With my own productivity, I can never have enough open space. I have to be able to see as much as possible and put things where they can be found. I have a real problem with losing track of something if I can't see it. Since college I have loved loved loved huge flat tables as workspaces. I have two such desks at home. My "desk" at school is just an IKEA kitchen table I found. I don't do drawers. I forget what's in them.
Same works for computers. I've watched people generate tests and other school materials on tiny screens and it just drives me nuts. I have to be able to see the whole thing. Needless to say, I don't do a lot of creating on laptops. The year and a half or so when I didn't have much choice but to generate stuff on my school issued laptop didn't yield the best results.
So if you toil along on a tiny laptop, I urge you to consider the benefits of a bigger screen at your main point of production. Keep in mind I'm a crazy person, so you don't have to get this nuts, but just for a visual:
Click for bigger. When you're generating 600dpi graphics that pop on a test paper, this tiny 1024x768 stuff doesn't cut it. You realize that's the native resolution of an iPad, right?