Help me organize my gadgets.
January 15, 2007 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Like any self-respecting geek, I've got a bunch of cool toys I carry around. Each of those toys, unfortunately, comes with a bunch of wires -- chargers, adapters, connectors... Help me keep them organized!

I'm looking for some sort of carrying case that I can stuff all my gadgets and their wires into. Right now I just drop stuff into my backpack, but it all falls to the bottom. This sucks because I have to root around to find what I'm looking for, and it doubly sucks because it puts all the weight at the bottom of the pack.

So I'm looking for some sort of zippered container, roughly paper-sized (so it'll fit nicely in my backpack), with a whole bunch of pouches for gadgets and/or elastic/velcro for cables. Something like a Trapper Keeper for gadgets, or one of those "business organizers" with a bunch of extra pockets.

I'm totally game for a DIY solution involving modifying something that's not quite there, but I'd really prefer just to plunk down some cash for the perfect thing.
posted by jacobian to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This is serious business.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:24 AM on January 15, 2007

Best answer: I have a smallish pod from RoadWired. It's maybe a little more than I need, but if you're one of those people that really likes each cable and battery and charger to have its own little place, it's a great accessory. However, it's not flat. They also have the accessory wallet, which is. However, once I'm at that level of small, I find that using a roll up tool kit (smaller ones for bikes and you can buy them without the tools,naturally) makes the best use of space and is easily portable.
posted by jessamyn at 10:41 AM on January 15, 2007

Take a trapper-keeper (sorry, I'm a child of the 80s) type thing that has no bells or whistles on one interior side, and get a big sheet of sticky-backed velcro. Stick one side (the soft side) to one side of the trapper keeper, on the inside. Now get a roll of double-sided velcro, like they sell for cable management.

When you wind your cables to store them, wrap them with a small length of the double-sided velcro (maybe two) with the rough side out, and stick them on the big sheet. You could also just "pin" the cables down into the folder with the smaller lengths. Zip up the folder, and your problem is solved.

For extra geek points, discover that almost anything can be charged via USB with the right cable, and then discover that BlackBerrys come with a wall wart that accepts an A Male USB cable.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:47 AM on January 15, 2007

Best answer: waterfield's cable guy or gear pouch.
posted by judith at 10:50 AM on January 15, 2007

Various travel companies (eagle creek, victorinox, etc.) sell small zippered bags for packing a suitcase. Some of the smaller ones of these may be perfect for your task, and will be a bit cheaper than waterfield's gear pouch. Generally the small sized ones are $10-$15. Some zipper on 2 sides, some on 3. I have a bunch that I use for travel (packing clothes), but when I have a lot of gear, I use one for all of the gadgets / chargers / lenses / &c.

Another good source are the small travel bags that sometimes come from business / first-class seats on airplanes. These are often small, but I use one that I got from a friend as my iPod case and on-plane fun-bag. It holds the phone, charger, iPod, charger, and earphones, as well as gum and chapstick.
posted by zpousman at 11:07 AM on January 15, 2007

Snake Charmer by Tom Bihn. (I highly recommend all of their bags.)
posted by desuetude at 11:19 AM on January 15, 2007

i just used this answer on another thread, but it applies here, too:
i have a geek traveller friend who loses a charger in every hotel.
i bought him this eagle creek two-sided packing cube.
it's large enough to hold all 8 of his gadgets (chargers for laptop, cel, ipod, & camera, plus camera connect cable, belkin adaptor, and his noise-cancelling headphones in an altoids tin). the double-sided design is key because it holds about 4 gadgets per side, nicely spaced out-- so it lets you see *when someting is missing* so you know immediately that you forgot something.
when i bought him the case he was like, "meh", but then he emailed me after his next roadtrip and said
it was the first trip where he didn't lose a single charger.
posted by twistofrhyme at 11:20 AM on January 15, 2007

Best answer: oops, sorry, i linked to the wrong eagle creek page. should have been this two-sided cube. sorry.
posted by twistofrhyme at 11:25 AM on January 15, 2007

My roommate, another self-respecting geek who requires organisation for his 'toys' uses Civilian Lab's Holster contraption. This may not be exactly what you're looking for as it exudes a certain ultra-geek je-ne-sais-quoi, but he really loves his, and it does a good job of keeping things together. Also, very customisable.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2007

oops, I misread the question. You wanted a place fo the cords etc. not the toys themselves!
posted by sunshinesky at 12:21 PM on January 15, 2007

Response by poster: @sunshinesky: either/both, actually...

And @everyone else: wow, some great options here! Now I just need to decide which one to buy...
posted by jacobian at 1:56 PM on January 15, 2007

Let us know!
posted by sunshinesky at 3:07 PM on January 15, 2007

You might also want to investigate iGo to reduce the number of transformers you need to carry...
posted by krisjohn at 6:16 PM on January 15, 2007

Seconding the iGo or similar; I've got a powermonkey and it's now the only charger I carry with me. It handles my phone, camera, bluetooth headset, iPod... and it also acts as a backup battery. Sweet.
posted by blag at 9:06 AM on January 16, 2007

Another recommendation for Waterfield's pouches. ( I have two laptops and two Cableguys to store all my cords, etc. I also have two Gear Pouches. One for miscellany and one for my digital camera, battery charger, manual, cards, etc. I also have their iPod Gear Pouch and am thinking about the new DS Lite Case. The has reviews of some of their stuff. Amazing quality and great service.
posted by flyawaygal at 1:49 PM on January 16, 2007

I guess you may not be reading this, but nevermind those expensive mesh pouches. Medium to large size ziploc freezer bags are the way to go for cables and stuff. They're see-through. Easy to find stuff. Pack them all in another bag.
posted by Listener at 10:22 PM on January 16, 2007

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