For me, Spring cleaning means ripping out that rat's nest of cords behind my desk and getting a fresh start with minimal cable interference. Thankfully, there's a new wireless charger on the block that will help me keep things neat and tidy. Like the Powermat before it, the Case-Mate Hug ($100) charges your iPhone without all those nasty wires and cords. Sure, it won't charge your BlackBerry or your PSP, but it will do the job for your iPhone 3G or 3GS. The sleek aluminum Case-Mate Hug comes with two elements — the slim, form-fitting, and shock-absorbing iPhone case, and the pad, which transfers power to the case via magnetic fields to juice up your smartphone. The coolest part about this pair? The pad uses "smart charge" technology to only charge your phone till it's 100 percent full, then stops pulling power to save you some cash.
If one of your goals for 2010 is to get your pile of gadget cables under control, I can help. But, if you're looking for a sweet and sexy tool to allow your cables some room to breathe, check out the Sling Back. Not just for making your legs look longer, this Sling Back is a retractable universal cable manager that fits cords as tiny as 1/8" in diameter (as in, your headphone cords), and sucks up to three feet of cable in its sleek little body. That's quite an appetite.
But, the best part is, the Sling Back comes from Quirky — a site where I can find a robust supply of cool, original products — and is made by independent inventors for the low, low price of $10. You certainly won't find a Steve Madden slingback for that price.
I love when someone comes up with a seemingly simple invention to help solve a universal problem. Case in point: the Rotator Swivel Socket ($8), which is perfect for plugging in oversize or awkwardly-shaped plugs. Attach it into any outlet before plugging in an oddly-shaped adapter, that way the rest of the outlets on the wall (or on your power strip) won't be blocked. You can lock the swivel mechanism into position, too, so if you find a space-saving angle that works with you, just lock it into place.
While I have a few gadgets this will be useful for, it'll probably turn out to be most useful in the bathroom, where my hairdryer's plug always seems to co-opt outlet space.
Although your gifting to-do list may be overflowing with relatives and friends this holiday season, don't forget the people that you spend a majority of your day with — your co-workers! I know I chat more with my office mates than most of my relatives, so they have to be pretty high on my list. Check out these simple gifts that will go a long way in the "thought" department. That's what counts anyway, right?
When I reached into my bag this morning to pull out my headphones, this is what I found. Granted, I was carrying two sets of headphones today (I accidentally brought my "office headphones" home with me last night), but somehow between my front door and my desk at the office, they turned into a tangled mess.
I'm a fan of cord management, though from the looks of my headphones this morning, I'm more of a fan in theory than in practice. In honor of my tangled earphones and my newly-created upcoming New Year's resolution to keep the cords under control, I've rounded up some of the best organizational goodies I found this year.
If you're not in the market for a new product, you can also check out the free solution I spotted last year.
In a world of expensive charging stations, it's a relief that a geek on a budget can head to Ikea to pick up a simple $3 charging dock that will do the job it was meant to preform: hold your gadgets while they're juicing up. Additionally, for all you cable-hiding freaks out there (yours truly, included) Ikea also offers simple and cheap solutions for any cable management nightmare. All of these products are $10 or less, so I know you can scrounge up the scrilla to get organized. Check them out here!
I was stoked after seeing a commercial for the Powermat, a wireless gadget charger that claims to charge any of your electronic toys without wires, cords, or trouble just by placing your device on the Powermat — finally a solution to my cord-management problems! A few days later I saw the Powermat at my local Best Buy and considered forking over the $100 listed on the price tag for convenience alone. But then reality (and an explanation from the sales rep) set in: $100 is not the bottom line on this super charger.
The Powermat does exactly what it says it does: charges your cell phones, PSP's, smart phones and other gadgets, but it does so with the help of dedicated cases that have a receiver attached to the back. Bye-bye custom iPhone and Blackberry cases — you'll be rocking the Powermat case and battery pack (which sticks out on the back) from now on. What's more, each gadget case starts at $30, and you'll need one for each device you want to charge! For me, this meant spending over $200 just to have all of my daily accessories covered. I walked away a little disappointed, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been fooled by a gadget commercial before. Share your gadget commercial rants, or about the time you bought a gadget and it wasn't what you expected below!
Sometimes even the most high-tech gadgets can be improved with the simplest of projects. Case in point: these earbud clips ($10 for a package of four) by PKOH. The colorful plastic clips slide secure your earbuds after wrapping them around your iPod.
I love this simple solution! No matter how carefully I try to store my iPod headphones, they're usually a tangled mess by the time I take them out of my bag — so I'm a huge supporter of cord management.
Like any jet-setting geek girl, I refuse to travel without all of my gadgets. But with a phone, iPod, camera, cords, and chargers, keeping gadgets organized and cords tangle-free is a challenge.
I'm in love with the Grid-It organization system ($25) from Flight001. Overlapping rubberized elastic bands offer easy storage for even the strangest-shaped objects, and the entire grid is perfectly sized to fit right into my laptop bag. There's even a zippered pocket in the back for storing other small items. Knowing my beloved gadgets are safe and secure means one less travel stress.
I'm all about getting organized to be more productive all year, but right now is the perfect time to clean out the old, and freshen up your workspace to prep for those upcoming midterms. Back to school isn't just for students though, you can get fresh for Fall at any age. I have five fine ways for you to get started here.
- Store the Chargers: Tidy up your unused cords and chargers in a pretty box so they are ready to go when you are. Use a special box for the cords you use most often, and store it by the door so you have easy access whenever you need it.
To see my remaining four tips, just read more