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posted: 8/9/2014 1:01 AM

Four low-tech tips for your high tech habit

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By Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post

Supporting a tech habit is expensive, but you can always save some dough on the accessories. Here are three cheap, easy tech accessories you can make with things that are likely already in your house.

• Binder clips are kind of the heroes of the DIY tech accessory world, but there's a brilliant method to turn two of them into a really simple stand for your smartphone. First, take two clips. Then, bend the end of one wing into a "J" to act as the stop for your stand. Finally, position the second binder clip so that it fits around the bottom of the clip with the bent wing. You should end up with a contraption that has one long flat edge. The bent wing should be in front, and another should lie at just the right angle to prop up your smartphone. (I first saw this from a friend, but he credited his genius to Lifehacker.com, where there is also a helpful video.)

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• A big rubber band can act as a holding case for your tablet or e-reader. You'll need a pretty sturdy rubber band, such as the kind they use in gardening. Just loop the rubber band diagonally across the back of the tablet, and you can slide your hand underneath to keep a good grip on your gadget.

• Have an old membership or credit card hanging around? Cut off the bits with the personal information, cut two notches at 45-degree angles into each end and -- voila! -- you have your own earbud holder.

• A reader recommended taking a picture of a ruler to set as your lockscreen picture, so you have a quick measuring tool on hand at all times. Yes, you may have to futz a bit with the photo to make sure that it matches up against your real ruler. But, all in all, it's a pretty ingenious recommendation.

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Cruising around for a good tip, I recently stumbled across a gem from the Emily Post Institute: "Email Etiquette Do's and Don'ts." It may surprise you to hear that I still get a lot of questions on email etiquette, when dealing with personal and professional business, and I found this to be a particularly good list to live by.

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