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The Joy of Post-Its

Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver have saved the world.  No, really. They invented post-it notes - they deserve a Nobel Prize... each.  Post-its are, in my humble opinion, the greatest invention since duct tape and certainly the greatest invention ever for productivity wonks like me.
If you use a paper agenda, planner, or organizer - be it ring-bound, hardbound, or spiral - if you don't use post-its, you're doing it wrong.

Post-its let you write down notes such that you can rearrange them, organize them, and pass them on to others, all without ever having to copy the note.  Copying information takes time, and introduces the possibility of transcription errors.  And Murphy's Law says that these problems will only happen when they'll cause you the greatest possible grief.

Another fantastic characteristic of post-its is that their uses are legion.  Try googling "uses of post its" and you'll see what I mean.  Of course, this can also be a problem for people: it's easy to get buried in their possible uses to the point that you're not getting anything important done.  Which would defeat the purpose of it all.

While I tend to use digital systems for my task management, I never go anywhere without a pen and a notebook, and that notebook always has some post-its tucked in there, just in case, usually tacked on the inside back cover.  Indeed, I usually have two or three different size post-its available.

I use small ones (0.5 x 2 inch) to write down tasks.  Indeed, these small ones will play a significant role in my own productivity system, which I'm still developing.  The 1x2 inch post-its are great for asking short questions and making removable annotations on documents.  The 2x2 and 2x3 inch posts are good for longer notes; for instance, when I circulate a document among colleagues such that each recipient has to do something specific to the document.

My best advice: get yourself a "variety pack" of different sized post-its and experiment.  But do it slowly.  When you have an idea of what you could do with them, try just that one idea for a while and see how it works for you.  If you get another idea for how to use them - write it down on a post-it (!) and set it aside till you've got time to pay attention to trying it and evaluating it properly.

I'll try to keep a list of interesting web resources on using post-its on the On Paper page of this blog.

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