If you’re that person in the office whose desk resembles the set of a post-apocalyptic zombie film, don’t worry—every office has one (or a few). Yet a cluttered desk isn't just a visual or hygienic problem: studies have consistently shown that keeping a clean and organized workspace makes you more productive at the office. Take a look at these five easy steps to not only declutter your desk, but keep it that way for good.
Start From Scratch
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve yelled, “Enough!” and decided to fully commit to keeping a clean and organized workspace. However, simply having another cosmetic cleaning day is only going to lead back to the same old habits. In order to declutter your desk for good, organizational expert Peter Walsh suggests you ask yourself: What do I want from my office space, and is it meeting my needs? To start from scratch, take everything off of and out of your desk and place it in categorized boxes. Only then can you determine what you really need, and what items are wasting your desk’s precious real estate.
Divide Your Workspace Into Zones
Once you’ve decided how you want to utilize your space and what essentials you need to keep there, it’s time to organize your desk into zones for different work functions. For example, put all of your writing utensils and office supplies such as staples, scissors and calculators in an easily-accessible storage drawer, rather than scattered across your desktop. For books, large reports and other resource documents, designate a special library area towards the periphery of your workstation. And while many offices brag of going paperless, the reality is that most companies still use an exorbitant amount of paper for daily functions. To keep loose leaf paper out of the way, set up a specific storage zone that keeps these documents well-organized and readily available for when you need to access them in a hurry.
Invest in Organizational Tools
In order to keep your new workplace zones intact and relevant, you’ll want to invest in a few organizational tools. A simple cork board is a great way to keep personal items, such as photos, post-its and to-do lists, out of your way. A drawer organizer will ensure that all of the little things—thumbtacks, paper clips, highlighters and extra tape—have a designated home in your storage drawer. And, most importantly, you’ll want to purchase a letter tray and file organizer to act as the centerpiece of your storage area. The Safco Mesh Desktop Organizer is a great example of an inexpensive, efficient file tray that will keep your documents and binders coordinated and off of your workspace.
Maintain Your Cables
We tend to focus on all of the papers and other knick-knacks that accumulate on our desks, yet we ignore the permanent and essential pieces of our workspace—the cables that power our devices. Cable clutter is often the most persistent form of desk clutter because most of us don’t realize there’s a very easy way to manage those troublesome cords. If you’re serious about organizing your desk to its fullest potential, invest in a docking station such as the Vertical Dock by Henge Docks. The Vertical Dock neatly manages the flow of cables in and out of your MacBook by repositioning them from the sides of your laptop to the back, all while opening up more space on your desktop. You’ll wonder how you ever survived without a cable management system in the first place.
Set a Cleaning Schedule
Cleaning and organizing your desk is easy—it’s keeping it clean and organized that’s the more difficult task. To ensure that your workspace doesn’t fall back into its dual role as a trash can, set a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning schedule. One of the best times to clean your desk is at the end of day on Friday: you won’t be distracted by work and it’s a great way to clear your head and transition into the weekend. Plus, you’ll arrive at work on Monday to a clean and more productive space.
One of the best perks of using a MacBook docking station is the speed and ease in which you can connect to dual display monitors. With all of that extra screen space, you have the ability to operate on multiple programs and web pages at once, drastically increasing your productivity.
But how do you make your dual displays look and feel like one cohesive unit? You can actually set your background as a single image that stretches across both screens rather easily--we’ll show you how below.
Before we go through the steps on how to apply your new wallpaper, you’ll want to choose a photo that’s going to fit across dual displays. For this trick to work, you must make sure the resolution of the photo is greater than the total resolution of the two monitors combined--meaning it must be as wide as the two monitors put together, and as high as the tallest of the two. For example, if one monitor is 1600 X 900 and the other is 1920 X 1080, then the photo resolution must be at least 3520 X 1080.
In order to find the resolution of your displays, you will want to click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your computer. Next, select “About this Mac”, and then open the “Displays” tab. The MacBook display resolution and any monitor resolutions will show up here.
