If you are anything like me, you’ve got a lot of electronic equipment in the office. The desktop computer, printer, keyboards, digital camera, laptop, tablet computer, ticket printers – the list goes on! It can be aggravating to keep things neat and tidy, especially when you have a lot of cords to contend with. I did some research to find the best ways to organize your electronic zoo. This can come in handy for your home stuff, too!
- Go Wireless: In “days of yore” when laptops were not so commonplace, everyone had a desktop computer with a keyboard, mouse, and printer all with cords running amok behind the computer tower and desk. These days, it’s quite easy to use wireless functionality on nearly everything you have. Printers now come with wireless capability, enabling you to print documents from a networked computer without having to be hooked up to the printer physically. Ditto for keyboards and mice – wireless technology is in everything enabling you to have much more freedom in your office layout, no longer bound by pesky cords. Invest in products that contain this technology.
- Mark the Cords: Of course, not everyone is wirelessly connected to everything. You may still be using a desktop computer, or your printer may still work very well without a wireless interface – if you can’t, or don’t want to, obtain new machines just yet, you can still organize the cords that you have. One easy way is to mark each end of the cords with colored tape (you can find it at arts and crafts stores, or in a building supply center) and create a small chart to tell you what color is for which device. For example, the printer cable is marked with red tape, the speakers are marked with yellow, the wireless router in blue. When the printer goes on the fritz, it’s an easy task to find the power strip and unplug the red cable, instead of trying to follow the cable from the printer to the power strip in a tangled mess.
- Pretend They’re Shoes: If you have a lot of extra power strips, charger cords, and other electronic paraphanaliea you wish to hang on to, a door-mounted shoe organizer (pocket style) is a great way to keep everything sorted and out of drawers and other hidey holes. You can even label the shoe organizer!
- Altoid Buds: When traveling, it seems the ear buds flop everywhere and the cords get tangled up in EVERYTHING. Use an Altoids tin to store them – wind them up in your hand and voila, a small “protected” storage device for them. Just be sure to wipe it out well otherwise your ears will begin to feel minty fresh!
- Docking Stations: One great tip for those who use their laptops as their main computer, yet aren’t fully wireless on everything else – invest in a docking station. This is a device that will accept all the plugs from various devices like printers and keyboards, and will give you just ONE place to plug the laptop in; with that one plug, all the other devices are available to you without having to find an open USB port on the laptop for each one independently. This has been great for me because my wireless mouse and keyboard still require me to use an USB port on my laptop for the receiver; instead, it’s on my docking station so when I’m “docked” I have full use of them.
What organization tips have worked for you? Share them in the comments!
Steve Cousino, ACC, CTA, LS has been a travel professional since 2005 and currently owns Exclusive Events At Sea (http://www.exclusiveeventsatsea.com) and Journeys By Steve (http://www.journeysbysteve.com) with specializations in group cruising, individual ocean & river cruising, and personalized experiences in Europe, especially the British Isles. In addition, Steve heads up WordPressForTravelAgents.com, an email-based WordPress education system designed specifically for the busy travel professional. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.