Post It! Stick It! Remember It!
Tuesday, February 23 2010 Douglas Cootey
There you are knee deep in errands and you suddenly remember what it is you forgot to do last night before you went to bed. Quick! Write it down before you forget! Until I learned to do this simple act, many wonderful ideas were lost to the ether—never to be thought again.
Jotting down notes for people with poor memories is survival.
Last week, when I let my A Splintered Mind readers know about my recent article on helping ADHD people not forget things, reader Sy posted the following:
I have to have them! I use them everywhere. I have a dozen different colors for different types of messages. I don't know how I ever remembered anything without them :)
I thought that was a great idea, but I didn’t use Post-Its—not the physical squares of paper. I used to ages ago, but found they lost their stick over time. Then I was out of luck when the reminder, which I had been ignoring for months, fell off the wall, computer monitor, or mirror and slipped away into obscurity. Not every mnemonic trick works for every person. I imagine, somewhere, there is a poor soul with string all over his fingers, but a happy soul since that particular method works for him. Not me.
Then I realized that I had switched to digital sticky notes back when Amigas were cool and multimedia meant your PC could play a CD while you typed something in Word. I used digital sticky notes to capture thoughts, story ideas, and little scraps of computery bits that didn't deserve their own documents. I wrote ToDo lists on them, and lists of goals, and quotes that stood out in my mind.
I still use them that way today. In fact, on my Mac I have multiple note apps like Apple's Stickies for Desktop AND Sticky for Dashboard, Sticky Notes - a Stickies clone that's network savvy and has nifty sorting methods, and the gigantic Evernote—a notes app that syncs your notes between many computers: Mac, Windows, iPhone, Blackberry & Android. Even my iPhone has Notes, which I have synced with my Mail program so that I have access to them everywhere. It is true that there are still various scraps of paper with scribblings on them lying about my home, but overall I prefer their digital cousins.
With one exception. Did you know the folks over at Post-It created the world's perfect bookmarks? They call them Arrow Flags and they make me giddy with excitement. I can't recall all the times I came across a slip of toilet paper or a Post-It note with a vague "Ooh! This is good!" scrawled on it in a book I forgot to finish reading. Who knows why I marked the page? I certainly don't. Not until now, anyway. With Arrow Flags, I can point right to the passage I want to remember. If that isn't good enough for you, Post-It even makes pens with built-in flag dispensers. It is truly a golden age we live in.
Although you may rightly conclude that I have far too many notes collections, I'm a happy puppy and don't care. Nary a thought is lost these days. Wherever I may be, I have a system at hand to jot down my ideas. Sy was right. How did I ever remember anything without them?
Now, if only there was a way to sort through them all.