There are a number of great online resources to help you find the perfect image, so take some time and have fun browsing the Internet for the most epic photos to show off on your screens. One site we like, wallpaperfusion.com, features a combination of sharp urban panoramas and stunning landscape shots. If you’re more inclined toward artwork in the realm of fantasy or anime, check out dualmonitorbackgrounds.com for an impressive selection of categories. Digital Trends also compiled a great list of their 177 favorite dual display wallpapers, ranging from natural to surreal.
Once you’ve selected your imagery, the rest is quite easy. To start, download an app such as Multi Monitor Wallpaper, which will save you the arduous task of cropping and editing your photo manually. This option can be found in the app store and costs $2.99. If you don’t want to pay for an app like this, there are always free options on the web.
You’ll want to save whichever photo you chose to be your background onto your desktop so the file link is easily accessible. Next, open the Multi Monitor Wallpaper app and drag your photo onto the application. You can adjust the screen settings or image settings by clicking “Edit” under “Edit the Layout”.
Boom! You have a beautiful new wallpaper background that fits cohesively across your dual monitors, all without sacrificing image quality.
Parents and teachers tend to focus on the education that happens in classrooms when preparing you for your first year of college--what classes to take; what major to choose. Yet sharing a small, crowded dorm with a complete stranger is a powerful life lesson in and of itself. With such limited space, you’ll need to be creative with your back-to-school shopping list. Fortunately, the advent of smart, connected devices can help you to live far more comfortably and efficiently in these minimalist spaces than students even a few years ago could dream of. With just a few essential gadgets, you’ll be able to transform your drab dorm room into a dynamic space for sleeping, studying and hanging out.
Let’s start at your desk, where you’ll be spending the vast majority of your dorm time. You’ll need to store a number of important devices on this modest surface, while leaving room for books, notepads and calculators. If you’re bringing a MacBook with you, you’re in luck: the Vertical Dock by Henge Docks allows you to turn your MacBook into a versatile home workstation enhanced with dual display capabilities, all without sacrificing the benefits of mobility that come with a laptop. Sleek in its design and simple to use, the Vertical Dock opens up essential space on a crowded desk while neatly managing the flow of cables in and out of your laptop. There’s no hassle of plugging and unplugging cords--simply slide your MacBook out of the dock and head to class.
To save even more prime desk space, considering investing in the Canon iP2820 compact printer. At $49.99, it’s cheaper than a graphing calculator and prints great images without any of the frills you’ll likely never use on a more expensive model. When the iP2820 is folded up, it’s not all that much larger than your laptop, leaving more room for you to use your desk as a workspace rather than as a storage unit.
While we’re on this space-saving kick, check out the Gravitas for iOS Devices by Henge Docks. This impressively sturdy dock for iPhones and iPads charges your device while keeping it safe from potential spills and easily within view--which is great for checking important text messages or skipping songs on a playlist while you study. The sheen silver exterior matches the Vertical Dock and your MacBook perfectly, creating a harmonious home office environment.
And since your dorm likely won’t come with a TV, you can kill two birds with one stone by purchasing the HP Pavilion LED Monitor. Easily connected to your docked laptop, the Pavilion is excellent for working on complex projects that require a larger screen, as well as streaming video services such as Hulu or Netflix. This monitor is the best bang for your buck, providing excellent video quality at an affordable price (only $99.99 on Amazon!).
Your desk is now fully decked out, but what about the other parts of your dorm? Honestly, there isn’t much. Most dorms don’t have built-in kitchens, which can be seriously inconvenient on mornings when you don’t have time to go to the dining hall but need a breakfast that isn’t microwaved instant oatmeal. It was probably with these instances in mind that Nostalgia Electrics designed the Retro 3-in-1 Breakfast Station, a versatile machine that triples as a coffee maker, toaster oven and skillet. At only 12”X19”, the Breakfast Station easily fits on any medium-sized surface. Your roommate will thank you for getting to wake up to the smell of eggs, sausage and coffee--as long as you don’t burn anything.
