A useful accessory for identifying your cables.
I have dozens of cables in my laptop bag right now. It’s kind of an obsession of mine. I don’t like to go anywhere unprepared and if I have a cable for any device, I’m sure to always be able to connect one way or another. That said when my precious cables are in a crowd of others’ cables, how do I tell which one is mine? Well, Buoy Tags does a great job of providing that answer with customizable tags that snap together around your cables.
Buoy Tags are designed to protect your cables from becoming lost or mixed up with other people’s belongings. With them, you can easily identify your cables at a glance. Buoy Tags come with a variety of color inserts as well as alphanumeric characters so that you can make any combination and always know which cables are yours. Buoy Tags also provides templates for Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Word so you can add in contact information if you wish. The tags are made from plastic and have a very slim profile so they don’t get in the way of your cables performance. They are designed to complement the look and feel of your Apple cables.
The Buoy Tags come in a small package that has clear plastic windows so you can see the tags. The concept of the product is simple and because of that, the images on the package really tell the whole story. One thing that I noticed right away is that the Apple cables pictured on the packaging are older cables (3.5mm stereo headphone jack, 30-pin older generation iPhone/iPad charging cable, and Magsafe laptop charging cable). After noticing that, I checked out the fine print on the box and found that the copyright and trademark date was 2011. This made me think that perhaps the tags wouldn’t fit my current cables. But, even with that consideration, I opened the package and started checking out the product.
The Buoy Tags include three sheets of duplicate letters, numbers, and symbols for you to personalize the tags. On the reverse side of the alphanumeric characters, you will find a wide spectrum of colors. I suppose that if you choose to you could just use the solid colors instead of letters or numbers to identify your tags. The identifiers are made from thin cardboard. The card is perforated but because the characters are so small it can be really hard to get a single letter or number out of the card without tearing it.
When you go to place the identifiers in the tag, they don’t like to stay in place easily. I found that they slid around quite a bit and they didn’t really lock into place until I snapped the tag together and even then, the edges that were perforated stuck out a little – they weren’t completely smooth or flat on the sides that touched each other. The example that is provided is precision cut so it lays flat.
Now, when it came to snapping the tags onto the cables, I did have some trouble. I have a 2016 MacBook Pro that is powered by USB-C. That cable is quite a bit thicker than a MagSafe connector from the older MacBook computers. So, I was unable to use the tag on that cable. I was able to use the headphone tag for my EarPods that connect with a Lightning connector. That cable is the same thickness as the 3.5mm stereo headphones. I did find a generic Micro USB cable that the Magsafe tag ended up fitting on. So, even though these are designed to work with Apple cables, you can use them for other cables if they are the right size.
I like the idea of this accessory, but I think they really need an update to fit modern Apple Cables. Most of the accessory cables for Apple products (headphones, Lightning, etc.) will still work with the current version of these tags, but one of the cables I want to keep track of the most – my USB-C cable for my laptop – could really use an identifier in a crowd. The price is $8 for a 3-pack of Buoy Tags and you can customize the labels if you choose to.