An organized way to bring a new gadget into use

Whenever you receive a new goodie, like a new phone or tablet, it’s an exciting time. But don’t just tear into the box! There’s an organized way to bring a new gadget into your life, and the following is advice for making that transition as smooth as possible.

Carefully open the packaging

This might sound ridiculously obvious to you or it might seem just ridiculous. “Dave, it’s the box. Who cares?” There are several reasons to care, and the first is the gadget’s future resale value. I upgrade my iPhone every two years. I always sell my current model to help pay for the new one. Having the pristine original box helps with shipping and final asking price. Also, if you aggressively tear into a box, you could affect the contents. You don’t want to scratch a screen or case before you even turn on the device. Finally, think of returns. There’s always the possibility that your new doo-dad won’t work as advertised. A UPC code, the security tags, and intact contents are essential when trying to make a return.

Take your time, keep things neat and store that box in a safe place if you might return or resell the item.

Read the manual

If you’re not going to read it, at least skim the manual. Some gadgets come with a “quick start” guide. I always review those. Yes, you probably know how this works, but maybe not. Read/skim the manual and then store it in a safe place for future reference. I also recommend making a digital copy after some time has passed and if you’re not planning to return or resell the item.

Register the item

This is the step that nearly everyone skips. I always spend a few minutes registering my products, especially pricey electronics. It will make service easier should you need it someday. Additionally, if there’s an update or other notification that owners need, like a recall, you’re more likely to receive that information if your product has been registered.

Buy an extra power cord

If your device charges up with a cable, buy an extra one. I keep one in my laptop bag at all times. You might bring an extra to work or simply keep it around for when the first one gets frayed or otherwise stops working. You might want to somehow identify it as your own. My kids love to steal iPhone cables, so I make sure we all know which is mine.

Scan the receipt

Finally, scan the receipt and store it digitally in a place you can easily retrieve it if necessary.

Dig into the product

Now that all this preparation work has been handled, take the product out of the box and use it. Transfer data from your previous gadget and set up preferences.

4 Comments for “An organized way to bring a new gadget into use”

  1. posted by Dorothy on

    I’d change “buy an extra power cord” to “buy an extra power cord for wherever you may reasonably need to charge the thing.” For instance I keep cords for my phone at home, in my office, in my car, in my briefcase, and in a travel kit that lives in my suitcase. That way there’s a cord nearby and I never have to worry about it. This is one place in my life for duplicates.

    And cheap cords work just fine for me. I use an iPhone, and three-for-ten-dollar cords from Amazon are great. If one gets list or forgotten it’s no biggie.

  2. posted by infmom on

    Yup, this is a man writing. Men are addicted to saving boxes. 🙂

    If you’re going to insist on saving every box, at least put a note with a toss-by deadline on them. Otherwise your storage space is going to be full of empty boxes. And for heaven’s sake don’t cling to them under the assumption that you’re going to use them to move the item someday.

  3. posted by Pat Reble on

    Best investment I’ve ever made was a charging station for my electronic devices. It lives in my hall cupboard with three different types of charger cables permanently connected so I don’t have to look for them. Anything that need to be charged just gets plugged in and away it goes, tidy and out of sight. Great for visitors too!

  4. posted by liz on

    re boxes – my mom saved boxes, so I agree that the key point is have a “destroy by” date written on the box for gadgets. There are some items, such as collectibles, that the box is key.

    Re cords – check to make sure that you may already have one. I have two versions of the kindle. Gee, the cord seems to charge both as well as my phone and a few other things. So, check to see if you really need a new cord. But for a pricey laptop, ok, buy a backup.

    I would also put the warranty date in a calendar so if the product is acting weird, get it in to the repair shop before it dies, just after the end date.

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