So far, you’ve built an effective and efficient new home for the next nine months. But for your mother’s sake, if she ever wants to come visit, don’t go the whole nine months without cleaning your dorm. Since you’re not going to have space for a big, clunky vacuum cleaner, getting a Robotic Vacuum is the way to go. Smart programming allows the Robotic Vacuum to navigate freely around corners and objects in your room, as well as determine the setting at which to clean your specific type of flooring. Sit back and relax after a long day of class while the Robot Vacuum does the dirty work.
Now just add on a few personal touches, and you’ve successfully prepared yourself for sharing a space smaller than the bedroom you just moved out of. The only unknown variable left is who you’ll be sharing that space with, and we wish you the best of luck on that.
Of all the disruptions to traditional workplace culture that have taken root over the past several years, telecommuting has become the most popular with workers. Inspired by advances in home office technology, companies have increasingly been promoting the option for employees to—at least occasionally—work from home.
A recent Gallup poll found that 37 percent of U.S. workers have telecommuted at least once—up from 30 percent last decade and only 9 percent in 1995. That’s a seismic shift in the way people interact with their employers. Yet it’s shy of the 50 percent of workers that, according to Global Workplace Analytics, hold a job that is compatible with telecommuting.
So why the discrepancy? Yes, some bosses prefer to keep a close eye on their employees. But the biggest obstacle to working in the comfort of your favorite sweats is a tactical, rather than a strategic problem: workers can’t drag their entire desk or office set-up home with them.
Anyone who’s ever tried to complete a comprehensive project remotely on a laptop understands the issues. Switching between website tabs and programs becomes a huge hassle on a single screen. There isn't enough space for a mouse, let alone extra monitors, speakers or tablets. Productivity plummets and frustrations rise, erasing the benefits of working from home in the first place.
The catch-22 is that more companies than ever are offering their employees laptops rather than desktops. So how can you enjoy the benefits of mobility that a laptop provides without losing the comfort and power of a desktop computer? Fortunately, a small set of dynamic tools can provide the best of both worlds in creating the ideal home office environment.
To start, you’ll need a high-quality display monitor, plus a wireless mouse and keyboard that offer ideal comfort without sacrificing functionality. Our favorite monitor is the Dell UltraSharp 5K Monitor, which delivers stunning imagery with over 6 million more pixels than Ultra HD 4K resolution and comes with a plethora of extra features.
As far as mice go, the Logitech Marathon M705 has consistently been rated highly for grip comfort and tracks accurately on a wide range of materials.
For those with carpal tunnel, or those simply looking for a more comfortable keyboard setup, try the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic wireless keyboard. The Sculpt Ergo places your hands in the most natural position and eases stress on the wrists while spending long hours at your desk.
Putting It All Together
Once these basics have been covered, it’s time to move to the nerve center of any home office--a laptop docking station. Docks drastically increase the connectivity and power of your laptop while improving the management of cables in and out of your device. With a robust dock, you’ll be able to utilize a full-size keyboard, multiple display monitors, a mouse, speakers and any other device that connects with a USB 3.0. These features allow for a seamless transition between your office and mobile work environments and only require that you remove and replace your laptop—everything else stays in place.
The most comprehensive dock on the market is the Henge Docks Horizontal Dock for MacBook Pro Retina. The Horizontal Dock offers 13 expansion ports, including six USB 3.0, one HDMI, a Thunderbolt 2 and a Mini DisplayPort as well as an SD card slot and two audio ports. This allows you to connect far more devices to your workstation and increases the versatility of your MacBook.
Yet it isn’t just about how many cables you can connect—it’s where those cables go. All of the ports are located on the back of the Horizontal Dock, which makes for a much cleaner and less cluttered workspace.
Your laptop is now docked and connected to your monitors--but your home office isn’t complete yet. In order to charge your iPhone as you work and keep it readily available for important calls and messages from the office, you’ll want an iPhone docking station. iPhone docks give your device a sturdy and easily accessible charging station while further reducing cord clutter.
