When hitting the street, most road warriors lug all kinds of electronic doo-dads, connectors, cords, and junk in order to complete their office away from the office. Usually all of this stuff gets jumbled up at the bottom of a suitcase or backpack pocket.
I stumbled upon this unique system for strapping all that digital detritus down in simplified style. Check out the Grid-It! system from Cocoon:
Grid-It! organizers come in a variety of sizes. I use a long skinny one- fits in the front pocket of my laptop bag and holds just the stuff I need. Check it out here on Amazon.
And, here are a list of my favorite doo-dads packed into it (all pretty cheap):
- Cheap Earbud headset
- USB to earbud headset adapter
- Retractable micro-usb cable
- Retractable aux cable
- Micro-usb to iPod adapter
- Cigarette lighter USB charger
- HTC Incredible wall charger
- iPod Nano (mine’s an old 3rd generation)
If you are putting a system like this together for someone else, pay attention to what connections might be required for their bits and buy components accordingly.
My HTC Incredible cell phone uses micro-USB for charging. So does my Nook ereader. So, for me it made sense to start with the retractable USB to micro-USB cable. If I’m in a rental car, I plug that bad boy into the cigeratte lighter adapter (USB) and right into my phone (micro-USB). Note: you should buy the exact cigeratte lighter adapter I specify above. It’s the only one I found that runs enough amps to let me charge, talk, and use my phone’s GPS simultaneously.
Speaking of being in the car, I use the retractable AUX cable to connect my iPod to the AUX input on the rental car stereo.
When I get to the hotel, I switch the phone over to the wall charger.
My Nook can be charged with the same setup in either scenario… so I’m not carrying duplicate charging cables.
The nifty little micro-USB to iPod adapter lets me connect my iPod to my laptop to charge and download fresh podcasts on the go.
I really dig these cheapo Palm Pre earbuds. The mic is nice and slim (like the iPhone headset, but at a fraction of the cost), sound quality is great, and there are cool little magnets to hold the buds together when not in use. Plus, they work with my cell phone while I’m in the car (I refuse to be that guy wearing a bluetooth headset)- and work just as well for Skype on my laptop using the USB adapter listed above. I can also use them for my iPod while exercising. Buy a half dozen in case they stop making these. At $3.50 a pop, why not?
There you have it.
Go forth and blow the mind of your favorite traveling tech geek this Christmas!