Thursday, February 14, 2008

Serenity Tool: Cool It Now

Serenity Tool is a feature in which I highlight office equipment and tools that can increase your serenity by clearing your mental clutter, freeing you of anxiety and preparing your for those times when things don't go the way you'd like. If you have a suggestion for a tool or a question of what can increase your productivity while keeping you serene, email me at heather at

If you're like a lot of people, you use a laptop for your work. I sure do. I love the portability but I hate the blistering heat it generates if it's set flush against any surface.

Of course, you should never use your computer on blankets or anything like that. But what you should do is get a cooling pad for your laptop.

Why? Because for every minute your computer is cooking, you're damaging the life of your laptop. Memory will start to degrade and your laptop's life will shorten. Want to be a good steward to your electronics? Support them by keeping them cool.

This isn't just practical. It's also spiritual. I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Unless you're an IT consultant, most self-employed people aren't good at technical repairs. If you're like me, you panic every time your computer does something weird--a program shuts down for no reason, not to mention the Blue Screen of Death. And when you have to replace a computer every year because you're not treating yours well, you're busying yourself with stuff that takes you away from growing your business.

Cooling pad options:

* The prop-up: These pads work by propping your computer a few inches off your work surface so air can circulate easily and cool the computer naturally. The advantage? It uses less energy and you can DIY with a few smal notebooks on the sides of your computer.

* The fan: This is the version I went with because i figured it would cool my computer faster. these can have two or three fans that rotate constantly to whisk hot air away from your computer.

* Bells and Whistles: You can even get a cooling pad with an LCD display and an overheating alarm. The one I went with has a USB hub and a memory card reader, also. I've never used the card reader, but love the hub because I have more devices to hook up to my laptop than it has USB ports.

Whatever you choose, be sure to look for size:

* Find one that is the size of your laptop. While I love mine, it's a little smaller than my laptop and I'm looking to replace it with one that fits my computer comfortably.
* Power source. Some power themselves through your USB port, and if you're like me, you don't have a USB port to spare.

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