I once read a book that was about organizing for creative people. In fact, that may have been the title of it. It was based on the idea of brain sided-ness, in other words, left-brained people tend to have more linear ways of thinking while right-brained people tend to think in a more global, everything-at-once way. As I am sure you can surmise, creative people tend to be right-brained.
Now, I am sure this brain-sidedness idea is a vast oversimplification, and for every rule there are at least a thousand exceptions. For example, the general tendency is for men to be more left-brained and women to be right-brained. If you look at us from a cave-man point of view, this makes perfect sense, since the cave man needed to be very linear and focused in order to track down and kill a wooly mammoth while the cave woman needed to be very globally aware in order to gather fruits and vegetables while watching that her children were not eaten by a saber-toothed lion. But all of us know at least one very right-brained man and at least one very left-brained woman. I, for example, am a "mixed dominant," meaning that I straddle the corpus callosum, the "fence" between the two sides. Still, I have found the brain-sidedness theory a very interesting and effective way to explain and deal with my behavior and the behavior of others.
One problem with being a mixed dominant such as myself is that you argue internally between the two sides. My left side wants everything in my environment to be neat and orderly while my right side wants lots of sensory stimulation. It is also hard to be a true righty in the work world because the business world functions in a very lefty way. Take file cabinets, for example. File cabinets are a staple in most every workplace and in most homes. We are supposed to sort out our papers, assign each category a name, write the name of the category on the tab of a file folder, insert the papers, and stand the folder up on its edge in the file cabinet—in alphabetical order. The idea is that you will not have to dig through piles of papers, but will be able to go right to the one paper you need at a moment’s notice.
If you are reading that and you feel a pang of shame, because you know the filing thing does not work for you, because you know you do much better with piles, then you are a righty. The one part of the above-mentioned book that I remember is that when creative people stand papers on their edge, as in a file cabinet, that paper ceases to exist in their mind. This is me to a "T." Righties, creative people, need to leave papers lying flat. There were suggestions in the book on how do deal with this tendency, such as using pretty boxes or one of those literature racks with lots of cubby holes to contain and sort the piles. Lately, scanning papers into my computer then throwing them away is the best solution.
My aim is to end the shame that I know pilers feel. Lefties, whether they are born lefties or trained lefties, like to ridicule righties and their piling ways. They think we do not know where anything is, when the truth is most righties can tell you their 2008 tax return is in the pile on the floor under the back right corner of their desk! Borrowing a line from an old song: "He ain’t wrong, he’s just different and his pride won’t let him do things to make you think he’s right." So righties, stand up straight and embrace your piling. Lefties, we admire your filing skills, but it just does not work for us. We hope you will open your linear minds and accept us the way we are.