Note to Self: Stop Writing Notes to Yourself.

Posted August 24, 2015 by Jess C. in Note to Self / 0 Comments

I think I may be addicted to post-it notes.
I leave them EVERYWHERE.  I have them on my computer, in books, in journals, on the fridge, on cabinets, in my bag…  you could pretty much follow the trail of post-its to find me anywhere. 
Okay…  I confess.  It’s not just post-it notes.  I scribble on anything I can get my hands on.  I have color coded composition books – each a different color for different note “categories”.  Inside, not only will you find random notes on the pages, but you will also find (you’ll never guess…)  more post-its.  I have paper towels, envelopes, random bulletins and torn pieces of paper with my short hand all over them.   On my phone, I have a post-it app.  (You’ll notice when reading my posts that I type my little thought notes (kinda like this one) in on my posts!)
I forgot my phone once and was sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office.  As I was going through my purse, I realized that it was stuffed with all these torn pieces of paper with notes on them that I had never even gone back to read.  So what did I do?  I grabbed one, turned it around, pulled a pen out and wrote:  “need to google:  can a person actually drown in paper?”  (FYI – Google doesn’t know.  The Google fairies can only tell you how to organize the paper you may be potentially drowning in.  They will NOT be saving you!)
Today, as I was throwing away my weekly pile of random notes (yes, I toss them regularly to make room for more), I started wondering if this is a serious problem.  My main concern was if I was going to be on an episode of “Hoarders” one day.  According to, I’m in the clear because I don’t hold on to them forever:

A messy person may have piles but, unlike the hoarder, knows where important things are and also periodically sorts through papers so they diminish before they grow again.

So why do I have all these notes around that I hardly ever bother to read before tossing each week?
Well, for one thing I think it’s just a habit, but the main reason is because I have a HORRIBLE memory.  Seriously… It’s so bad, my friends call me Goldfish.
Thankfully (or not depending on if you ask the trees), if I write things down, it sticks.  There is something about taking the time to write it out that makes it almost impossible for me to forget.  Not to say that it never happens, but it’s a rarity that I write something down and can’t recall it almost verbatim later.  (Despite the fact that my notes are far from verbatim of anything.)
And I ‘m not alone…  I found an article at that references a study done regarding students taking notes by either writing them out or by using a tablet or laptop.  The students that used a pen and paper retained more information.
So now I have scientific evidence that says I don’t need to stop writing notes to myself.  Although, according to the above-referenced article, I may just be using the study to justify my hoarding tendencies…  hmmmm….

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0 responses to “Note to Self: Stop Writing Notes to Yourself.

  1. Nik

    Amazing how the act of physically writing something down logs it in your brain whether you then refer to the note or not. Typing it out or sending yourself a reminder email from work account to personal account (not that I’m saying I do that several times a day) works partially but is nowhere near as effective in my experience.
    My random note levels are under control which either means I lack imagination, have given up caring or have forgotten that I imagined. Or that I cared. The infinite loop of forgetfulness – now there’s a prog rock album or weird short story right there…!

    • LOL! I’m on your site right now. You’re definitely not lacking imagination. (Notice the use of “‘re” there.) Maybe you just have a much better memory than I do!

      • Nik

        Saved by the apostrophe hehe 🙂 You’re too kind. I think. I can’t remember what you were saying now. Who are(is) you again?

  2. I once spent (not even going to lie here) an ENTIRE day just going through all my post-it notes and scraps of paper and half filled notebooks. I had bought myself an office folder and wanted to organize everything. It was such a mess! I only have three post-its on my computer right now…but I can see that number increasing lol

  3. Ah!! That’s me!! I finally switched to a paper planner last year so that my disorganized self would end up at appointments, and I’ve started implementing a color-coded system that has worked so far. Also, for my desk, all of my post-its go inside a pretty file folder that I fold up and tuck away when I’m done working. The cluttered desk drives me nuts, but dang it if I don’t need those things!

    • I started using color folders for everyone in our house so we can make it through this school year (hopefully) without “misplacing” any important papers. Last year, my kids would “hand” me papers from school by laying them in random places like the bathroom closet, on top of the refrigerator, in the cubby under the table, and (my personal favorite) in the trunk of my car.

  4. Thank you ! Now I can say there is scientific proof for my colored post-its scattered all around the place 😉 besides I like color and they look nice 🙂

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