I love my iPhone. It is the one piece of technology that never leaves my side. Ever. It’s always there to wiki up the meaning of “Second Word Country”, to see how high the heat index will be today, or to snap a picture of a book I want to buy. It’s my second brain.
Yet it doesn’t work for tasks.
Sure, iPhone and all those other smart phones have app after app to help manage tasks and calendar events. Yet none work for me. Mostly it’s because its too much of a hassle to enter the task or date. Now I don’t have Siri, so maybe that would solve the problem, but I doubt it. There’s a fundamental issue of tactility and visibility that’s at work here.
I need to get the note written fast, be able to see it, and sometimes feel it. Otherwise I will forget. My go to tool are PostIt notes (the copyright is intended here as other stickie notes don’t cut it).
I stick PostIts everywhere. My favorite is to write one, fold back the sticky portion, and slip it into my pocket. Then, when I empty my pockets at home, bingo, there it is. Then I’m apt to stick it to a door or a wall. Someplace I can’t help but see it.
Some of the strangest places I’ve attached notes are to the dash of my car (usually reading, “Gas” or “Grocery”). Recently I stuck one to the seat of my chair so that every time I went to sit, I saw it. It’s the nagging that works for me. I won’t remove the note until I accomplish the task. And the notes can be damn annoying at times. Like a grandma that keeps harping over and over.
The notes are also location specific. The one on my chair had to do with something on my home computer. The car dash went along with driving. I also have notes stuck at various places on my classroom desk to remind me of all sorts of activities. I know there are apps out there that are triggered by location. I’ve tried them. They don’t work as well, either failing to go off or not being precise enough. Plus they drain the battery. So PostIt notes it is.
The ultimate event came a week ago. I’d had this note at home that was destined for work, but I kept forgetting to take it. I then decided to stick it the one place I knew I would look at and still have in my classroom: my iPhone. Yup, I had a yellow PostIt note attached to the screen of my iPhone. One of the kids giggled when she saw me pull out the phone. But it worked. The note took up residence in my classroom and the task was accomplished.
Long live the PostIt.