We've showcased countless examples of an office creatively nestled into a small home's limited space. Some carve a workspace out of a closet, laundry room, or garage. If you're having trouble finding a corner to call your own, or perhaps don't work from home enough to feel a dedicated spot is justified, consider a modular setup. Read on for some tech solutions to fit your entire office in a drawer - assemble as necessary!
Big Bulky Boxes - Replacing the Printer and Scanner
As portables have become the standard for personal computing, being chained to a bulky printer or scanner seems inconceivable. To reduce clutter, many have moved to all-in-one scanners/copiers/printers. While these multifunction devices have a minimal footprint, they remain incredibly bulky. For small spaces (or those who simply don't work with a great deal of paper), portable printers and scanners are an excellent option.
HP's Officejet 100 Mobile Printer can run on battery power alone, print via built-in bluetooth, and will tuck away easily - it measures just 13.7" x 6.9" x 3.3". For an alternative to a traditional flatbed scanner, check out the Doxie Go. Every time you feed a photo or document through this svelte bar, it stores the image internally. You can transfer your trove of scanned images to your computer via USB, or with an Eye-Fi wireless SD card, automatically over Wi-Fi! These slim devices can fit comfortably in a drawer, pop out whenever they're needed, and hide away when you're done.
Invisible Backup Solutions
Without a backup, your important documents, cherished photos, and sensitive data is vulnerable to natural disasters, theft, and hardware malfunction. Traditional external hard drives take up valuable desk space and often require a dedicated power cable. Thankfully, portable drives have adopted higher capacity storage and become more reliable in recent years. Seagate, Western Digital, and many others now sell handheld drives with storage exceeding a terabyte, making them perfect for laptop or desktop use.
Another option is to consolidate your hardware. Apple's Time Capsule is a Wi-Fi router with an integrated hard drive. combined with OS X's built-in Time Machine software, your Mac will automatically and wirelessly back up its data hourly over the network. To cut out hardware all together, consider a cloud solution like Carbonite or Backblaze, which securely backup your files online for a monthly or annual fee.
The Second Display You Didn't Know You Had
There are times when a laptop's diminutive screen just isn't large enough to get things done. Instead of spending money on (and dedicating space to) an external display, just turn to the extra screen you already own - your HDTV! In most cases, using your TV as an external display is as simple as plugging in a basic HDMI cable, though depending on your computer's video ports, you may require an adapter. When you're done, just unplug the cable and your TV returns to its role as entertainment central.
These are just a few simple ways to build an office that's there when you need it - and only when you need it. Do you have any secrets to a truly compact office? Share them in the comments!