Commute Productivity Filter: Help me keep my phone from sliding away?
November 3, 2016 6:36 AM   Subscribe

I commute via public transportation, on a bus full of other long distance commuters. I am tired of lugging my laptop along, and would like to use my phone with a bluetooth keyboard, but don't have a tray table. How can I keep my phone from sliding away during turns and sudden stops? (And accommodate phone designs of the future?) More details inside.

When I commute with my laptop, I have my backpack on my lap supporting my laptop while I work. Since it's one unit, if we take a sharp turn, it's easy for me to use my hands to keep it from sliding away.

I would really like to just use my phone, but all of the bluetooth keyboards I've seen require a separate stand for the phone, assuming you'll be using it on a table. I've seen cool cases for tablets that have keyboards, but I'm not interested in adding a tablet and a whole set of other device-specific accessories to my life.

I am thinking of perhaps using some sort of grippy waterproof bag to hold the phone while I'm working, but would love to hear from someone who may have solved this issue. I'd love either recommendations for good (preferably foldable) bluetooth keyboards with attached stands that will sturdily hold my phone, or other ingenious solutions!

N.B. - I am not terribly concerned with someone snatching my phone from my lap - I have a cheap android and any thieves would have to jump off a bus at 65 miles an hour to escape with it.
posted by metarkest to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We had this problem on a recent RV trip and solved it with a simple rubber bath mat placed on the table. The suction cups really didn't work since the table wasn't slick enough for them to stick to but the rubber was just non-slip enough to work anyway. I would look for something like that and cut it down to be a bit bigger than your phone. Maybe even something like a Silpat mat used for baking would be good.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2016

Get a rubbery phone case?
posted by clone boulevard at 7:33 AM on November 3, 2016

It seems like in addition to slipperiness, angle would also be a problem - you want the phone screen to be toward you, not toward the ceiling, I'd imagine. What about getting a case with built-in keyboard that opens like a book, and then mounting an open-front case for your phone in the center of the space reserved for the tablet, so that it sits where the tablet would sit, and at an angle ideal for viewing? The keyboard-case would need to have a self-connecting "kickstand" to keep the cover at the right angle, but this style definitely exists.
posted by okayokayigive at 7:44 AM on November 3, 2016

Hands-free flexible mobile phone holder, $6.99 on eBay.
posted by at at 8:12 AM on November 3, 2016

Something like this perhaps?
posted by adamrice at 8:45 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

"When I commute with my laptop, I have my backpack on my lap supporting my laptop while I work. Since it's one unit, if we take a sharp turn, it's easy for me to use my hands to keep it from sliding away."

It really sounds like the ideal setup might be.... a laptop.

What's your current laptop, and why does it feel like too much to lug?

A smaller laptop wouldn't necessarily have to be very expensive if you're happy with the capabilities of a cheap android phone. Have you looked at a small low-end chromebook, for example?
posted by floppyroofing at 8:49 AM on November 3, 2016

Logitech has a couple of Bluetooth keyboards that include phone stands: K480 and K780. The latter is the Wirecutter's pick for best Bluetooth keyboard with a number pad.
posted by asperity at 10:11 AM on November 3, 2016

These are great tips that I'm going to look into. Love the crazy around-the-neck phone holder. That may even be the best option!

I have an 11" MacBook Air, which is nicely small, but once it's combined with my lunch, gym clothes, additional cold weather layer, and travel mug, my bag gets pretty heavy. Since I'm just banging out emails, the laptop is overkill. (And if someone mugs me on the way to my bus, the keyboard isn't a high value item.)

I welcome more suggestions - these are very helpful!
posted by metarkest at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2016

Once again, thanks so much to everyone for the ideas! I ended up searching around based on the suggestions you all provided and found the CoastaCloud Business Pro Ultra Slim Wireless Bluetooth keyboard, which does exactly what I need it to do, and adds minimal weight to my bag.

I appreciate all the help!
posted by metarkest at 5:22 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Wetting the bed through a diaper   |   Identify another short story for me? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.