Thursday, August 8, 2013

Yellow Sticky Management System (YSMS)

First of all I need to define the term Yellow Stickies (YSs). We all have a pad of them on our desks. YSs are small pieces of paper with adhesive on one edge of the back. The beauty of the system is that the adhesive is not very good. YSs come in various colors and sizes. I must admit that I have a YS on my back – I’m addicted to them. I use them in every form and type. No they are not all yellow. On my desk right now I have a pad of yellow YSs, a pad of royal blue YSs and a pad of light blue lined YSs. 

Why do YSs excite me so much? To begin with, I define unorganized. As I get older my memory is more fleeting. I have great ideas, but fifteen minutes later I have no idea what the idea was. No, that is not correct, I’ve always been this way, not just as I get older. The solution to this memory problem is using YSs. On the ledge of the shelf above my desk are a row of YSs. Some of them have been up there so long that I have no idea what the cryptic notation means, some day I’ll take those old ones down, but not today, they might prove to be important. 

How do I use YSs? How does the YSMS work? Integral to it for me are a second monitor and a Mac app appropriately called There’s also an app called Quick  Both of those present a small yellow notepad that you can move to an unused portion of your screen. I have two monitors. I use the one on the right for reference and I write on the one on the left. For an example: I had an idea for an article about folk remedies that we use. When I had the idea I thought of about five or six remedies. When I started to block the article out my mind went blank. I could only thing of a couple of them. I put a cyber-sticky on the reference monitor and started listing them. I have recovered one idea. I will think of the missing two and write the article.
The key to YSMS is write things down. A physical notepad is not needed, an iPhone is a wonderful substitute. I keep my iPad next to my bed. When I have a thought I open an eMail and sent the thought to myself. When I sit down at the Mac the next day I review them and either take action or add them to an open sticky on my reference monitor.  Once upon a time I had a supervisor who took YSMS to the extreme. His monitor was so covered with YSs that he had to move them around to see his monitor.

It’s amazing how many bad habits substituting good habits can solve. Try my YSMS, you might be surprised by how well it works.

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