How to Set Up Your Desk The Ebook: Now Available

I’ve turned one of the most popular series on this blog into an ebook, which I’m releasing today. The book is How to Set Up Your Desk: A Guide to Fixing a (Surprisingly) Overlooked Productivity Problem, and it’s available for your Kindle.

I believe that being productive starts with your worldview — you need to know your purpose and why it’s important to be productive at all. But once we have that worldview in place, it is crucial to also understand and utilize the best strategies and tactics we can find and develop.

The question of how to set up our desks is an area that affects all of us consistently, yet has received almost no good treatment. The common idea seems to be “just do what works for you.” But far from creating greater freedom, this notion actually creates inefficiency and annoyance. While it is true that we each have our own personal style, it is also true that there are certain fundamental principles applicable to everyone that make for an effective desk setup. If you don’t understand these principles, you will have an annoying, less effective workspace.

In other words, it is possible to have a smooth-running, efficient desk setup that will make make your desk setup both more efficient and more enjoyable to use. And this will increase your productivity, since when we like the way we have things set up, we not only use them more efficiently but are also inclined toward more productive behaviors.

This ebook shows you how to do that with your desk. It shows you how to get it set up right — in a way that serves you and is not annoying, and is based on sound principles that make sense and that you can apply to any situation.

Here are three endorsements:

“Matt Perman has served me so well in applying a Steve Jobs-like approach to my workflow: simple, intuitive, elegant, and efficient. I’ve followed most of his advice about setting up my desk (as well as processing my email), and it works beautifully.”

Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis; Research Manager for D. A. Carson; Administrator of the theological journal Themelios

“Your desk is probably standing in the way of your effectiveness at work. So are your email, office supplies, and task management systems (or lack thereof). Matt Perman is the master of all of these areas. His well-researched and documented methodologies have revolutionized the effectiveness with which I live out my callings in life.”

Matt Heerema, Pastor of Stonebrook Community Church; Director of Mere Design Agency

“Sitting here in my office, I am able to look around at a well-ordered and organized system thanks to Matt Perman. This book drastically helped me with my physical workspace, and the results have been tremendous. I will now use this book for all new staff in our department.”

Chris Misiano, Senior Director of Campus Recreation, Liberty University

This would be a good book for readers of What’s Best Next who want to go deeper on the tactical side, but you don’t have to have read What’s Best Next to benefit from this book. It will help anyone, anywhere, who is interested in implementing, as David Allen has said, “smooth running, silent systems” for greater productivity.


  • Roger Healey

    I was just procrastinating from re-organizing my home office by looking at What’s Best Next when I saw this post. I realized the problem is that I don’t have a “master plan” for how I want the office to be. I just bought the ebook, it looks perfect for addressing this (minor) problem.

  • Roger Healey

    Done, it took 6 hours but you can’t tell because I neglected to take a before photo.

    • Matt Perman

      The photo made it and it looks great! Well done, and what a fantastic addition to this post by giving people a visual of how you implemented things. Thank you!

      • Roger Healey

        Your book was very helpful.

    • Jalamb

      Matt & Roger,

      What content does the ebook have that the blogpost doesn’t?

      • Matt Perman

        Sorry — should have included that in the post. From the intro: “After being encouraged by several people to do so, I’ve finally pulled these posts together into an ebook so that they are easily available to people in a convenient format and in one spot. I’ve also updated them slightly, expanded the introduction, added a list of further resources, and added an appendix on the cool new existence of white board paint for turning any wall into a white board.”

  • Roger Healey

    Tried to upload a photo but it doesn’t seem to be there, sorry.

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