Problem Solvers: Cord Identifiers

If there is one thing about my desk that drives me absolutely crazy, it's the tangled jungle of cords underneath.  It's almost incomprehensible to me that I need that many cords to make my one computer work.  And when I get one of those lovely messages like "The network cable is unplugged," I have to hunt to find out which one is the network cable.  Or maybe I know which cable coming out of my monitor is the one I need to fiddle with, but I don't know which one it is in the back of my tower, so I have to jiggle it and look underneath my desk to see which one is moving.  Then I have to quickly jump under the desk and grab it before it stops moving so that I can follow it to the back of the tower.   It's absolutely insane.  (Can you tell I'm not a techie?)

Fortunately for me and people like me, the frustration can be somewhat eased by the use of cord identifiers.  There are lots of different ones on the market and they all work the same way - they have colored attachments that you use to identify each cord.  For instance, the red cord is the network cable, blue is the monitor cable, orange is the printer cable, etc.  As you can see in the pictures below, some of them have pictures on them to tell you what device they're for and others allow you to write on them.  I'll write on mine - pictures really annoy me.  (I'd like to have a discussion with whoever decided instructions were easier to follow if they were just a series of pictures.  Grr!)

These gadgets will help you to know which cable is which, which is a large part of my battle, but they don't solve the other problem - the jungle of cables.  For that, you can use cord cases.  They come in a mini size for 5 foot cords, or regular size for 8 foot cords.  You wrap the excess cord around the spindle and it keeps them neat and out of the way.

There are other products out there to help you consolidate cables - like wire clips and channels, but those are attached to the back of your desk with a self-adhesive backing (see pics below) and for me, the cord case is a simpler, faster, no muss no fuss solution.  I can just wrap the extra cord in the case and let the case hang back there.  If I have to move my computer, I don't have to deal with the clips and adhesive on the back of the desk.

Just another (hopefully) helpful tip to keep you organized!