Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An Aid For The Disorganizationally Proficient (Issue #144)

I’ve written before about my disorganizational skills. (Always try to put a positive spin on things!) Many of you will recall the results of a personality test I took in university wherein my organizational ability was deemed to rank in the 4th percentile. This meant 96% of the population was epter than I at that sort of thing. The professor administering the study said it was the lowest mark he’d seen. Of course at that time, the early 70s, he’d only seen a few thousand.

My main compensatory mechanism over the decades has been writing myself notes. Naturally, for the disorganizationally-adept, the drawback to this was keeping track of them. One notebook certainly wasn’t sufficient because it could be misplaced so easily. So I bought a backup. And a backup to the backup. And so on, until my desk could not handle the overflow and I had notebooks on my night stand, bathroom and kitchen counters, car, and jammed between the cushion and the armrest of my Comfy Chair.

Undoubtedly, those 96 percenters would have notebooks for specific things: one for phone numbers and addresses: another for writing ideas: a third for scheduling-type stuff and another for video game codes and tips. Probably they’d remember where they put each and every one of them too. I try not to hate those people. It can take me an hour and hundreds of flipped pages in multiple notebooks before I can find somebody’s phone number.

Ditto for writing ideas. Usually I’d just jot down a few keywords to get me kickstarted when I had the time and energy to write. So, scattered amongst the phone numbers and directions and reminders to fetch my kids from somewhere were phrases like “women - haha!” and “fishing = sacrament.”

It was difficult to get any writing done because while searching through the books for a half-remembered topic any number of distractions could, and usually would, get me sidetracked.

Well, technology, in the form of Mother Google’s homepage add-ons (one day Google will try to eat Microsoft, or vice versa, and the whole world will choke to death) has arrived to save the day.

What’s ironic is that this hi-tech idea which has already saved me countless hours of page-flipping is based on such a low-tech invention.

It’s a virtual yellow sticky note. And it’s way better than the originals because it doesn’t curl up and drift away like an autumn-tossed leaf that then disappears amongst desk debris. It’s in the middle of my homepage and I can add notes any time I please. I can also delete them when they’re no longer relevant. When I first got it, I just typed random things and deleted them because it was fun.

My only concern is regarding its storage capacity. Since it remains on my monitor screen I suspect there’s a finite number of things I can add before the thing gets filled up. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks now and it’s filled a goodly portion of my screen. I’m definitely adding things faster than I am deleting them.

I suppose I could buy a backup computer....

25 comments:

q said...

Backup!

First folder making and now backup... of some sort. Mogie will be SO proud!

;)

Lois Karlin said...

I did the same thing to my monitor with real sticky notes. Yellow post-its surrounded the perimeter. Only I never bothered to read them.

All that's in my past. For me too, technology has served up a solution. I discovered NetVibes which I use for my home page, and similar to Google, it offers webnotes and todo's.

So my notes are all in one place. Do I read, perform, and delete them? I do not.

Frank Baron said...

q, you make me blush. ;)

Lois, could it be? Could you be one of the Favoured Fourth Percentilers? All these years, I've felt so alone....

;)

Dawno said...

You can create a desktop folder to put your notes in when you get too many of them. Then you just keep creating folders for the new ones. When your desktop is covered in folders you make a new folder of folders to put them in. When you get too many folders of folders you create a folder of folders of folders...you know where this is going, don't you...

Frank Baron said...

Dawno, I have just returned from the Techno-Goddess Hall Of Fame where I lit a candle in front of your avatar.

I am not worthy....

Lois Karlin said...

We got something in common, buddy!

Abby said...

As always when it comes to Frank's techno-prowness I am both ashamed and proud. You can imagine my confusion.

That backup drive you bought still acting as a paperweight? I mean, is it still in the box?
Love and post-its,
mogie/abby

Frank Baron said...

Sure seems so Lois. :)

Nope, Ab. I've used it!



Once....

I think son #1 has it now.

Thanks for the reminder. :)

Dawno said...

I felt strangely uplifted earlier today - now I know why.

For a round trip ticket to your town and a comfy spot on the couch I'd be happy to teach you many mysterious techno secrets. Oh, you need to supply Arizona Diet Green Tea and Spicier Nacho Dortios as well. When all is done you get to proudly wear the special acolyte tee-shirt.

Spidey said...

Enjoy the honeymoon with google. One day you will try to add something to your little sticky and you will discover that there is a malevolent entity on the other side taking all your little notes and filtering them to profile you so that you can be cybernetically replaced by a software loop at your cpu.

Frank Baron said...

Dawno, you do me too much honour. I will try to find the nectar and manna you require.

Spidey, next time I visit your blog remind me to re-tune your antennae.

;)

Cath Smith said...

Oh, I'm right down there in the fourth percentile, I suspect.

Somewhere, floating around in the ether, are some twenty envelopes with my aunt's phone number and address. Now, since her birthday's coming up, I either have to find one of them, or phone my grandmother again - if I can find the envelope with her number on anyway.

Perhaps I should try these sticky note things?

Frank Baron said...

Cath, they're worth their pixels in gold! You'll thank me. :)

Bernita said...

Laughing myself sick!
Frank, you excel!

Lori said...

No, no. Excel's an entirely different program. You'll confuse him.


Frank, I think you need to send me a pic of your home office so the people who know and love me can understand that mine's not that bad.

Frank Baron said...

Glad you enjoyed it Bernita. Thanks for letting me know. Sorry for the delay in responding. I was away. :)

Just might do that Lori, if you promise it'll never hit the Net. ;)

Wendy said...

OMG... I thought I was the only one like this. I'm loving the Google desktop goodies too, and a program called Evernote that has completely replaced all my yellow stickies.... well......almost.

Pat Baker said...

Frank, I'm tempted to send you a picture of my husband's home office so you'll know you're not alone...

But you know, those 96th percentilers aren't any more productive; they just find more elaborate ways to file away those "to do" reminders. :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

I think I actually read a study somewhere saying that it wasn't optimal to be too organized--that those obsessive cleaners and filers with tidy desks end up wasting quite a bit of unnecessary time keeping it that way.

Of course I have no idea what I did with my notes from that study--thus saving me the task of checking to see if I had that right or if I might have made the whole thing up.

Frank Baron said...

Nope Wendy. It appears we have lots of company...like...

Pat's husband! Thanks Pat. And....

Crabby! Somehow, I knew you were a fellow adept. ;)

Chill Daddy said...

If it nets you another computer, any excuse is a good excuse. Rock on, Mr. Baron.

Marti said...

Just thank your lucky stars you don't have long hair or Vista....

(snicker)

A fine post! I do understand (all too well)!

Frank Baron said...

Chill, my son says to write notes on my hands. But sooner or later I have to wash....

Marti, I actually do have pretty long hair now (in a ponytail most days). I believe in buying just slightly behind the techno-curve so I'll be getting Vista in the fall of 2013. Or thereabouts. :)

Bhaswati said...

I tried Google's yellow sticky notes, but they won't work for me. I have multiple gmail accounts, and the moment I log off the primary one, the stickies disappear. So I stick the the original sticky notes.

My heart goes out to you, though, Frank. ;)

Frank Baron said...

Bhaswati, I've always said if I can't have love, pity will do. Thanks. ;)