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How do you manage a laptop while lying down?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sacajawea, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Sacajawea

    Sacajawea slightly bedraggled

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    I'm going nuts here. I've had a laptop for a few months now and yet I still haven't figured out a way to type while lying flat. I am so limited in my ability to type upright that I'm unable to answer emails, post, etc...

    I used to use a desk top with a wireless keyboard. I had the monitor on my nightstand and the keyboard on my lap. It worked well but now I have a laptop and I'm mostly in tears after typing for a bit...any help would be appreciated.

    I'm willing to spend money on any contraption that will help as well (if it's cheap).;)

    Thanks!

    SJ
     
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Sacajawea

    Picked up a little technique from my daughter this year.

    She would lay down, not entirely flat, but with her head propped up by a pillow, and her laptop would be on another pillow or two, beside her. It's a bit contorted, but it works for me. I start out every day in this posture for an hour or so.

    I started doing this when I'd find that my shoulders, arms and hands would complain from being in the same position too long when I'd type at my desk.

    This laying down thing helps take the edge off nicely. And gives me at least the illusion of being self-indulgent :) as I loll about on my bed with my laptop. Feels decadent. :D
     
  3. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Have you tried one of those lap desks with the attached beanbag/pillow on the bottom? I put a big pillow under my knees & the lap desk on top.
     
  4. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Hi SJ,

    I use a lap desk. I have pillows under my upper body which also support my upper arms and pillows under my knees when I cannot easily keep my knees bent.

    The lap desk leans against my raised thighs, propped on my belly. Does that make sense? A lap desk is essential, I think. I'm gonna go see if I can find an illustration online.

    brb!

    this is the iLap I use. Now I'm going to try to find the position. brb!

    Ok, so, the underside of my computer has "feet" that stick out enough that I can hook them over the top edge of the lap desk holding it up higher and allowing room for the extension of my arms.

    But, you know, there are lap desks and laptop desks that are designed for use in bed and you should probably just look into that because my method is soooo complicated :D ! Who knew!!!

    Oh, and, HAPPY NEW COMPUTER!!!
     

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  5. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

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    Pillows under my head and shoulders and pillows under my knees. Laptop on lap.

    Empty your bladder before getting in the position.
     
  6. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    CJ,

    Smart move. :D
     
  7. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    So, Fresh_Eyes,

    While I was running off to the www to get pictures for show and tell and making the whole thing unbearably complicated and confusing -- you pretty much nailed it in one sentence! Show off!

    :D
     
  8. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Ok, ok, easy for you guys!

    :p

    What they said!
     
  9. Min

    Min Senior Member

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  10. mezombie

    mezombie Senior Member

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    This adjustable lap desk may be what you are looking for.

    What's neat about this model is that it allows one to keep one's head completely horizontal.

    It's the next best thing to hanging the computer from the ceiling, IMHO!
     
  11. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    computing while reclining

    Wow. You guys are getting great at this. Not only do you have solutions, but also web connections with pictures! Even a reminder to pee first! Sacajawea asks, and voila!

    I use something that looks like the table-mate that Min recommended. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond a couple of years ago. I like it when I'm propped up lying on the couch because I can pull it up to me or scoot it out of the way, as opposed to having to lift something off of me, every time nature or something calls. Right now I also have on top of the table-mate a padded laptop tray because it is softer under my wrists. Sorry no pictures from me. I haven't actually tried using my computer completely lying down, only when reclining.

    I just tried using the table-mate while on my bed. My bed is too high even with the table legs completely extended. So being able to use it while in bed would depend on your bed height.

    Speaking of bed . . .

    I hope our suggestions help you. And may our helpfulness also give you hope.
     
  12. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    I do apologise, gracenote is right, the tablemate is probably too low for use in bed, I use it lying on the settee.

    marie's suggestion looks wonderful.
     
  13. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    For some reason I love the idea of all of us in our beds (or on our settees...hey, what's a settee exactly?) with all our various laptop acoutrements. If there's ever been a brain trust on how to surf the web while lying down, this is it! :D
     
  14. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    a settee is a sofa...or a couch...a sort of armchair for two or three people to sit on (preferably not whilst I'm lying on it)!
     
  15. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    Ah, right...two nations divided by a common language and all that...By the way what does 'whilst' mean? Just kidding!!! :D
     
  16. joyscobby

    joyscobby Senior Member

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    my lappy is on a small table, same hieght as sofa, eye level when lying down. I use a usb mouse on a cork table mat, cork side up, so I do not have to reach, to type whilst reclined I use an on screen key board. It is slow so my post tend to resemble this but it works. no heavy lappy on lap and mouse and mat can be moved for comfort when needed.

    could if wanted do the same in bed but keep it away as I keep my bed for sleep and having lappy there might distract.
     