Henge Docks offers the Gravitas for iOS Devices—a compact yet surprisingly solid dock designed to match the color of your MacBook and Horizontal Dock, creating a harmonious pairing for the perfect home office.
With more and more studies showing that listening to music on the job improves productivity, no home office is complete without a top-notch set of speakers. Available at HengeDocks.com, the Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers contain a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and easily connect to your Horizontal Dock or Gravitas.
These seamlessly-connected devices form the core of your new, comprehensive home office. You’re now ready to improve your daily workflow while enjoying the benefits of working in the comfort of your own home.
Today, Henge Docks lives by the mantra of “Simplicity with potential.” Yet, the conception of the idea that would become Henge Docks was not so simple. To commemorate Henge Docks’ 6th birthday, let’s take a look back at how our fast-growing company got its humble start.
CEO Matt Vroom first came up with the idea for a MacBook docking station back in 2008 when he attempted to plug his G4 PowerBook into his TV to watch movies on the Internet. It took a whopping 14 cables to transform his laptop from a desktop tool into an entertainment center!
Matt searched high and low for a docking station that met his needs, but kept coming up empty handed. That’s when the idea hit him--and Matt began to design his own dock. Check out the sketches of Matt’s first product idea below.
When Apple released the new Unibody MacBook in October 2008, Matt had found his market. Later that month, Matt hired his first employee--a friend turned colleague, Ben. He had a background in engineering and at the time was working on his degree to become a patent lawyer. [Fun fact: Ben is still onboard with Henge Docks to this day.]
With only a sketchbook and a great idea, Matt and Ben quickly got to work designing the original Vertical Dock to keep pace with Apple’s ever-growing product line, all the while drafting a business plan and searching for investors.
A few short months later, in February 2009, the company was officially named Henge Docks. For those who didn’t know, Henge Docks’ name was inspired by the ancient Stonehenge ruins in England. By April, Henge Docks officially incorporated as Henge Docks, LLC.
After a long but rewarding year of designing, redesigning, manufacturing and quality control, the first MacBook Vertical Docks were ready to be shipped. The docks first began shipping on April 19 and by April 26 Henge Docks had already sold out of inventory that was supposed to last two months. Within hours of its launch, the Vertical Dock received glowing reviews from reputable publications like Engadget, Wired, and Gizmodo, and Henge Docks' site had so much traffic, it crashed their web host's servers.
The remainder of 2010 was marked by various product launches, including the 15-inch Vertical Docks for both the MacBook and MacBook Pro, 17-inch Vertical Dock (Version A and Version B), and the MacBook Version A and Version B. Henge Docks now had a complete line of products.
In March 2011, Henge Docks made its first appearance on the tech trade show circuit at CU Exposed in Paris and London. The team didn’t stop there--Henge Docks is now a trade show veteran, participating annually in trade shows such as CES and SXSW.
With a major boost from the excitement and launching its first products, Henge Docks got down to the business of expanding its product offerings. Later in December 2011, Henge Docks released the Clique for the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. The Clique dock unites your keyboard and mouse so you can use it while at your desk or even while sitting on your couch. Shortly after, in January 2012, the Vertical Dock for MacBook Air was announced and began shipping in April 2012. Henge Docks then branched out into other forms of Apple accessories when it announced the Gravitas for iOS devices in January 2013 which began shipping in December of 2013. More recently in January 2014, the Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro with Retina Display was announced and began shipping in June 2014.
With Henge Docks’ growing customer base, the team wanted to create something truly special for our customers. In 2015 Henge Docks received certification for, and began shipping, the Horizontal Docking Station for MacBook Pro with Retina Display--the first fully automated docking station on the market. The same year, the company opened three new warehouses in the UK, Australia, and Canada, all with accompanying websites!
This brings Henge Docks to today, celebrating our 6th birthday with four product lines on the market, four international warehouses and our largest team yet.
We are reflecting on how far we’ve come and ambitiously building out the future of our business. Although we can’t give away the details yet, expect to see exciting new products coming your way later this year!
