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10 Ways technology can declutter your workspace

Here’s how to tell if it’s time to declutter your workspace, and which tools will help you actually keep your area cleared.

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Let’s do an exercise together

Look up from your computer. Don’t worry; I won’t go anywhere. Just examine your work area and notice if it’s clean or messy.

Are you back? Great! You barely kept me waiting. What does your work area look like? Is there clutter everywhere? A few pictures on your desk is fine. But if you can’t move your laptop an inch without knocking pens and papers off the side of your desk, then you’re in trouble.

You might think this clutter doesn’t bother you. However, it does affect how you work.

Why you should declutter

You shouldn’t just declutter because it looks messy. You should declutter so you work more efficiently.

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Clutter competes for your attention, which makes it more difficult for you to focus and be productive. Clutter distracts your brain from concentrating on your work. Your brain can’t efficiently process the information of the work you’re trying to get done. This happens because it’s trying to process the information of the clutter on your desk at the same time.

Decluttering your workspace will lead to you being more productive. Luckily for you, technology can be used to help with the decluttering process. Here are ten ways technology can declutter your workspace!

1. CableBox Mini

How many times a day do you have to step over the cords of your laptop charger, Ethernet cable, etc.?

These cables make your workspace look messy. Use a CableBox Mini to store these cords. Your charger is usually much longer than you need it to be. Stick it in your CableBox Mini, and slide it under your desk so it’s not a distraction.

2. Scan your documents

One of the most popular forms of clutter is paperwork. Documents can compile on your desk at a rapid pace and build up to a tower of unorganized files.

These documents need a place to be stored, and there’s no better place than your computer. Scan your documents and organize folders on your computer. You’ll still have all the paperwork you need while keeping your workplace organized.

3. Get a Kindle

I’m sure you’re always learning. If you’re in college, then you probably have textbooks all over your room. If you aren’t in college, you probably have a bunch of informational books in your office.

These books can be distracting. The best way to combat this is to purchase a Kindle or any e-book reader. Shelves of books are now held in a tiny tablet, and will clear a lot of space.

4. Separate computers

Do you use the same computer for everything? Do you have your computer, tablet, and phone out on your desk as you work?

Your work computer is the only thing that should be in your workspace. Your tablet or phone will only be distracting, and you’ll feel the urge to pick it up and take your focus away from your work.

5. Charging station

Are there gadgets lying around your office? Store them all in a charging station.

Charging stations are shelves where you can charge all of your electronics. These stations look nice and provide a home to your technology when you aren’t using it. This’ll help you keep everything organized instead of leaving your electronics on the desk or floor.

6. Touchscreen tablet

Want to know how to keep pens and papers off your desk? Get a tablet.

With a touch screen tablet, you can write everything down and store it on your tablet. You can get a stylus to help you write.

7. All-In-One printer

The clutter made from four machines can now be narrowed down to one. Now you can recycle those other clunky machines and save room with an all-in-one printer, since most printers can now scan, copy, and fax documents.  You can find many popular models online or in-store for your convenience.

8. The Boogie Board

Want another way to save paper? Try The Boogie Board Sync.

This electronic notepad lets you write down notes. You can then save it to the board as a PDF file, or you can send it to your smartphone. You can also connect it to your PC via USB cable. Now your hand-written notes are easily saved electronically.

9. Use your smartphone

Your smartphone can pretty much do anything you need it to do. You can use the calendar to remember dates, notepad to jot down notes, and you can send any document you want.

A lot of your clutter can be saved on your phone and stored in your pocket.

10. Multiple computer screens

Clutter can exist on your desktop too. Too many tabs or programs open can be distracting and make you work less.

Get multiple computer screens at work. This will help you organize everything you’re doing, and you can concentrate better on your work.

The takeaway

Clutter can seriously affect your productivity. It’s time to go to your workspace and do a little spring cleaning! Do you have any tips for decluttering your workspace that aren’t mentioned here? I’d love to know what works for you in the comment section below!

#Declutter

Megan Ray Nichols is an editorialist at The American Genius, and is a technical writer who's passionate about technology and the science. She also regularly writes at Smart Data Collective, IoT Times, and ReadWrite. Megan publishes easy to understand articles on her blog, Schooled By Science - subscribe today for weekly updates!

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Loss of internet access is used as punishment for those who abuse it

(TECH NEWS) Internet access is becoming more of a human right especially in light of recent events –so why is revoking it being used as a punishment?

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When one hears the word “punishment”, several things likely come to mind—firing, fees, jail time, and even death for the dramatic among us—but most people probably don’t envision having their access to utilities restricted as a legal repercussion.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening across the country—if you consider Internet access a utility.

In the past, you’ve probably heard stories about people awaiting trial or experiencing probation limitations being told that they are not to use the Internet or certain types of communication. While this may seem unjust, the circumstances usually provide some context for the extreme nature of such a punishment; for example, it seems reasonable to ask that a person accused of downloading child pornography keep off the internet.

More recently–and perhaps more controversially—a young man accused of using social media to incite violent behavior during country-wide protests was ordered to stay offline while awaiting trial. This order came after the individual purportedly encouraged people to “[tip] police cars”, vandalize property, and generally exhibit other “riot”-oriented behaviors.

Whether or not one reads this post as a specific call to create violence—something that is, in fact, illegal—the fact remains that the “punishment” for this crime in lieu of a current conviction involves cutting off the person involved from all internet access until a verdict is achieved.

