From the Tips Box: Easy Shortcut Reminders, Cheap Macro Photography, and Over-the-Door Cable Organization

By Jason Fitzpatrick on July 12th, 2012

Once a week we round up some of the great reader tips you share with us and shine a spotlight on them. This week we’re looking at an app that helps you learn keyboard shortcuts for popular applications, how to roll a cheap macro camera lens for your point and shoot camera, and repurposing a shoe rack for cable storage.

KeyRocket Highlights Applications Shortcuts While You Work

Shankar writes in with the following tip:

I’ve been using this application, KeyRocket, on Windows for awhile and I love it. It recommends shortcuts to me based on my workflow. I’ve already discovered dozens of shortcuts using it for just a few weeks. It currently supports shortcut instruction in Windows Explorer and the Office Suite with a promise of more apps in the future.

The whole suggests-while-you-work dynamic is really useful as it recommends shortcuts for the tasks you’re already routinely doing. Nice find Shankar!

Use Scrap Lenses to Make a Cheap Macro Lens

Nicky writes in with the following photography technique:

If you’re looking for a cheap way to mess around with macro photography (without a $$$$ DSLR and a $$$ macro lens), you can just scrap lenses out of cheap stuff from around the house and clearance bin at the local big box store: lenses from $5 airgun scopes, lenses from cheap microscopes, etc. I followed this tutorial on Instructables that showed how to embed lenses in milk caps and other small plastic caps and slip them over a point and shoot camera lens. Works great.

That’s definitely a clever way to enjoy macro photography on the cheap. If you happen to have a point and shoot (or pocket cam) that has threading around the lens barrel, it’s often possible to find cheap macro attachments on eBay.

Repurpose a Shoe Holders as a Cable Manager

Orlando writes in with this organization tip:

I’ve been searching for a way to get all the freaking cables out of my desk drawer for ages. My wife came up with a great idea: put a plastic shoe organizer on the back of my office door and use all the clear pockets to store cables. You can put headphones in one pouch, mini USB cables in the other, spare monitor cables in another, etc. Assuming you’ve got the clearance to fit the organizer on the door, it’s like they take up no room at all: no drawer clutter, no shelf clutter, etc.

We have an unadorned door in our office… which is now screaming for a shoe organizer to stash cables and small bits of gear in. Thanks for the tip!

Have a tip or trick to share? Sound off in the comments or email us at

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/12/12
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