Keeping your devices charged during the day can be a challenge. Whether it’s you, your spouse, or your kids, someone you know is always running out of juice. Stay charged with these easy solutions.
Create a Charging Routine to Stay Charged (and Stay Organized)
#PKW. You probably have a “Phone, Keys, Wallet” routine heading out the door, but the routine coming in the door can be just as important to staying charged. Designate a spot where your power cord stays plugged in all the time*, and plug your phone in right away when you come home. Ideally, your phone charger, keys, and purse or wallet are all in the same place or at least within arm’s reach of each other.
*Keeping a device charger plugged in all the time consumes a small amount of vampire energy. It’s estimated that device vampires can account for 10% of an average household’s total energy usage. But if you can’t remember to plug in your device consistently, maybe that energy waste is a price you are willing to pay for having juice when you really need it.
The same goes for your car. Create a habit to plug in your phone immediately every time you get in the car. You can buy the appropriate cord and keep it plugged into the USB port or, if you have an older car, buy a USB car charger plug for the car lighter.
You might feel like you have too much cord clutter in your life, but–here’s a shocker–maybe you don’t have enough cords! If you carry a cord around in your bag, hoping to catch up on charging on the go, maybe that’s not working for you. Buy and use a cord for each of the spots where you need to plug in:
- main charging station (kitchen?)
You can contain that extra cord in your bag in a little pouch for emergencies only, keeping your bag more organized while you stay prepared.
The cord and the chunky charger at the end are usually two different parts, and you may need one or both, depending on where you are plugging in.
You can purchase a multi-port USB charging block to cut down on clutter. Having two or more USB ports on a single charger is a neat trick that allows you to plug different types of devices (Apple, Android, and other brands) at the same time. I am partial to plugs with foldable prongs. With a device like this, you don’t need for a bulky charging station, which is one more thing to clean on the kitchen counter.
Did you know that some cords and some chargers charge faster than others? This article is a decent explanation of what to buy for fast charging. A relatively inexpensive charging block upgrade might result in you having power more often. Remember, there are three elements to how fast your phone can charge: the wattage in the charging block, the quality of your cord, and the capability of the smartphone itself.
Is all this talk of cords…draining? Check out wireless charging pads. These make charging as easy as taking your phone out of your pocket or purse and laying it down on a charging “coaster.” The wireless charger plugs into the wall, but your device doesn’t plug into anything.
Check your device specs, as only newer phones can pull off this trick. Your phone’s protective case may also enhance or inhibit wireless charging. These wireless charging coasters have come down in price over the years, but we find clients really like our customized photo coasters as gifts and to help students keep track of their own things.
Bring a Battery to Stay Charged
External batteries can be a lifesaver, but they are one more thing to carry around, right? I have received several as promotional items (great branded gift if you own a business), but I don’t carry them all the time. Charge them in advance and carry them if you have a long day planned (a conference or party, for example), or if you travel. Although airports have more chargers now, they aren’t always conveniently located.
An external battery is commonly called a “power bank.” You’ll charge it with a cord at the same time you charge your phone. A magnetic power bank attaches to your phone and delivers backup power wirelessly to your devices. Here’s one example of this type of a magnetic power bank for mobile phones.
Turn Off Junk Sapping Your Mobile Device’s Power
Just like money, one effective way to save your power is to use less of it. Some apps and features you aren’t even using are draining your battery faster than you’d like.
The two most likely culprits that drain your smartphone’s battery are background apps and Bluetooth. Once a day, or at least once a week, you should swipe-and-close all the apps that you aren’t using right now. That frees up your phone’s processing space, stops tracking on most apps, and uses less power. The other big power-suck is Bluetooth. While on, Bluetooth constantly scans the area looking for possible Bluetooth pairings. Turning off Bluetooth if you aren’t using it eliminates that workload.
To turn off Bluetooth on an iPhone, tap Settings>>Bluetooth>>slide to off. Just reverse those steps to turn it on again when you need it to pair with a device.
To turn off Bluetooth on Android devices, tap Settings>>Connected Devices >> Connection Preferences >> Bluetooth>> turn off the switch beside Use Bluetooth.
Also, turn off the “Raise to Wake” setting, which turns your phone screen on every time you move the phone. Settings>>Display and Brightness>>Raise to Wake>>slide to off (gray). I’ve noticed people accidentally turning their phone’s display on all day by jiggling their phone in their pocket or purse, constantly draining the battery.
Battery Health to Stay Charged
If you feel like you are doing everything above and your battery still can’t get you through the day, check the battery health on your device. Apple says a normal battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions. That means if you’ve gotten a new phone in the last two years (or since the pandemic started) and charge it every day, your battery could be kaput by now.
On Apple: Settings>>Battery>>Battery Health>>view your Maximum Capacity. If it seems low, consider taking your phone or iPad in for repair. Having a new battery installed for about $100 or less is still cheaper than a new phone, and can lower your frustration during the day.
To check on Android devices, Settings>>Battery>>look for something that says battery health or battery usage. Wording may differ according to your model.
Can You Stay Charged Longer?
Have you found at least one or two tips in here to keep from losing power during the day? If so, please comment below. I’d love to hear if I’ve helped you.