The Post-it Note was more than just a practical tool — it was also a psychological one. Compared to the clunky machines of the 1980s that generated all those documents, it was a vision of high-tech minimalism. Its edges were sharp and square, with no ugly binding, no perforations, no metal rings. Its color, a subtle but attention-getting yellow, was somehow like the color of thought itself, a lightbulb going off in your head. Devoid of any other graphic elements, it had the effect of a clean, calming, blank screen. And, yet, for all its streamlined efficiency, it was playful and user-friendly. . . .
from Greag Beato’s Twenty-Five Years of Post-it Notes
As the photograph suggests, I’m partial to Post-it Notes. Here are twenty ways to use them:
1. Mark your place in a book. It seems so obvious, yet relatively few students seem to do it. When your professor picks up with the poem or short story or chapter of the day, you’ll be on the same page.
2. Mark the beginning and ending points for a reading assignment: immediate feedback on your progress.Advertising
3. Mark selected readings in an anthology.
4. Mark the notes or glossary at the back of a book for easy repeat access.
5. Mark passages in a library book.
6. Keep several Post-its on the inside cover of a datebook, planner, or notebook: now you’re prepared to leave a note anywhere.
7. When you sit down to work, make a small-scale to-do list on a Post-it and stick it to your desktop.Advertising
8. Leave a Post-it on your alarm clock or inside doorknob as a reminder.
9. Avoid fines and late fees: put Post-its with due dates on library books and DVD rentals.
10. When there’s no Scotch tape, cut the sticky edge from a Post-it to use as fake tape.
11. Use the sticky edge as a temporary label for a folder.
12. Fold the sticky edge into a hinge to hold a piece of paper or a postcard on a wall.Advertising
13. Wrap the sticky edge around a cable to identify it.
14. Use the sticky edge to clean between the keys of your computer keyboard.
15. Jot down less familiar keyboard shortcuts on a Post-it to keep by your computer.
16. Which way does the envelope go when you feed it into the printer? Draw a diagram on a Post-it and stick it on your printer.
17. If you drive an older car that doesn’t remind you that you’ve left your headlights on, use a Post-it as a reminder. When you put your lights on in the daytime, stick a Post-it note on the driver’s side window. When you leave your car, you’ll see the note and remember why it’s there.Advertising
18. Keep a Post-it on the refrigerator and jot down what you need from the supermarket.
19. When you go to the supermarket, remove the Post-it from the fridge and stick it on your wallet. At the store, stick the note to the handle of your cart and have both hands free for shopping. Toss the note when you leave the store.
20. Splurge! Use a whole pad of Post-its to make a flip book. (Thanks to my son Ben for this last tip.)
Michael Leddy is the author of “How to e-mail a professor”. He blogs at Orange Crate Art. The photograph above is of his paperback copy of Marcel Proust’s The Guermantes Way, the third volume of In Search of Lost Time.
Last Updated on October 15, 2019
How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps
Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.
Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:
Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.
Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination:
1. Make a list of your goal destinations
Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.
So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?
Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.
If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.
2. Think about the time frame to have the goal accomplished
This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.
Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.
3. Write down your goals clearly
Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.
For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.
4. Write down what you need to do for each goal
Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal.
These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!
5. Write down your timeframe with specific and realistic dates
Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.
For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.
Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.
6. Schedule your to-dos
Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.
Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things.
7. Review your progress
At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.
Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.
Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com