How to Put Together an Office Contingency Cords Kit

How to Put Together an Office Contingency Cords Kit

Laura E. Hall
Aug 8, 2011

Now that we work in an office out of the house, we sometimes (okay, rather frequently) forget essential cables and cards as we move around. We've assembled a small bag of necessities to keep in our desk drawer; here are the cords and accessories we recommend keeping on hand, so you're prepared for every contingency.

Whether you're getting ready for a road trip, putting together a natural disaster kit or just want to be better prepared, a bit of advance planning can save you a lot of time and money in the end.

The list may seem obvious to some of you, but how many times have you been caught out at work with a dead camera battery, or had to borrow a USB cable from your cubicle neighbor? Even if it's infrequent, if it ever comes at a crucial time, you'll be thankful you thought ahead.

Our Kit Contains:

  • Phone charging cord - for us, this means a USB cable and an additional wall plug. Be sure to get all the parts together that you're going to need, and keep them together with a rubber band if necessary.
  • Power cable for laptop - this is one of the pricier recommendations on this list, but it's well worth the investment if it can save you from a dead battery right before a presentation.
  • Emergency battery pack charger - if you're on the road or on a long plane trip, an emergency battery pack charger like the Trent iDual-Port Pack IMP50D 5000mAh External Battery Pack and Charger ($49.95) can literally be a lifesaver. We used one to call a tow truck on an overnight road trip when we broke down two hours outside of our city, in the middle of the night, and now we'll never travel without one.
  • Camera battery charger (and extra battery) - we've found ourselves constantly using our camera at work, even though our work has nothing to do with photography, so we've learned it's always better to be prepared when it comes to charging. Keep your spare battery ready to go at all times, and you'll never be caught out - this is especially useful when traveling.
  • Extra camera card - there's no sinking feeling quite like discovering you've managed to charge your battery, but left your SD card at home. Do yourself a favor and get a spare, like this 16 GB one from Amazon ($22.04).
  • USB key - with servers, email attachments and the cloud available for storage and file sharing, having a USB key around may seem like an afterthought, but when all those things go down because of a network or power failure, you'll be thankful for that little drive.

These are all useful for office life, but there are plenty of adaptations for any situation. For example, on road trips we always bring along a male-to-male stereo cable, so that we can plug in our media to the rental car's audio system - a lesson learned after several last-minute and expensive trips to the electronics store while on the road.

That's what's in our kit - what's in yours? Share your tips with Unplggd readers in the comments below.

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