Back when I actually had an iPod (which was not as long ago as you might think since I'm a Late Adopter), I got this little black case to hold my device and earbuds. It worked great. Until I no longer had an iPod.
Don't ask me why I kept it because I don't know. I'm not one to hold onto STUFF once it's outlived its usefulness or stops giving me pleasure (don't go there). But, there it sat in my bedside-table drawer (again, don't ask me why) for years until I randomly rescued it from oblivion (I just can't bring myself to comment on that particular design bomb).
|The Little Black Case enjoying time in The Little House|
What do I use it for now? My iPhone certainly doesn't fit into the main compartment (they just keep getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, don't they?). The smaller outer compartment is supposed to hold your earbuds all nicely looped up so they don't get tangled.
|What could possibly fit in here?|
Even when I'm not on a writing retreat, when I'm editing (and other times as well) I move from device to device as I work. I've got my desktop for the heavy lifting and for tasks that don't work well on a mobile device, my tablet for lighter work (first-run edits, reading newsletters and blogs, some correspondence, and writing), and my phone for keeping track of what I'm "supposed" to be doing, communication with the outside virtual world, and looking stuff up (mostly Merriam-Webster's dictionary and Wikipedia). And occasionally playing certain app-based games and puzzles when I need a brain break.
So, throughout the day I find myself migrating from my desk, to the loveseat, to the comfy chair (all in my office), and sometimes even to the kitchen. And there are all those little things that I need to have on hand in each spot. You know, the stuff that gets lost between the loveseat cushions and drives you crazy because you need it and it's sitting there quietly taunting you ("You can't find me, you can't find me, nanny nanny booboo").
Solution: The little stuff goes in this cute little black case, and the black case goes in the pocket of my favorite cargo shorts (that's a topic for another day). In the case are earbuds, small post-it notes, an ergonomic pen, and a small stylus (yes, I know, dinosaur).
Before you start chastising me for using earbuds because they isolate everyone from everyone else, allow me to point out one of the best aspects of using them: concentration. This has been made apparent to me on this trip thanks in large part to Craig.
Craig has a tendency to occasionally get temporarily diverted in the middle of a conversation or task. Just as we've been doing at The Bear Den for several years, when I want to gently point out that he's off topic I just say "squirrel." Then he blushes prettily and we get back on track.
I think Craig may be getting tired of hearing me say "squirrel," because he's spending a lot of time with his earbuds in. I don't know if he's completely concentrating on the task at hand, but he's getting his homework done and we're not "squirreling" each other (yes, I did just use a rodent as a verb).
Conclusion: It's not the tool that's the problem, it's the way the tool is used (like you've never heard that before). If you've got a tool that's not serving you, find a way to make it serve you.
Hopping off the soapbox now...