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Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in General Advice, Guest Posts, Productivity, Recommendations | 0 comments

Gadgets for a clutter-free workspace

The following is a guest post by Elizabeth Phillips, a freelance technology writer.

Over the years, we’ve gained some desk space, thanks to technological advances. Computers are less invasive than they once were. Towers are smaller, if you even have one. In an age of flat-screen monitors and laptops, there’s much less bulk, less mechanical hum and fewer wires stretching over, behind and around your workspace.

The trend continues, with a box full (a small box, at that) of gadgets that’ll cut down on your desk load even further. What will you do with the extra space? We’ll guess more photos, an expansive bobblehead collection and bigger sandwiches at lunch time.

AT-AT cable organizer

Built of plywood and in the likeness of the Empire’s Hoth-stomping battle machines in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” this organizer will corral your cables and wires, rather than thwart a rebel charge. It’s flat-packed and ready to construct. Hardcore? Freeze-frame the movie and paint it authentically.

Cost: $45 (copious.com)

Breffo Spiderpodium Stand

The tripod is so 2012. This octopod’s legs wrap around a device (or two) for convenient storage while it charges. The legs can even hook to an automobile air vent, and it can hold virtually any device. The stand has a port for device-charging, so your smartphone or tablet can charge up and out of the way.

Cost: $20 (breffo.com)

Brother PT-2730 P-Touch Label Maker

We don’t use office supplies like we once did, but those that you have should be labeled. The modern-generation label maker can connect to your computer via USB and has a spacious, backlit display. Use integrated templates and make laminated labels to keep things organized.

Cost: $130 (Brother)

Dotz Cord Identifiers

Know your colors? Then you’re a perfect candidate for cord management. You get five small, colorful plastic discs to snap onto your cords and differentiate them. No more pulling the wrong plug with the preprinted gadget icons on each, kept at the end of the cord near your outlet or power strip.

Cost: $4 (Dotz)

Firebox USB Flash Drive Heroes

The cloud is nice, but sometimes you just need to feel secure. This is where a USB memory stick comes in for peace of mind. The worldwide selection is tremendous and quirky, but we like these, which include a glow-in-the-dark alien, mummy and ninja. Their flip heads protect the hardware, too.

Cost: $30 (Firebox)

Casetop dock for smartphone

The telecommuter set will appreciate this: It’s a dock that turns your smartphone into a laptop. Get an 11-inch, 720-pixel display with full keyboard, HDMI input and USB to charge other devices. Your handset becomes a track pad. Stream TV to your digital phone while you work from home to keep you up-to-date on news, weather, the stock market … whatever you need to do your job.

To make sure you don’t max out your cell phone’s data usage or lose productivity from multitasking, make sure you have a strong internet connection: consider fiber, cable, or even find satellite Internet with HughesNet for more remote locations.

Cost: $250 (Livi-Design)

HoverBar for iPad

It’ll look like a mega rearview mirror truck drivers use, but it elevates your iPad game to another level. Physically, that is. With a better look and convenience than plastic desktop stands, the Mac-specific HoverBar attaches your iPad to your computer monitor, with a gooseneck arm for adjustments.

Cost: $80 (Twelve South)

LEGO Stationery Art Carousel

Some of us still need pencils and stuff on our desks. This organizer comes stocked with LEGO crayons, erasers and pencils. The big LEGO head in the middle is actually a pencil sharpener. In bright primary colors, it looks classroom-ready, but will add a little flair to the grown-up’s desk, too.

Cost: $25 (ToysRUs)

Elizabeth Phillips is a freelance technology writer with a focus on how the Internet improves our lives. She can be found working from her clutter-free home office in Philadelphia, PA. Contact Elizabeth directly via email.

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