Here’s a fun exercise: close your eyes and picture the worst customer service experience you’ve ever had. Chances are, sitting on hold for hours with a cable or satellite TV provider popped into most people’s minds—at least, if research by 24/7 Wall St. and Zogby Analytics is to be believed.
Each year, 24/7 Wall St. produces the Customer Service Hall of Shame, a bottom-of-the-barrel list of major companies ranked by the lack of quality in their customer care. The not-so-surprising common thread? Year after year, at least half of the top (or bottom?) 10 companies on the list are either cable or satellite TV providers.
This is likely one of the major factors driving the “cord-cutting” trend, where former cable customers rid themselves of the expensive amenity in favor of Internet streaming services. According to market research firm eMarketer, there are more than 4.9 million U.S. households that once paid for TV services but no longer do. The movement is only gaining steam, with eMarketer predicting that by 2018, one in five households will not subscribe to cable or satellite TV.
Poor customer service is hardly the only factor pushing customers to cut their cords—price and a desire for flexibility also influences people's decisions. But how do so many millions of Americans still enjoy TV programming without the hassle of subscribing to cable or satellite TV? We’ll show you how to set up the perfect cable- and satellite-free home media center, and all you’ll need to start is your trusty MacBook.
Turning your MacBook into the centerpiece of your home media center is quite simple. There are a number of ways to connect your laptop to your TV with a cable and an adapter, depending on the type of MacBook you own and the year it was made. For comprehensive instructions on how to set up your TV as a laptop display, check out Apple’s support page here. Henge Docks sells a number of cables and adapters that allow you to stream video from your MacBook onto your TV. You can find them all here.
External cables are easy and affordable, but utilizing a MacBook docking station is a better way to take your home media center to the next level. Docks enhance the power and connectivity of your laptop, all the while reducing cord clutter and creating a more stylish setup for your media center.
The Vertical Dock from Henge Docks is the ideal tool for streaming video content from your MacBook to your TV, as it easily hides your laptop from view in a sleek silver shell. Together with a Henge Docks Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter, you can connect any Henge Dock docking station to an HDMI-equipped TV. Check out this post to learn how to!
Now you can stream online video through your MacBook onto your TV, more conveniently and at a lower cost than cable or satellite TV.
Once all of your hardware is properly built and connected, there’s one more step on the road to enjoying quality programming without the likes of Comcast or DirecTV--choosing the right combination of online streaming services. Fortunately, there are plenty of cord-cutting services that can be mixed and matched together to enhance the offering of content, while still remaining more affordable than traditional TV services.
HBO Now, access the hottest HBO shows from Game of Thrones to Silicon Valley. Subscriptions to HBO Now are $14.99 a month and allow you to stream all HBO content on any of your devices.
Netflix, the venerable grandfather of online streaming, offers various packages ranging from $7.99 - $11.99 per month. Originally a DVD-by-mail rental service, Netflix now produces award-winning original series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Hulu, which is owned by ABC, NBC and FOX, is the best place to go for new episodes of shows from these networks—the day after they air. The company’s also added movies and, more recently with the Golden Globe-nominated Casual, its own original content. Hulu goes for $7.99 per month, while the ad-free HuluPlus runs at $11.99 per month. Customers can also add on Showtime for a total of $20.98 per month.
Can’t wait until the next day for new episodes of your favorite shows? Try Sling TV, an online streaming service owned by Dish Network that gives you access to live programming on 20+ channels, such as AMC, Cartoon Network, CNN and others. Sling TV isn’t available on the Web, but offers apps for both Mac OS and Windows as well as a number of other devices, and costs only $20 per month.
Together with a custom-built media center stand and a first-rate Blu-ray player, you’re all set to impress guests or simply enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies without the hassle and cost of subscribing to cable or satellite TV.
Whether you’re a professional designer or simply looking to improve productivity while working, utilizing multiple displays is a great way to add needed screen space to your workstation—especially when making the switch from a desktop computer to a MacBook. Yet creating the ideal dual-monitor setup for your laptop can be a tricky task. Check out these essential tips for connecting your MacBook to dual displays.
