Tech Support Tips: 10 Fun Ideas to Organize Your Technology
Just about every new piece of technology you acquire brings with it a new organizing challenge. Cables tangle. Gadgets overrun your workspace. And what happens when you need to charge everything at once? Here are 10 ideas to make organizing your technology creative and fun.
Hide and Organize Cables
1. Desktop cable organizers
If your laptop's power cord slides under your desk when you unplug it, or your headphones have a way of getting lost, you'll be thrilled to keep them on your desk, at your fingertips. The 3.5 inch wide Cordies, made of weighted rubber, has four spaces that can hold several cords each. Store USB cords, audio cables, firewire, and more.
2. Cord management straps
Business computer support wisdom says that a tidy desk contributes to productivity. Room and Board has four styles of clever straps that you can mix and match to bunch and hide computer cables. The horizontal style feeds cords across the back of your desk, and the leg cord manager contains them in slim black tubes that hug desk legs. The flexible cord management strap goes anywhere you'd like it to, and a flat strap pins cords flat if they have to stretch across the floor. At $9 apiece for most styles, the price is right.
For more tech support tips on hiding wires, see "How to Hide Those Messy Wires" on houzz.com.
Organize Wires and Keep Them Untangled
3. DIY cord organizer
Real Simple is known for its feature "new uses for old things." The magazine suggests taking an old (but pleasantly patterned) dress sock and cutting off the toe, forming a stretchy tube to contain cords. It's a great use for those stray socks you don't know what else to do with.
4. Headphone storage box
If your headphones get tangled when you store them, repurpose a small box into a headphone case. Real Simple suggests using a plastic cassette case (it's about time that you got rid of that Milli Vanilli cassette anyway, isn't it?), and there's a dressed-up tin Altoids case for sale on Etsy for $4.99. Now you won't struggle with knots when you go to put on your headphones.
5. Easy cord labeling system
Here's a common hassle: You go to unplug a cord from your surge protector, and you're not sure which cord belongs to which appliance. There are certain appliances that you don't want to unplug, like your desktop computer. You'll be blown away by this brilliantly simple solution from Apartment Therapy: collect the flat plastic tags that close bags of bread, label them with Sharpies, and slip them onto the cords. Amazing!
Dock Your Devices in Charging Stations
6. Convenient charging station
A gadget that has been featured in many a publication (such as Gizmodo, Geek Sugar, and CNET) is the Phone/PDA Charging Station from Great Useful Stuff. The station mounts to the wall with two screws (included) and hides a power strip (sold separately) behind a sliding door. Charge up to three devices at once with their cords tucked neatly inside.
7. Six-device charger
A bunch of cords and devices charging at once can create a messy pile on your desk. The Chargepod charges up to six devices from one outlet, with short adapters arranged to leave distance in between. The gadget weighs only 2 ounces and is compatible with more than 3,000 devices.
8. DIY charging station
Following tech support tips doesn't need to break the bank. If you're the crafty sort and would rather make your own charging station for your phone or iPod, you can make one out of a small plastic bottle -- for lotion, mustard, or shampoo. Wash it thoroughly and cut it to size. Then Mod Podge fabric to the outside, cut out a hole that fits your charger plug, and hang it on the outlet when you plug in your device.
Store Your Technology For Easy Access
9. Shoe organizer technology storage
When it comes to storing small electronic, boxes and drawers just don't cut it. Devices get mixed up and tangled, which can be maddening when you're trying to find and extract something quickly. Follow Geek Sugar's advice and buy a plastic, over-the-door shoe hanger. Hang it on your office door, place your devices in its little pockets, and label them using handwritten sticky labels or a label maker.
10. Banded organizer
A magical new invention is in our midst, and it goes by the name GRID-IT! It holds numerous, differently sized items against a flat surface with rubberized elastic bands. Cocoon Innovations, the company behind GRID-IT!, makes a variety of business computer support products, from laptop cases (some with detachable shoulder straps) to messenger bags. You'll never frantically dig for your ringing cell phone again.