  17. Lily

    Lily *Believe*

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    Life without my laptop

    would definitely not be worth living at this point. I can use this thing in so many different positions on this crazy bed, it would make your head spin. Lying on my side, on my back with it propped up on my knee, on my tummy, sitting up with it on my lap (although rarely can I have my head that high for very long), etc.

    I hope you can get it figured out. Most everyone covered the various positions. I use the lapdesk with the bean bad bottom, but have another device as well (forget what it's called) that allows for passive air circulation under the laptop for positions where I don't use the bean bag desk. I use my wireless mouse because for me if I'm writing very much it is just the easiest to use and it can be used on any surface.

    I've had years of practice at using this in bed though - I've been homebound (for the most part) for 3 years now and before that, I telecommuted many days when I could not make it in to the office. Those telecommuting days increased as years went by - sometimes I think I could use this thing standing on my head.

    My old one crashed about 6 months ago and I was without one for 9 whole days!!! Talk about an anxiety attack! What an awful feeling, and trying to sit up at the desktop made me nauseous and faint in less than 5 minutes!

    I hope everyone's suggestions will help you - let us know how you're doing and some more specifics about the issues if things don't work out.

    Linda
     
  18. Sacajawea

    Sacajawea slightly bedraggled

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    Voila!!!

    You got that right, Lodershaw...I just realized I can't see any of the replies so I won't address each of you but I'm so thankful I asked this because I NEED my internet life, lol...I'm so behind on emails I feel I'll just have to start over. And not joining in here, it's been rough.

    First off-- thanks everyone! I actually got really emotional :eek: reading the responses…and so excited to try them all out at once! I pretty much do what you do Jody, but it only works for reading and using the mouse…,maybe typing a few words on FB but to type I need my head as flat as possilble (one pillow), on my side and to unlearn the memory of typing w/ the keyboard in my lap (more like it was on my hip and sort of across my belly while I was either on my back completely flat or on my side w/ legs drawn up).
    I’m going to check everything out and experiment a bit and come back with hopfefully some good news. I immediately stuck a pillow under my upper arm…never though t of that one! That has made a huge difference already.

    I do have the lap desk w/ the bean bottom. I keep it next to me on the bed and have to lie flat sideways. I can’t semi-recline or use the lapdesk on my “lap” because of an additional “movement disorder”, my MJD which is more out of control if I’m reclined backwards (huh?). I have ataxia pretty bad at times in my legs so on my side is best, as this is too bulky. But so far no matter what I try, I either end up with my legs dancing, neck spasms, a numb behind, wrist pain, or if I just sit up, then I’m worn out after a short amount of time, not to mention the crushing pressure on my spine. For me, my brain fog is also cut way down if I’m flat.

    I’ve had to lie flat for a little more than three years now but after going without the ability to use the computer for 9 months in 2007 (lost the ability temporarily to type, hold a mouse, etc on top of not being able to sit)—that was awful so after I started getting a bit better I had the brilliant idea to move the big thing onto my bed…I gained back full typing ability and could type fairly quickly just by touch.
    So that was working great for me, me and my computer in my bed, the monitor literally where the other pillow would go (I’m single, lol)…except it was getting slower and slower, made it harder on the other family members to use the computer so my dad surprised me with this laptop. He didn’t have to do that, especially under the circumstances (they were paying my legal fees to fight for custody of my daughters)…so if for nothing else I’ve felt determined to not give up on this thing.

    I’ve been sick for soooooooooooooo long and he’s not always understood the oddities of what we go through but has been ever supportive. But when I told him I was having trouble using it, I sure felt his disappointment and didn’t want him to think he made life harder for me (plus, I can take this to my friend’s house and lay on her couch and use it, they call me Cleopatra)…so that made me more determined to make it work. I was going back to the old computer if I had to type something but I’m going to have it moved to a desk for my daughters to use after I get it repaired. Right now it’s on the piano bench, pulled up to the couch, where it’s been since July. We just keep the keyboard on the couch. It’s veryyyyyyyyyyy slow.
    I just can’t believe I didn’t ask you guys for some assistance sooner!

    So I’m going to do that now and come back and give you my thoughts. I’m too spent to proofread…and I know I let off some steam here…thanks so much!
    SJ

    PSJoycscobby, what sort of program do you have to see the keyboard on your screen? Sounds like I need to check that out...can't even picture it.
     
  19. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Hey SJ,

    I know, baby, I know. You are so amazing!

    You might want to use a keyboard other than the one on the laptop which you could more easily position in your on your side position. I know there are wireless ones and all manner of strange and wonderful options (ask Joyscobby, maybe) but even a wired keyboard might give you more options. Then you could position screen and keyboard seperately which seems as though it would be best option.

    You continue to amaze me.

    your friend,
    k
     
  20. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    voice recognition software

    Another thought. There is software that you can use to speak your words onto the screen. I've heard that it takes some working with for the computer to recognize your particular speech, but would not be so critical for emails and posts.

    There are also programs that will convert the text on screen to voice.

     

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