Recently, I was packing up my laptop and camera to take with me for a day of hanging out at my parents’ house. I love those days. I just show up with The Boy. He is whisked away from me to entertain and be entertained. I get to relax, catch up on my celebrity gossip and watch cake decorating videos on YouTube (I live on the edge, don’t you know). Anyway, while packing up the laptop bag I somehow managed to create an electronic snake nest…shudder. Power cord, USB cable, phone charger somehow managed to merge into one knotty mess. How did it get to this state? I really let it slide while on mat leave.
I used to travel quite a bit for work. Enough that the Nexus Card paid for itself in time savings. I picked up some skills on packing and dressing for the trek through security. Wear slip on shoes, invest in travel sized cosmetics and best of all, take those free baggies that they hand out at the airport. You know the ones that are supposed to hold all your 100 ml or smaller liquid/gel/cream essentials in your carry on. They are super useful.
Travelling for work also forced me to organise my electronics. I unusually had a laptop, smartphone, e-book, camera and prototype electronic devices with me. Each had its own set of power cables. I hate checking luggage for short trips so everything needed to fit in my carry on. I had to come up with a system fast.
Here is what I came up with:
- Remember those free baggies? Put your power cords in them. Each cord gets its own bag. Free is always good right? Or you can always buy some. (Side note, I employ the same technique for the diaper bag. Spare outfit, diapers, toys etc. each in a separate baggie that I re-use.)
- If you run out of baggies or didn’t take the free ones, make masking tape your friend. Use it to label your cords. One day you may find yourself at the airport with no power left on your PC and your boss just called you about that report that you sent that he never got. He wants it right away. Miracle of all miracles, you manage to score a spot next to a power outlet. You do not need to waste time dumping out your bag and detangling cords to find the right one, especially since you are getting the stink eye from that guy who was not so subtly trying to get to that spot before you.
- Take a look at all of your cords again. A standard USB cable can often multi-task. It may work as a charger for your cell phone, e-book or camera when plugged into your PC (check your manufacture guidelines first).
- You know that little pocket in your laptop bag/backpack where you can put your name and address or business card? Tuck in a list of items you need to remember. Glance at it before you leave the house or your hotel to make sure you did not forget anything.
Now I just need to re-implement the system. What are some of your tips?