Filed under: Cable Identification, Desk Cable Organizers
Four short years ago, I had no idea what “cable management” was, or the types of products it entailed. But ever since I got into this business, I’ve turned into a complete organization geek who actually gets excited whenever the newest, shiniest wire organizer comes my way. It’s pretty amazing that people are still coming up with new ways to tame messy cords, because it’s seemingly all been done. I’ve used cord organizers that looked like a turtle’s shell, a yoyo, a spine (believe it or not), and cartoony zoo animals. And those are just the tip of the iceberg.
Why all of the weird and whimsical designs? Because cable management is boring. Boring but necessary. Yet the necessity of it all becomes a little less mundane if you can use products that add fun and novelty to practicality. Heck, that’s what keeps my attention. Keep thinking of ways to make cable management interesting, and you’ll keep me on the line.
But what if you’re a regular non-geek who doesn’t need to be amused by their wire management devices? What if you just want something that will keep your computer cables in line, and prevent them from falling behind your desk when you unplug them? In that case, I’d fast-forward right past the cord winders and wire-hiders, and bring you to a screeching halt right in front of the Keep-a-Cable. This cord anchoring system is cheap, simple, and pretty much as no-frills as they come, but you know what? It works.
Here’s how: The Keep-a-Cable is basically a flat, flexible piece of plastic that has peel and stick adhesive on one side, and cable slots on the other. You just peel off the backing, adhere the Keep-a-Cable to the back of your desk (behind your computer), and then pop your cables into the slots (you can see a live-action video demonstration of this here). These slots are wide enough so that the cables can move freely, but narrow enough so that connectors can’t slip through and fall to the floor. When you need to plug a peripheral into your computer, you can just reach to the back of your desk and grab the corresponding cable, instead of crawling around on the floor to find it. Then, when you’re done, you just unplug and leave the cord resting in the Keep-a-Cable, ready to go for next time.
It seems to be one of the Laws of the Universe that if you leave a disconnected cable lying on your desktop, it will pretty much stay put until you reach for it. At that point, it will start to slip away, eluding your outstretched hand by only an inch or so. That is, until it reaches the very edge of your desk, at which point it will plunge into oblivion just a fraction of a second before your fingers can grab it. Sigh.
Then comes retrieval. Crawling beneath your workstation isn’t at the top of most people’s “to-do” lists in the first place, but it becomes even more of a chore if the area under your desk has the typical pile of computer and peripheral cords mixed with the occasional dustball. Now, you get to sort through the mess and find the right cable, maneuver it back up to your desktop, and then plug it in fast before you risk having to go through the whole ridiculous slapstick routine all over again.
If you can think of better ways to use your time than chasing after loose cable ends, then you may want to make friends with the Cable Caddy, a cool little desktop cord organizer that hides behind your computer to neatly route USB and other peripheral cables while they’re plugged in, and holds them securely in place when they’re unplugged.
The Cable Caddy comes with adhesive strips and a desk clamp, which let you affix it to your desk so it doesn’t jump overboard with your cables. Wondering how it keeps a grip on cords? The Cable Caddy has 5 narrow channels that are big enough to let cables move freely through them, but still narrow enough to catch onto connectors and keep them from sliding away. You’ll never have to grope around for MP3, cell phone charger or printer cables ever again.