Sticky Notes Finally Good for Something

I’ve always hated sticky notes. Scratch that. I think the real issue is that I dislike it when people use a lot of sticky notes. A sure sign of a disorganized person. Sticking out of magazines, plastered all over the monitor like some Victorian collar for LCD’s, and found on furniture. Ugh.

However, I have found one decent use for a sticky note. Finally. When you develop software, you are constantly wondering what version of a language or architecture you have installed in your machine. Do I have MySQL 5.0.37 or 5.0.36? I can never remember because like many web developers, something changes every month on my machine.

So, I took a sticky note and just wrote down all the different versions a few months ago. As they change, I just cross them off and rewrite the new version next to it. I just threw out the old sticky note and rewrote it to make it more readable.

Shouldn’t I do this in Notepad and save it to my desktop? Well, maybe. Except that a lot of the time, I’m reading a book in my bed called something like “Your guide to the fantastic world of XML-FO, with a little Photoshop CS2 thrown in for fun” - and the computer is off. I can just stick my head up and peer over to the machine and see if I need to read the section entitled, “If you are running Apache 2.2+” or not.

So my one little sticky note, stuck to my blue-glowing Antic case says only this:

MySQL: 5.0.37
Rails: 1.2.3
Ruby: 1.8.6
Gem: 0.9.4
PHP: 5.2.2
Apache: 2.2.4
TortoiseSVN: 1.4.3
Java Runtime:
cURL: 7.16.2
Mongrel: 1.0.1

I don’t have all my software versions on it (like CS3, or Firefox 2 point whatever), but it suffices. So, tell me. Have I started down the slippery slope to organizational anarchy? Is there a better way?

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I likes my stickies.

What I like to do is get a pad of sticky notes, grind down a #2 pencil til the sharpener is JUST as the eraser, and write really really small. I put the sticky part on the left so it’s like a regular pad. I then have a three-ring binder and what I do is I carefully stick my notes for the day in chronological order on individual sheets of paper. A busy day will fill up a full page. Sometimes two.

Then, mid-week, I go back through my stickies, removing the tasks completed or notes that are no longer relevant. I then adjust my notes and move relevant ones forward. (This saves on how much looseleaf paper I use.) At the end of the week, I throw all paper away, stickies and regulars. If it isn’t done by then, it’s not going to get done.

Don’t tell me I’m not organized. Maybe wasteful, but not disorganized. In fact, I’ve got a poster on my wall with a kitten that says “I’ve gotta get organizized.” It’s cute. Inspiring. Has a stickie on it.

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