Recoil, a company in Park City, Utah, has developed a way to keep the cords attached to technology devices from becoming a knotted mess.
The company calls its product Recoil Winders, retractable cord winders that eliminate the problem of twisting cords. The winders consist of a spring-loaded spool in a sturdy housing. Simply hook the cord around the spool's trigger, and it winds the cord inside the housing.
The winders come in three sizes, $10 each or a pack of all three for $28; they are available from the company's Web site and Amazon.com. The small and medium winders are intended for earbuds and USB cords, and the large model is for power cords. They all wind up cords neatly into a tiny package that you can slip into a pocket. The combo pack comes with a handy storage rack.
I've tried wrapping cords around devices for travel, but they always come undone and create a tangled mess in my carry-on, so I was eager to try the Recoil Winder. The device is surprisingly simple, although the trigger is tiny, and it took a couple of tries to snag it properly. Once the spring is triggered, the winder spools very quickly, so it's best to let the cord thread through your fingers so it doesn't catch. Pulling the cord back out winds the spool again, resetting it for next time.
Until all of our devices are made to be wireless, cords will remain a necessity, and the Recoil Winder is a convenient, low-tech organization tool.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.