I'm a university teacher, and for my presentations in class I often use a remote control, which is connected to the PC with a wireless USB dongle (see picture). After class, I am often tired and more than once I've forgotten the dongle in the classroom. My office is in a different building. Once, I could not retrieve it and had to buy a new remote control, because the dongle isn't sold separately.

What can I do to prevent this?

The question would also apply to not forgetting a USB flashdrive, for example. In fact, the devices look quite similar, but I mention the dongle, because it can be inserted into the remote control when not used, and I never forget to pack the remote control itself. Perhaps, this can be leveraged for a hack.

enter image description here

  • Hi henning, Welcome to LH.SE. If the dongle can be inserted, why remove it from the remote at all? Are the dongle and the remote ever used separately? How is the dongle used? Where does the PC become involved? Please edit your question for clarity.
    – Stan
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 23:38
  • @Stan with the added picture, it should be clearer. Commented May 3, 2018 at 6:14
  • 1
    Do you use your personal laptop for presentations? Try setting a wallpaper with only the text "REMOVE USB". If you can not change your PC, add an extra Sheet to your Powerpoints with the same text. Commented May 7, 2018 at 13:43

6 Answers 6


First of all, I don't think there's anything you can do to prevent it - you can improve your chances to remember. And so -

Some ideas:

  1. Use reminders to remind you to take it at the end of the class
    • Phone reminder
    • A note in a visible place
  2. Keep something you won't forget near the dongle - such as glasses pouch, keys, wallet etc.
  3. Ask the students to remind you
  4. Write it on the edge of the board
  5. If the dongle is visible to your side but not to the students - attach a blinker to it
  6. Attach one of those bluetooth devices that will verify you won't forget it (will notify you if you got in a certain distance from it)

Try an old memory hack called a checklist.

There's a reason that mission-critical personnel use check-lists. Everything necessary is included
Join the club. You're in good company—pilots, organizers, etc. use 'em.

As you are no doubt aware, a checklist is a list of items required, things to be done, or points to be considered, used as a reminder.

As a part-time university instructor (Continuing Education) with evening classes that end at 10h15, I often get in around mid-night—still wired from the stimulation. I know your situation (and condition.)

Procedural-ize your to-do list so that all you need do is follow the itemized list, in order, which you can do even when numb after a long day.

Add items as necessary and re-order items to make your checklist complete and efficient.
One item might be, "DONGLE, DAMMIT ! !"

I use one for every class so I don't forget references, hand-outs, questions, examples, assignments, and yes, my notes——Everything relevant.


In pouch of your bag that you put your remote in, in a place that you will see when putting your remote away, leave a note or something that will remind you to grab your dongle and put it in there too.


Attach a wire to the dongle, tie it to something you won't forget to take (e.g. your bag). The drawback: if you do forget the dongle, it'll be yanked out of the computer violently when you walk off with your bag.


If I go out during my lunchbreak and I buy something that needs to be refrigerated for the afternoon, I put it into the office fridge. How do I remember to take it home with me? Simple, I put my car keys in the fridge with the item - I'm going nowhere without it!

Hence, I would say, keep the dongle on your key-ring - either you're remembering both keys and dongle, or you're going nowhere.

Of course, this only works if you're a driver - otherwise you get home and can't get into the house because your keys are on the table in the classroom - not quite so helpful.

One other possibility might be to have something garishly coloured that you insert into the bottom of the remote as you remove the dongle - maybe just a rolled-up tube of day-glo paper or cardboard. Then, when you're packing away the remote, the garish attachment might remind you to swap it for the dongle that's supposed to be in the slot.


if the PC (the one that you plug the dongle into) is in a secure area, place your purse with it.. or some other thing you aren't likely to forget).. then you'll have to go to the PC to get it..

you could even go so far as to tie a string on the dongle to your purse/other thing..

  • How is your answer different from the one given by Hobbes?
    – Stan
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 0:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.