Little Thing: Device Chargers

This is one of my favorite Little Things tips: just buy more chargers for your devices. I know that you have probably heard this before, but I really do hope that you do this.

In case you don’t know what I am talking about I want to walk you through a typical day of mine back in 2006 (which was right before I started deploying this tip in my life).

2006 Ben

I was using a 15” MacBook Pro and I only had one charger for it. Keep in mind I used this Mac for everything — no iPhone was around yet. In a typical day during this time I would have to unplug and relocate my MacBook Pro charger no less than five times.

That isn’t a shockingly high number, until you think about the fact that outlets are not conveniently placed. They are placed low on the wall and often in spots where you want to block them with furniture. It’s not hard, per se, to move a laptop charger from room to room — but it is very annoying.

Present Day Ben

Now I own several MacBook Air chargers. I keep one at my desk at work. One at my desk at home. I keep the third one in my cord bag so that I can easily toss it in my bag if I need to. (Before I switched to the MacBook Air, with its long battery life, I used to keep a fourth laptop charger in the living room routed between the couch cushion that I normally sat on.)

I can’t remember the last time that I bothered with toting chargers around with me in my day-to-day life. That’s not only less weight and stuff to carry, but it’s a lot less of the fiddling with placing chargers.

Why You Need to Do This

How many times have you been working on your device (any battery powered device) only to have the battery start to die and instead of plugging in the device to keep working, you decide to just go plug it in to the charger — wherever that charger maybe?

If you do that even once a week, you know how big of a pain that can be. Doesn’t matter if it is your iPad, iPhone, or Mac — having to stop working to go charge it somewhere that you don’t want to work is annoying.

So by buying yourself an extra charger (or three) you can quickly eliminate this annoyance.

I think to most of you the laptop charger scenario will make a ton of sense — the chargers are heavy and we like to route the wires nicely on our desks.

What about iPhone though?

I think any avid iPhone owner will agree that the battery life could be much better. In a typical day my iPhone will be sitting at about 20% left when I get home around 5p. That’s not great — I made it through the work day — but it won’t last me the night.

I actually have iPhone chargers everywhere.

  • Living room
  • Home office
  • Car
  • Office, office
  • Bedroom
  • Two extra chargers in my cable bag

Here’s the thing with my iPhone: I don’t like to not be near it, ever. It bugs me — yeah call me OCD, or odd — fact is I like my iPhone close to me at all times. I also realize that the battery will die if I don’t charge it at some point during the day, thus all the chargers scattered throughout my life.

It’s even to the point where I am going to go put an iPhone charger in our guest room, just so our guests don’t have to mess with plugging in (and forgetting) their chargers.

The Exception

There is only one exception to my “buy a ton of extra chargers” rule: my iPad. The iPad has proven to me that it’s battery life, and the amount per day that I use it, don’t warrant having chargers anywhere but in the bedroom. 1

As battery life in my devices improve this will likely reduce the amount of chargers I have to carry.

But Until Then

I am going to keep strategically placing chargers throughout my life for two reasons:

  1. I hate having to move chargers.
  2. I love knowing that I don’t need to worry about battery life because it is either good enough, or a charger will be near.

Ok, go buy some chargers.

Buying Advice

Obviously with Mac laptops you need to buy Apple chargers, but for your iPhone here are a couple of chargers you may want to consider:

  • Belkin Mini Surge: I love to take this traveling or to coffee shops. You get three power ports and two USB chargers. It won’t charge your iPad at full speed, but it’s a great travel companion.
  • Griffin Car Charger: The best part is that this charger has two ports. One for you and one for your wife.
  • Monoprice External Battery Pack: I personally have not used this, but I do have this version that they no longer make and have nothing but good things to say. What’s great about this power pack is that it can charge an iPad at full speed, which means I just bought one for myself.
  1. Of course this is helped by the fact that I can, in a pinch, charge off of iPhone chargers.
Originally posted for members on: June 1, 2012
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