Monday, September 13, 2010

SOFTWARE: Stick This Where the Sun Will Shine

We've all done it. We've written something important on a scrap of paper which immediately goes where the missing other sock is hiding (a different dimension, if my mother is correct). I do it less than most, because I use notebooks. I have one up and going beside EVERY computer. I try VERY, VERY hard NOT to move that notebook. I will actually copy a note to a scrap of paper and then carry THAT piece of paper elsewhere, rather than move my notebooks. And I now have a cabinet FULL of filled notebooks that date back decades. Somewhere, the teachers I refused to provide notebooks for in High School are laughing themselves silly.

At any rate, I have not given myself over to that most usual of solutions in this day and time, the 3M Stick-It notes. That makes me almost unique. When I go to clients (as rarely as I can make that), I go from machine to machine, each festooned with a veritable border on their monitors of Stick-It Notes. I see users who have some notes so old, a breath of wind (hot air is my speciality) will send the note flying to oblivion. Users have SO MANY notes, they can't see the needed note for being lost in this forest of glue-backed paper. And sometimes users will make the most horrible of mistakes. They'll stick a note actually ON TO THE SCREEN.

My immediate reaction in those cases is to request a firing. By the boss OF the boss at one point. I just think it borders on the sacrilegious to get pen marks and fingerprints on screens, let along glue. This accounts for my lack of warmth for the iPad, amongst other reasons.

But, I have to make a confession. I use electronic Stickies. Specifically a program called Stickies from Zhorn Software. As usual, it's free for home use, but Tom will accept PayPal donations.

On my desktop, I use a lot of stickies on the secondary monitor. There's a list of media properties I want to get (when they eventually come out on DVD or paperback). I have books that I have read and are candidates for review. There's my ongoing TV Ratings list, which, as of this moment, consists only of Silence for this year. I add and adjust as the year goes by and shows merit listing on my annual Top 25. I have a list of machine codes for remote viewing. Which I hide when I allow somebody access to my physical computer. And I have a list of expenses upcoming and major purchases desired. In a month or two, I'll be adding my “who gets what present at year's end” list.

I've had other lists, the complete James Bond or the complete Elvis Presley, for examples. Having completed my set of each of them, the stickies for those are now retired. But NOT forgotten. I can call them back and search them if necessary. That's right, you can RETIRE a Stickie and reclaim the screen space. Course, Stickies are just like any windowed program. You can put stuff over top of them. And, by touching one Stickie, you can bring them ALL to the front, making it easy to find just what you are looking for. Searching is just ONE thing you can only do with an electronic version of these notes. The latest Stickies has all sorts of time management capabilities to boot.

You've also got total control over colour, fonts, lines and placement. You can make them big or small, scrollable or not. It is what Stick-It Notes would LIKE to be, if they grew up and were allowed to be put ONTO computer monitor screens.

Save yourself the cost of putting another 3M shareholder's kid through private school. Ditch the paper, save the planet a tree or two, and switch to Stickies.

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