Apple Cinema and Apple Thunderbolt Display monitors are the easiest to connect, as MacBooks come build-in with ports that are compatible with any Apple monitor. All you’ll need to do is connect the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable attached to the display directly to your MacBook Pro.
If you have a monitor made by a company other than Apple, don’t worry! MacBooks do have the ability to connect to monitors that aren’t made by Apple—it just takes an additional step. You’ll need a cable adaptor that allows connection between the Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook and the connections on your monitor. You will need one cable or adapter per monitor.
Non-Apple display connections can be HDMI, DVI, or VGA.
Many non-Apple monitors have HDMI connections, which you can plug directly into the HDMI port on your MacBook Pro.
If you would like to connect multiple displays, or if your monitor does not have an HDMI connection, you will need to purchase the correct adaptor to allow utilization of the Thunderbolt or MiniDisplay Port on your MacBook. You can purchase adaptors compatible with HDMI, DVI, and VGA.
Now that you’ve purchased adapters, you’re ready to plug everything in and get started. All you need to do is connect the cables to the corresponding ports on the MacBook and the monitor, and you’re ready to go!
Once you’ve completed all of the connections, you can now use your setup to its fullest potential. You may want to adjust the display configuration—here is a useful page from Apple support that will teach you how to do so. With a few taps of the keyboard or a click of the mouse, your setup will come to life and you can quickly get to work.
You can save yourself the time and hassle of constantly plugging and unplugging extra devices in and out of your MacBook by utilizing a docking station from Henge Docks. Docks streamline the process of going from desktop to mobile mode while adding connectivity and power to your laptop. You can find out which dock is compatible with your MacBook on our website here.
Ever wonder who the faces behind the emails are? Introducing... the Henge Docks Customer Support Team!
Sean and Antonio are the two who make the magic happen. Combined they have over 24 years of experience in the Customer Support field ranging from retail, hospitality, baking and even working on that Deadliest Catch boat!! Okay we made the last one up...
The two have worked together previously for 3 years, so they are well acquainted. Antonio is a techy nerd who knows various programming languages, understands hardware inside and out and has never seen a pizza he didn’t like. Sean brings concrete thinking and strategy to the team and once helped Michelle Pfeiffer spend over 3000 dollars at Hot Topic! (We don’t know how he did it, either. One of everything?) Sean also enjoys eating copious amounts of tacos and Antonio drinks so much coffee he swears he can see time.
Antonio’s favorite part about working at Henge Docks is that Costco is right across the street with on-the-go, delicious and steaming hot pizza at all hours of the work day. Sean’s favorite part is the bagels for breakfast! More importantly, they both love the open communication, intermingling between departments, and fast-paced environment at Henge Docks.
The duo’s favorite part about Customer Support is taking complex troubleshooting issues, simplifying them and making them easy for people to understand. They also love the feeling of a job well done!
If you have any questions or need troubleshooting help, submit a support ticket through our Support Portal and Sean or Antonio (our Support gurus) will be happy to help!
At SXSW there was no shortage of innovative technology! Some of our favorites were the technologies around the Standing Desk. Below are the three we found most interesting!
Uplift Desk sells both custom and pre designed stand up desks that allow you to stand or sit while getting your work done.
Focal Upright focuses on both standup desks and leaning seats to go with them. We also noticed that a Vertical Dock by Henge Docks looks great on the Focal Upright desks!
FluidStance offers a platform that you balance on while working at your standing desk. This platform is called Level and allows you to be in motion constantly while at your stand up desk!http://www.fluidstance.com
For the fifth straight year, Henge Docks will be attending SXSW! The festival will be running from March 11th through 15th with the SXSW Interactive show highlighting innovative new companies, products and more. If you are attending this year, come visit us on the first floor of the Interactive Hall in booth #335.
This year, Henge Docks is doing SXSW bigger and better with twice the floor space. All our products will be available for purchase at a special discounted rate for show attendees from our Gravitas to the newly released 13-inch Horizontal Dock. Get to the booth early in the show as we will have limited supply!
We are looking forward to another awesome show and hope to see you there!