Well, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Bill Gates wrote an article appearing on Money.com titled How I Work: Bill Gates As you can imagine, Bill and I work a tad differently so I thought I would go through some of the differences:
Bill Gates’ Desk
photo by Robyn Twomey from money.com
From the article, here is a nice photo of Bill Gates and his desk. this is what he has to say in relation to it and his office:
If you look at this office, there isn’t much paper in it. On my desk I have three screens, synchronized to form a single desktop. I can drag items from one screen to the next. Once you have that large display area, you’ll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity.
The screen on the left has my list of e-mails. On the center screen is usually the specific e-mail I’m reading and responding to. And my browser is on the right-hand screen. This setup gives me the ability to glance and see what new has come in while I’m working on something, and to bring up a link that’s related to an e-mail and look at it while the e-mail is still in front of me…
The one low-tech piece of equipment still in my office is my whiteboard. I always have nice color pens, and it’s great for brainstorming when I’m with other people, and even sometimes by myself.
The whiteboards in some Microsoft offices have the ability to capture an image and send it up to the computer, almost like a huge Tablet PC. I don’t have that right now, but probably I’ll get a digital whiteboard in the next year. Today, if there’s something up there that’s brilliant, I just get out my pen and my Tablet PC and recreate it.
As you can see, Bill Gates has a nice clean desk with hardly a piece of paper in site. Here, on the other hand, is my desk:
Not only does my desk have lots of paper, it has numerous low tech stuff too. Unlike Bill, I only have a single screen computer and since my desk (okay, I know, it isn’t really a desk – it’s an old dining table, but I call it my desk) is small, I probably will never know about the truth of “once you have that large display area, you’ll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity” because there is no room on my desk for a large display screen. That solves that
While Bill has all his emails on his left screen, I have all my emails in a gmail account. Bill probably wouldn’t be very happy with me about that. Bill’s center screen is what he is usually working on – my only screen is what I’m working on, so you can see there are some very close resemblances between the two of us. Bill’s browser is on the right screen – mine is mixed up with whatever I’m working on.
Bill also has a whiteboard (not shown in his photo) and I have a corkboard (not shown in my photo – see even more similarities!). His whiteboard is “low tech” My corkboard is also “low tech” – he will be getting a high tech whiteboard in the near future with the ability to capture images and send it to his computer. I will likely keep my corkboard and it already has the ability to makes things stick to it if I stick a pin through it (I like this a lot). Since Bill doesn’t have a high tech whiteboard at the moment, he takes out his pen and Tablet PC and creates his brilliant ideas. I take out my Hello Kitty pen and Hello Kitty note pad (courtesy of my entrepreneurial wife) and scribble down my random thoughts.
As you can see, Bill Gates’ desk and My Desk have quite a bit in common. I’m sure that this has intrigued you enough that I should go through some of the other things on my desk in Stop Buying Crap What’s In Your Wallet fashion.
To the right I have my low tech calculator and my Hello Kitty notepad with a piece of plain paper (this upsets my wife to no end since there is no cute character on it) below where I write my random thoughts. If you look closely to the left, you can see my “Change Drawer” – this is a more convenient place for me to keep my change than in a jar.
To the right of my computer screen is my mini shelf with the book “The Big Money” that just came in the mail that I’m supposed to review. Hanging on the side is my yellow good luck charm from the God of Wealth with lots of random papers that need to be sorted (they will remain that way until my wife yells at me to clean it up).
On the left side of the desk are a bunch of sake cups and medals that I took out last week to put on eBay and still haven’t gotten around to doing so. I hope to get to them soon, but probably won’t until eBay forces my hand by having another sale. I also have my tin can pen and pencil bucket from Tokyo Disneyland.
I’m sure there are things of interest I left out – feel free to ask in the comment section and I will elaborate on anything you see that I forgot to mention. Oh, and of course put up photos of your desk and let us all know what is on it (and if you get really ambitious, you can compare it to Bill Gates’ desk too)
Other People’s Desks Around the Blogosphere