Time Saving Tech Tip: Stop Using Sticky Notes

806122_post_itAre you a stickynoteaholic?  If so, it might be time to look at how technology can break your habit and offer more benefits without the glue!

Yes…yes…we have all been guilty at one time or another of plastering our nice 19” widescreen LCDs with sticky notes.  But when your excitement over getting a larger screen stems from the fact there’s more real estate for these pesky little desk litterers – well you should keep reading.

Many of us are in the habit of furiously scrawling down notes on the nearest piece of paper when we’re on a phone call.  Jotting down names, numbers, instructions, requests and so on.  Then another call comes in and we frantically flip to a spare spot on the pad and jot down these new details.  Then an email comes in needing urgent attention, then the boss yells some instructions which we jot down on our pad over the top of something else (no time to find a new page, this is the boss!) and then we need a break so we go to lunch.

The problem though is all this information is stored haphazardly – sometimes an hour later you can’t find where you wrote it, or you can’t read your own scrawl, or your sticky note floats to the ground and sticks to the next passerby’s shoe and walks out the door – along with all those crucial notes about a new client’s request.

Technology is here to save the day!  If you’re in a job where you answer many calls a day then it’s also likely you’re sitting in front of a computer.  My advice is ditch the pen and paper, get yourself a cool looking hands free headset and install some note taking software.  My choice is Microsoft Onenote because I already have it (and so too might you, it’s included with Office 2007 Home & Student and Office 2007 Ultimate) and because it integrates seamlessly with all my other Microsoft Office apps that I use daily.

The benefits of keeping your notes electronically are many.  The best way to sum it up is – it saves time!  My favourite benefit is being able to search all my notes by keyword.  This beats flipping through a notepad to find where I wrote the details for Client XYZ.  Instead, I just search my Onenote notebook for “Client XYZ” and within a second any note about them is shown.  Another cool benefit is being able to easily turn a note in to an Outlook task so you can be reminded to call back that customer rather than stumbling across the sticky note in a week and thinking “whoops, I never called them back!”

A simple change to your usual habits that can save you lots of time, make you more efficient and give you greater attention to detail.

Clayton Moulynox – Evolve IT Australia
We fix business problems, not computer problems –  Develop, Solve, Evolve.
Follow me on Twitter: @claytonhm

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