The person involved in this story may be less than sympathetic depending on your stance, but they aren’t alone. The response of cutting off the Internet in this case complements other stories we’ve seen, such as one regarding Cox and a client in Florida. Allegedly, the client in question paid for unlimited data—a potential issue in and of itself—and then exceeded eight terabytes of monthly use on multiple occasions.

Did Cox correct their plan, allocate more data, throttle this user, or reach out to explain their concerns, you may ask?

No. Cox alerted the user in question that they would terminate his account if his use continued to be abnormally high, and in the meantime, they throttled the user’s ENTIRE neighborhood. This kind of behavior would be unacceptable when applied to any other utility (imagine having your air conditioning access “throttled” during the summer), so why is it okay for Cox?

The overarching issue in most cases stems from Internet provider availability; in many areas, clients have one realistic option for an Internet provider, thus allowing that provider to set prices, throttle data, and impose restrictions on users free of reproach.

Anyone who has used Comcast, Cox, or Cable One knows how finicky these services can be regardless of time of use, and running a simple Google speed test is usually enough to confirm that the speeds you pay for and the speeds you receive are rarely even close.

In the COVID era in which we find ourselves, it is imperative that Internet access be considered more than just a commodity: It is a right, one that cannot be revoked simply due to a case of overuse here, or a flaw in a data plan there.

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Tech News

How to personalize your site for every visitor without learning code

(TECH NEWS) This awesome tool from Proof lets you personalize your website for visitors without coding. Experiences utilizes your users to create the perfect view for them.

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What if you could personalize every step of the sales funnel? The team over at Proof believes this is the next best step for businesses looking to drive leads online. Their tool, Experiences, is a marketer-friendly software that lets you personalize your website for every visitor without coding.

Using Experiences your team can create a targeted experience for the different types of visitors coming to your website. The personalization is thought to drive leads more efficiently because it offers visitors exactly the information they want. Experiences can also be used to A/B test different strategies for your website. This could be a game changer for companies that target multiple specific audiences.

Experiences is a drag-and-drop style tool, which means nearly anyone on your team can learn to use it. The UX is meant to be intuitive and simple, so you don’t need a web developer to guide you through the process. In order to build out audiences for your website, Experiences pulls data from your CRM, such as SalesForce and Hubspot, or you can utilize a Clearbit integration which pull third-party information.

Before you go rushing to purchase a new tool for your team, there are a few things to keep in mind. According to Proof, personalization is best suited for companies with at least 15,000 plus visitors per month. This volume of visitors is necessary for Experiences to gather the data it needs to make predictions. The tool is also recommended for B2B businesses since company data is public.

The Proof team is a success story of the Y Combinator demo day. They pitched their idea for a personalized web experience and quickly found themselves funded. Now, they’ve built out their software and have seen success with their initial clients. Over the past 18 months, their early-access clients, which included brands like Profitwell and Shipbob, have seen an increase in leads, proposals, and downloads.

Perhaps the best part of Proof is that they don’t just sell you a product and walk away. Their website offers helpful resources for customers called Playbooks where you can learn how to best use the tool to achieve your company’s goals be it converting leads or engaging with your audience. If this sounds like exactly the tool your team needs, you can request a demo on their website.

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Tech News

3 cool ways bug-sized robots are changing the world

(TECH NEWS) Robots are at the forefront of tech advancements. But why should we care? Here are some noticeable ways robots are changing the world.

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Bits of robots and microchips changing the world.

When we envision the robots that will (and already are) transforming our world, we’re most likely thinking of something human- or dog-sized. So why are scientists hyper-focusing on developing bug-sized (or even smaller!) robots?

Medical advances

Tiny robots could assist in better drug delivery, as well as conduct minor internal surgeries that wouldn’t otherwise require incisions.

Rescue operations

We’ve all heard about the robot dogs that can rescue people who’ve been buried beneath rubble or sheets of snow. However, in some circumstances these machines are too bulky to do the job safely. Bug-sized robots are a less invasive savior in high-intensity environments, such as mine fields, that larger robots would not be able to navigate without causing disruption.

Exploration

Much like the insects after which these robots were designed, they can be programmed to work together (think: ants building a bridge using their own bodies). This could be key in exploring surfaces like Mars, which are not safe for humans to explore freely. Additionally, tiny robots that can be set to construct and then deconstruct themselves could help astronauts in landings and other endeavors in space.

Why insects?

Well, perhaps the most important reason is that insects have “nature’s optimized design”. They can jump vast distances (fleas), hold items ten times the weight of their own bodies (ants) and perform tasks with the highest efficiency (bees) – all qualities that, if utilized correctly, would be extremely beneficial to humans. Furthermore, a bug-sized bot is economical. If one short-circuits or gets lost, it won’t totally break the bank.

What’s next?

Something scientists have yet to replicate in robotics is the material elements that make insects so unique and powerful, such as tiny claws or sticky pads. What if a robot could produce excrement that could build something, the way bees do in their hives, or spiders do with their webs? While replicating these materials is often difficult and costly, it is undoubtedly the next frontier in bug-inspired robotics – and it will likely open doors for humans that we never imaged possible.

This is all to say that in the pursuit of creating strong, powerful robots, they need not always be big in stature – sometimes, the tiniest robots are just the best for the task.

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