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Are you one of those people who carries some sort of briefcase, laptop or messenger bag? Do you just throw all your personal belongings, tech gadgets and other knick-knacks in there, letting them bounce around and be disorganized? Well friend, that’s a silly idea when there’s Cocoon Grid-It Organizers out there for you to use.

This organizer, an object built into many Cocoon laptop and netbook cases, is also available as a stand-alone item with the versatility to be used in whatever carry bag you use. It’ll keep all of those important devices and small items in one place, and stop them from flopping and getting damaged when carrying them in larger bags. For anyone who is frequently on the go, this is something worth looking into.

The Grid-It seems like such an obvious invention, which is probably why it’s so cool. It’s simplistic yet geeky, and useful all at the same time. It arrived to me in a plain plastic bag, which was the only exterior packaging. The Grid-It was alone on the inside, identified by a holographic product tag.

The tag tells you about the product on one side and shows you, in full holographic beauty, a whole bunch of objects being kept safe within its grasp on the other side. Forgive me that the picture looks a bit odd, but it’s sort of hard to photograph a hologram, you know?

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Specifications:

Cocoon Grid-It Organizer

- Ideal for iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry and other digital devices
- Versatile Organization
- Endless configurations

- Designed to hold items firmly in place
- Configure GRID-IT! you own way.

The GRID-IT!™ organization system is a proprietary patent pending object retention system. A unique weave of rubberized elastic bands made specifically to hold personal objects firmly in place.

Designed to provide endless configurations of objects, digital devices and personal effects,
GRID-IT!™ is as versatile as life itself!

So what is this thing? It may look like a bad waffle, but it’s actually quite clever. It’s also incredibly simple. The Grid-It is basically a 12”x8” rectangular plate covered with a whole load of flexible straps. These straps go every which way and go about three layers deep in most places. They vary in size and thickness, and each strap is covered with rubber stitching.

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The idea here is that you can fit basically whatever you need onto this organizer – from cell phones to iPods, pencils and pens, CDs, cables and cords, thumb drives, keys, the list goes on. Anything you generally leave loose can be strapped to this board and placed comfortably within your briefcase, bag or purse. I can imagine it being especially beneficial in a briefcase.

Since the straps come in varying sizes, directions and thicknesses, the idea is that you can make a space for just about anything you need to put on there. Since the straps go three levels deep and the different thicknesses have different strengths (you can’t lift up the fat ones as high as the narrow ones), you’re able to give as much strap power as you need for the particular object to ensure it stays put. That’s right – I’ve coined the term “strap power.” You’ll want to ensure your Blackberry has more strap power than your Bic, for instance. With this organizer’s design, you can.

The back of the organizer also has a single pocket to put whatever makes you happy. That is to say, unless only things like tubas make you happy – they won’t fit. It looks like there is a second pocket on the side, but that’s actually just the side flap of the pocket. It doesn’t go the entire way across the back of the organizer on that side.

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Take a look at it in action. Though you can organize this thing a little better to utilize every inch of its face to your advantage, I took a few random objects from my desk and strapped them to the Grid-It. Here we have a Blackberry, an iPod, a fat pen, a pair of scissors and a box cutter all resting happily together.

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While I wouldn’t generally advocate keeping a brand new Blackberry Tour next to a box cutter, the point is that it’s possible if you so desire. Like the slogan says, the Grid-It is flexible as life itself. You could even think bigger and use it for makeup, perfume and all that other stuff that sometimes busts open in your luggage on a plane ride.

Notice that I pulled straps from the deeper layers to go over the Blackberry and iPod, while the other lighter things were set in place fine using straps from the top. Everything was locked in there pretty well and I was able to frisbee it around and shake it without any shifting at all. The rubber treads to a wonderful job of holding your stuff in a gentle way, without any scratching or surface marking.

After everything was taken out, the straps all went back to their flat selves with no stretching.

The Grid-It does come in other sizes to better suit your carrying case, and also comes in a few other neutral colors. This size retails for around $25, which does seem a little bit high considering the materials you’re really buying. That’s probably on the top end of the spectrum of what I’d consider paying for something like this, regardless of how rad it may be.


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Conclusion:

Whether you’re a messy mister or an obsessive compulsive, this Grid-It should up your sanity as a means to tidy up your loose belongings. It couldn’t be a more straightforward product and it very effectively works as an organizer. It appears quite durable and well-constructed, and considering it shouldn’t see a lot of heavy abuse, ought to stand the test of time quite well.

Honestly, it does a fantastic job of holding your stuff in place. Since that’s what it’s made for, I tip my hat to Cocoon for a great product.

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Pros:
+Easy to use
+Very useful for a wide range of applications
+Clever design, well-made

Cons:
-Some might find it a little expensive

Grades:
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10