From The Tips Box: Loud Phones, Lost Coats, Business Cards

From The Tips Box: Loud Phones, Lost Coats, Business Cards

Readers offer their best tips for quieting your mobile phone’s vibration function, getting back your lost coat, and easily logging into troublesome Wi-Fi hotspots.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Use Rubber Bands to Dampen Your Mobile Phone’s Vibration

Shannon gives us a great tip for quiet offices:

I am the youngest person in my office by a good 25 years. When I get a text or email and the vibration rattles my desk, I can feel the hateful glares boring into the back of my skull. For this or many other reasons, you might want to dampen the obnoxious rattling your phone can make when it vibrates against a tabletop (or in my case, reverberates through a sheet metal desk.)

I started putting rubber bands around my phone. I put one around the top and one at the bottom, or twist a larger band between the ends to make a big X on one side. It muffles the vibration perfectly- I can hear it when I’m near, but the sound doesn’t amplify. Plus, the supplies are free and readily available in your office.

Keep a Business Card in Your Coat Pocket to Avoid Losing It Forever

Photo by Brooke Raymond.

Celeste27 finds an easy way to get your coat returned when you lose it:

As the weather is warming up, many of us wear a coat when we go somewhere, and forget to grab it when we leave. If you leave your coat at work or your favourite coffee shop, it’s not that hard to remember to pick it up. However, if you leave it somewhere that you don’t often visit, you often won’t remember where you wore it last.

You can increase the chances of getting your jacket or coat back if you simply leave your business card in a pocket. I wear an army surplus pea coat, which is a pretty common coat these days, so I keep a business card in the pocket in case someone takes my coat by mistake. Just to make it absolutely clear, I write “This coat belongs to” on the back of the card.

If someone is bent on stealing your coat, a business card in the pocket won’t stop them. However, I work in a place that sees a lot of belongings left behind, and we would love to return them to their owners if we only had a way to identify them.

Use an IKEA Folding Hook to Hold Your Headphones

This one is my own personal tip. We’ve shared a bunch of headphone hanging methods here, but I found this particular product on the Head-Fi forums: the BJÄRNUM folding hook from IKEA. You can screw it to just about anything (I’ve screwed it to one of the legs on my desk), it takes up very little space, and even folds up when not in use. Absolutely perfect for that nice pair of headphones.


  • Use 3m Command mounting strips to mount your headphone hooks so they can be removed without any damage to your furniture.

    Command strips are a renters/workers best friend.

  • Umm, rubber band a phone?? You’ve got to be kidding right?

    I always have a notebook on my desk to jot things down (much neater than loose paper), just put my phone on that…perfectly muffles the sound. If not the notebook, some other piece, such as the pile of post it notes?

  • Re mobile phones: this is the sort of thing that makes older people think Gen Y are self-centred, irresponsible and unhirable. You’re at work, put your phone away. You are not nearly important enough to warrant keeping your personal phone on your desk. (Full disclosure: I’m 23 and keep my phone in my bag since anything that happens on it generally isn’t work related.)

    Unless there’s a good reason, like your folks are sick or something. In which case tell your coworkers to suck it.

    • +1
      As soon as I read, “Hateful glares,” I thought I feel for your co-workers. Get back to work! You’re not being paid to interact with your friends.

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