Several people have been asking a similar question to,
“How do you at Hackaday keep track of and organize all your equipment?”
-[Jeff Allen] and others.
We have a variety of resources to help you keep track of your tools, equipment, parts, and supplies! Follow us after the jump for some tips for keeping your workspace clean and tidy.
First and foremost, we admit, we’re not the cleanest of bunches. We work on several projects at a time, receive ungodly amounts of mail and paperwork, struggle with dust and other allergens, all while writing wonderful articles. So please forgive us if our workspace is just a little messy.
So what can I use to help keep my parts orderly?
[Andrew Lybarger] asked us if Spice Containers would work, and was worried if the magnets would interfere with electronics. In short, we think they would work perfectly. Resistors, LEDs, etc should all be fine. We wouldn’t put our expensive ICs in there though, just to be safe.
For those that don’t want magnets, we suggest clear dividable containers. Or, my personally favorite for on-the-go hackers. A tackle box, its many holding areas for hooks and other things work great for transistors and caps. The bottom part of the boxes is usually quite roomy to fit a soldering iron (or two).
HAD writer [Devlin] prefers to keep all purchased components in the rail/tube/bag they come in, stick a label on and they’re good to go. Writer [Mike] goes a step further by keeping the purchase order and a spreadsheet on his PC with a list of parts and supplies, all it takes is a GREP search to find the right IC.
I just have too many tools, help me HAD!
If you have one or two items that can fit in the above mentioned tackle box, you’re set. But some here might have everything from a sledge-hammer to a pair of tweezers. There is no real easy way to say this, but buy a tool chest, or better yet make one.
How do I keep my workspace clean?
First and foremost, prevention. When you’re done with a project, put your tools away! We would like to slide in a little note here to mention not only a clean work environment, but a safe one.
For a computer workspace, nothing is worse than horrible amounts of cables creating a rat’s nest. Zip ties and a little ingenuity can go a long way.
What about the ungodly amount of paper work?
Whether digital or real, find a filing system. I know several HAD writers rely on Google products. And with Gmail, Calender, Documents, and more all interlinked, I’ve never lost an important file.
Outside of the digital side though, accordion files are great! We have several around the office for articles, finances, and more. For a lot of mail, slot divided organizers work wonders (And we always know where a pen is!)
Don’t let your desk and work area get overfilled with tools and supplies in the first place. If you clean up after you’re done every time, you’ll know where everything is and will spend less time looking and more time hacking.
Here is where the fun begins.
We get to now ask the fun questions; how do you, our readers, keep organized with your equipment, tools, parts, supplies and other necessities of hacker-dom?