Is your desk/monitor/refrigerator/best friend perpetually covered in multicolored reminders and to-do items? Do you regularly have the feeling that there’s something you were supposed to do but you just can’t seem to remember where you put that post-it? Allow me a moment to get on my virtual soapbox to explain why you may want to rethink your use of these handy little tools.
I Love Post-It Notes!
Post-it notes are great! If you need to be reminded of something as you are getting ready to leave the house, for example, nothing beats a post-it note stuck to the door next to the handle. Post-it notes are perfect for reminding you to do something at a specific moment when there is little chance of that you’ll be viewing your To Do list or daily calendar. They’re also ideal for jotting down the phone number for IT Tech Support so you can post it by your office phone or noting where a stud is in the wall as you’re hanging your new LED TV.
Post-It Notes are like Q-Tips
Q-Tips? Yes, Q-Tips. Almost all Q-tip users use the product in a manner of which they are specifically not recommended – it states right on the packaging “Do not insert swab into ear canal”. Post-It notes, similarly, are used far too frequently to track tasks and assignments when, in reality, their designed usefulness is to remind you to take out the trash before you go to work or that the copier is broken but Jeff has been notified.
I Hate Post-It Notes!
Post-It notes are not ideal for tracking tasks that you need to accomplish. I suppose that, if you were to have an elaborate color-coded scheme to signify priority and due date, you have the patience of a saint, and if you never left your desk, post-it notes could be a functional method for tracking your tasks and assignments. If you’re like most of the people I’ve worked with, on the other hand, post-it notes – which, by nature, are meant to be stuck semi-permanently to a single location – are an insufficient way to track these things when you’re frequently working away from your physical desk. The next post covers ‘better’ methods to track tasks and assignments, but I thought it worthwhile to specifically publish a plea to discontinue the use of post-it notes in this manner.
Now that I’ve sufficiently bashed post-it notes and most likely alienated more than a few of you, let me explain why I finally came around to understand that Outlook’s To-Do List Rocks…