Keeping sane

I was running a workshop at a school in Melbourne recently and the director of music there noticed the rather neat and tidy contents of my little suitcase which I use to carry around my “kit”. My suitcase – which is a carry-on suitcase on wheels – holds my laptop, iPad, iPad adaptors for data projectors, charging cables, a power board, an extension lead, some speaker cables, a spare VGA cable, other audio leads, pens, paracetamol (!) and a few other bits and pieces. Although that sounds like a lot of stuff, it’s all neatly organised and everything has its place. I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the years being frustrated by lead-spaghetti and being unable to locate the bits and pieces I need quickly, so I’m always on the look-out for new or better ways to control my tech stuff.

Here are some of the things I currently use (please note that some links are affiliate links):

1. Cable clips

Cable Clips

These cable clips are useful for keeping cables where you need them. At home, I use them to control our “re-charging centre” – the place where we all plug in our devices. Because this is in my office, I wanted a little control over where all the cables ended up and wanted to prevent them from falling down to the floor all the time. The cable clips I bought are not perfect (it would be good if the adhesive was a little more sticky), but they do the trick for the moment. I bought mine from the local office supply store, but these eForCity Cable Clip Organizers on Amazon are similar.

2. Grid-It

Grid it by Cocoon

The Grid-It Organizer by Cocoon is possibly my favourite organisational product. I use mine to organise all of my Apple adaptors and chargers, but I’m thinking of getting another one because this one has been so useful. It has a series of elastic strips on a firm backing which allow you organise gadgets of any size or shape.

3. Zippered Pouch

Zippered pouch netbook sleeve

I recently bought this blue zippered pouch. It’s actually a netbook case and has a couple of compartments inside – a bit like a large pencil case. It was a clearance item at the office supply store and I wish I had bought a couple more. I’m using it for some audio leads.

4. Velcro Re-Useable Ties

Velcro ties

I cannot describe the love I felt for Velcro when I purchased these. I saw them at the hardware store when I was looking for some luggage clips and bought a pack of 5. Oh my – they are fantastic. They hold leads together securely and are better than any other solution I’ve tried. I’ve since discovered you can buy them in packs of 100. My order should be arriving any day now!

5. Dymo Label Maker

Dymo Labeller

A labeller is a must when you want to keep tabs on your gear. I use mine for two reasons: to identify my gear when I present at schools or conferences and to keep track of what’s plugged in where underneath my desk! I name all of my Apple adaptors, my MIDI keyboard, various leads and power boards.

6. A good old-fashioned pencil case

Pencil case

A small pencil case or re-purposed makeup bag is a must for containing the little things. Mine holds some VGA male-male and female-female adaptors so I can join two cables together if I need more length when attached to a school data projector, various headphone splitters, a Phillips head screwdriver, whiteboard markers and a few other bits and pieces.

Share your tech-organisation tips

Do you have something to help you organise tech stuff that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments below.