewise some “messy” people have habitually placed all the things that have a specific meaning to them in one identifiable (to them) location.

David Allen

I used to work with one of those messy people. Larry’s entire desk was covered with stack of papers at least 6 inches high – but he knew where everything was. You could ask him for something and he would reach into a pile and produce it.

Larry told a story about how he had a boss that was always after him to clean off his desk. Finally he got fed up with it and threw all of his papers away. The next time his boss walked by his desk he did a double take. Larry told him that it if was important to have a clean desk, then by golly his desk was clean, but not to ask him for any information.

Larry was a bit of a hothead.

I tend to let things get piled up now and then but I could never maintain a system like Larry did. But it worked for him.

I never worked with Larry when emails and other electronic documents began to replace paper. I can only imagine what his hard drive would have looked like.