Going Low Tech:

Okay so my whole desk is glass and metal, but the point is that the top is glass. Even in you have a wooden desk you can get a glass or Plexi-glass covering. Why? Because a glass desk makes for one large dry erase surface. Forget needing to write things on pieces of paper that get lost everywhere, just write straight onto the desk. This is great for taking quick notes and I find it helps me to keep my desk clear so that I can see my writing surface. Somebody walked in my office the other day, thought I had defaced my desk. No, I explained, its just the ultimate note taking surface. (I keep multiple color pens handy as well, I find visualization is often helped by changing colors.)

(from academhack.)

I actually really like this idea. Particularly if the desk has a keyboard drawer that can be used to hold the laptop, otherwise I can see it getting a bit messy in terms of of putting the laptop on top of a surface... etc..