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Although our work is steadily moving to the cloud, we still have a physical space to maintain and keep in order, whether that’s in a traditional office, a home office or from the road. Here are a few gadgets to help you keep your workspace organized.
If you’re like me, you avoid cleaning or rearranging your office due to the dread of having to sort through dozens of cables lurking behind your desk. Fortunately, there are some gadgets on the market to help with this pesky little problem.
- Cordies Cable Organizers Cordies desktop cable management system keeps all your desktop cables straight by snugly holding cables so that they don’t slide off your desk when disconnected. Each loop holds multiple cables at once and can support power cords, USB cords, phone chargers, and audio and video cables. Cost: $12.99 from ThinkGeek.
- BlueLounge CableDrops CableDrops offer another solution for keeping cords and cables in place. They come in packs of six and in a variety of colors. Cost: $9.95
- Applecores. Keep cables organized and in place with AppleCores. They come in three size, multiple colors, and can hold everything from earbuds to household appliances, and the best part might be that you can simply unplug and they’re ready to go when traveling. Cost: $1.99-4.99 from Applecore International.
- Dreamfarm Jot. Jots work a lot like CableDrops, but might be a little more versatile (the Dreamfarm website shows Jots holding everything from cables to sets of keys) and are only slightly more expensive for packs of two. Cost: $4.95 from DreamFarm.
- Ziotek Color-Coded Surge Protector Keeping cords straight on top of the desk is one thing, but what about under it? How many times have you played musical cables trying to locate one of a half a dozen? The Ziotek color-coded surge protector is just the fix. It includes color-coordinated slots and cable markers to keep all your devices straight. Cost: $10.99 from CyberGuys.
Cell Phone and Charging Stations
What a difference ten years makes! I can’t remember ever needing to charge anything before cell phones and MP3 players came on the market, but charging stations are now a permanent part of our work life.
- Breffo Spiderpodium Stand. The Breffo Spiderpodium stand is a cool little gadget that holds cell phones, iPods, and other devices on an eight-leg “octopod” (instead of tripod). It mounts to car vents or mirrors, stands on desk or counter tops, and wraps around bike handlebars, backpacks, or baby strollers. It won’t leave marks and can easily be moved to another spot. Cost: $17.25 from Amazon.
- G.U.S. Phone/PDA Charging Station. If devices are taking over your counter tops, especially if multiple people in your home or office need to charge them at the same time, you might like a phone/PDA charging station. This one can stand on a desk or counter top, or be mounted to a wall so that phones are out of the way and in one place. Cost: $39.99 from GreatUsefulStuff.
- Chargepod. For even more devices, you might prefer the Chargepod, which can charge up to six devices on one outlet. It claims to support over 3,000 devices, including phones, PDAs, cameras, and mp3 players, and it’s also available as a car charger. Cost: $49.95-59.95 from Callpod.
Notes and To-Dos
While I love technology and all the conveniences it often brings, I’m still a compulsive note-taker, and although my filing needs are nearly non-existent these days, I still use a few tools to keep paper in order.
- Dreamfarm Gripet. Another Dreamfarm creation, the Gripet holds notes and reminders using friction. It attaches to a wall, filing cabinet, or refrigerator with magnetic or adhesive mounts. Cost: $19.95 from DreamFarm.
- Tear Away Planner Mousepad. In recent years, I’ve made use of my mousepad by buying a small desktop calendar to fit to it. Although I use Google Calendar (s goog) for keeping track of dates and events, I like having a month at a glance and right under my computer mouse. If you use a paper to-do list, you might opt for a tear-away planner mousepad instead, which covers a full week of to-dos at a glance. Cost: $9.99 from ThinkGeek.
- NeatReceipts. If you hate tracking paper documents for taxes and record-keeping, NeatReceipts can help. It organizes receipts, business cards and other documents by scanning and then using optical character recognition to extract key information. Cost: $199.95 from NeatCo.
What are your favorite gadgets for staying organized?