Readers offer their best tips for telling the difference between all your plugs, having an umbrella handy at home, and organizing your smartphone’s home screen.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favorites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments, email it to tips at lifehacker.com, or share it over at our user-run blog, Hackerspace.
Use a Silver Marker to Differentiate Between Plugs
Roy Smith fixes his bird’s nest of a surge protector:
Nearly all gadgets you get these days use AC transformers with random jacks to connect to the device. Unfortunately these transformers are usually “generic” and if separated from the device, can be easily confused (sometimes with very bad results if voltage or polarity is wrong).
I’ve solved this problem with a simple hack using a silver inked Sharpie. Whenever any new device with a transformer comes into my home, I write the device name on the transformer with the silver sharpie.
It’s certainly better than bread tags.
Keep an Umbrella in Your Mailbox for Quick Access
Garrett Vorbeck doesn’t let weather get him down:
I am rarely smart enough to look at the weather before I head out the door. I also live on the fifth floor of a walk-up apartment building. I’ll frequently get down the stairs and ready to leave only to realize it’s raining. I stare back up the flights I just went down and pretty frequently can’t muster the energy to go back up, get an umbrella, and come back down. My solution for this was to put a small single-person umbrella in my mailbox at the entrance of the building. That way, I see the rain and just pull my umbrella out at the front door. Done!
Photo by Molly DG.
Put All Your Badge-Heavy Icons in One Folder
I have used numerous approaches to app organization and I feel like my current iteration is the most helpful that I’ve tried.
The basic concept behind my layout is where the notification badges appear. I was overwhelmed with all the different badges all over the place ranging from email, text, phone calls and social media notifications. Now, I understand that you can just turn them off individually but I like to have a visual representation of my notifications and the badges are good at that. I seemed to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
So I threw all the apps that have directly to do with communication in a folder on my dock called (Comm.) for communications. I also have done this for daily used apps and utilities.
Check out Naturehacker’s full post with pictures over on Hackerspace.
Use a Coffee Carafe for Quick Bottle Feedings
For a baby which will be waking up in the night needing a bottle of formula:
- Get a insulated pump carafe like the coffee dispensing kind
- Before bed, fill the carafe with (safe, baby bottle temperature) warm water
- Before bed, pre-measure powdered baby formula into 2 or 3 (depending on the baby) dry baby bottles and leave them next to the carafe in the baby’s room.
When baby wakes up in the night, use the carafe to fill a pre-powdered bottle with warm water (about 3 pumps), cap and shake for a second, and give to baby. Your baby goes from crying to content in under 15 seconds without you making trips to the kitchen, using the stove or microwave, or measuring formula scoops while half awake.