Writer Tech: cheap and easy skidproof work surfaces

20150307_135527Once upon a time, I had a cool folding keyboard that slid off my lap and never folded up as nicely again. So when I bought the current generation of cool electronics, I said: never again!

Here’s the raw material for one solution to the problem: skidproof shelf liner (photo of display from downtown Minneapolis Target store).

For your reference, here are ergonomic work station recommendations from USA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

wpid-20150223_160020.jpgTo create a really low-tech all-in-one phone/tablet stand and skidproof lap desk: cut lengths of shelf liner the same depth as your keyboard and twice as long. (This doubles as a layer of shock absorber when carrying the keyboard). 

If you want more stability for your tablet/phone, use longer/wider cut of shelf liner.

I carry one strip for tablet/phone stand and a separate one for lap desk. This enables me to separate phone and keyboard to create an ergonomic work station for optimal work in sitting, standing, and recumbent position.


Photo credit: Brian Zárate

When working in recumbent position: use any flat rigid surface (below we are using a small piece of Masonite) as work surface. Prop against a pillow in your lap to work at any desired angle. Place skidproof shelf liner to keep keyboard in place on the work surface.

Roll up a second strip to create a phone/tablet stand. This is pure analog and can be adjusted to any desired viewing angle!


Photo credit: Brian Zárate

What’s not visible in this picture: I usually work recumbent with a pillow under my knees, and a second pillow as a foot rest (to keep ankles in neutral position.

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