Lifehacker readers offer their best tips for making sure the dishes get washed, getting your speakers at the right angle, and using Gmail in Microsoft Outlook.
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.
Created Separate Counter Spaces for Each Roommate's Dishes
Robert shares a tip for living with roommates:
When living in student houses we often had problems with people not washing their dishes. Everyone would dump their dirty dishes next to the sink with the intention of cleaning them up later and then go onto forget which of the dishes were theirs in the huge pile that had accumulated.
A solution we came up with was to divide the surface next to the sink that the washing was usually left on into sections with names on them for each person living within the house. This meant that people would place their dirty dishes in their section and actually do them later. Sounds like a simple trick, but it proved so useful for us and saved many arguments. We used packing tape and correction fluid to divide and name the sections which worked well on our plastic counter tops.
Photo by Jessica Merz.
Use Door Stops to Get Your Speakers at the Perfect Angle
Claudia finds a cheap way to aim her speakers at her ears:
I just bought two small Audioengine A2 speakers for my home office. I read that speaker stands would tilt the music up to my ears and stop unwanted vibrations affecting sound and rumbling through the desktop. But the stands looked overpriced at $US29 before tax and shipping! I read they were made of rubber so I walked a couple of blocks to my local hardware store and bought two sets of "Rubber Door Wedges" for $US2.99 each. I told the guy behind the counter what I was using them for and he got a dawning look of ah-hah, "yeah they angle, they're made of rubber, and things won't slide off 'em," he said. Yup. And they work. See the attached photos.
Get Gmail's Archive Functionality in Microsoft Outlook
MsCassLopez shows us a useful feature in Outlook:
If you want to get Gmail's archive functionality in Outlook, there's an easy way to do it built in.
Click the New folder link in the folders pane and call your new folder Archive. You'll see the new folder called Archive.
Then go to Settings > More Mail Settings > Instant Actions > Add Actions > Move To. In the Move To box that appears, select your Archive folder and choose an icon. Enable the Mark as read option if you like, then click Save. If you want the Archive icon always showing then hit the Move Down button to move it to the Show Always section before you click Save.
In your inbox when you mouse over a message, you'll see your new icon. Click it to send the message to the Archive folder.
Convert a Sinjimoru iPhone Dock for the iPhone 5
Jon discovers his old iPhone dock works with the iPhone 5:
I have a tip on how to make an iPhone 5 dock from an existing Sinjimoru iPhone 30-pin connector dock without much difficulty. The Sinjimoru dock is designed in such a way that it holds the Lightning cable tip up straight and sturdy which allows the phone to be docked and un-docked with ease (although I have noticed that the new cable tip fits more snugly in the phone's port than the 30-pin connections used to).
- Wrap some electrical tape around the tip of the Lightning end of the cable (only the plastic part). A strip of about 8-10 inches should be used.
- Follow the instructions provided with the dock to insert the cable into the avenue provided for the 30-pin cable, being sure the cable sits in the centre of the plastic clip that will connect it to the dock. If the cable doesn't fit properly in the plastic clip, add or remove electrical tape from the tip of the cable as necessary.
- Attach the plastic clip to the dock being sure the cable is routed properly. If done correctly, the tip of the Lightning cable should stand up straight (although it may not sit perfectly in the centre of the dock). If the phone does not charge or sync correctly when docked, repeat Step 2 as there is probably not enough of the Lightning cable's tip exposed above the plastic clip.
- Optional: Apply extra tape to cover the open spots on the plastic clip not filled by the cable (although the plastic of the unit should keep it standing securely without tape reinforcements).
Hopefully someone finds this helpful and see the attached image for the finished work (the needlepoint coaster was a gift from a co-worker).