Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sticky Do's and Don'ts

We sure have a love affair with adhesive notes. Expanding from the original yellow square note pad, they now come in many colors, sizes, shapes, and specialty varieties (super sticky, page tags, divider tags.) Sticky notes can be a great tool to trigger your brain or to keep frequently used but hard to remember info at hand. However, even the biggest fans of sticky notes are aware of some of the drawbacks of the handy message pads. Follow these Do’s and Don’ts to keep you out of a sticky situation.

Sticky Do’s
Do use sticky notes for:
• Marking catalogue and magazine pages
• Reminding your self of special tasks (on bathroom mirror, front door, fridge door, phone, briefcase, lunch box)
• Have sticky notes prepared to leave on your office door (such as “Back in 10 minutes, At lunch, Working at home, In a meeting - Do not disturb”). Store these on the back of your door, bulletin board, or inside a cabinet door
• Flow charts and scheduling
• To avoid writing on original documents
• Brain-storming sessions
• Quick lists (errands, groceries) to place on your “To do” list
• Daily affirmations. Put a positive message on mirror
• Entering the fax number on a document you are faxing
• Writing positive notes to employees and family members

Sticky Don’ts
Don’t use sticky notes for:
• To remind yourself of day-to-day activities or projects. Use a prioritized “To do” list instead
• When there is more than one task to complete
• A record of phone messages. Use a spiral notebook instead
• A method of retaining information on permanent documents. They can get knocked off and will dry out after awhile
• Labelling computer disks and CDs
• External or formal correspondence

Keep it together. While sticky notes are OK for quick temporary notes that you discard fairly soon after using them, they're not effective for notes you need to retain. If your environment is overrun with sticky notes, write your notes in a single spiral notebook instead. You'll still have to transfer these notes to your planner, PDA, address book, etc., but at least all of your notes will be in one single place where you can find them

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