I just remembered! I’m slowly replacing my memory with Post-Its!

imageWhen my wife called to remind me about letting our dog out at noon, I instinctively retrieved a Post-It from the desk drawer and scrawled “Dog at noon,” then stuck it to the computer monitor.

This required shuffling a series of other yellow Post-Its into order of importance, with things like “Call about hair cut,” “Go to dry cleaners” and “Clean out van” written on them.

That one, of course, was moved to the very end of the line.

Sadly, they’re all things I should be able to remember on my own and usually do; like when I’m staring into the closet for a pair of pants to wear. Later, I got into the van and was gently reminded by a shocking-yellow piece of paper to “get gas.”

It was while sitting at the pump a short time later that the notion of Post-It dependency hit me. 

In the beginning, I was only an occasional user, jotting down out-of-the-ordinary reminders. You know, things like a doctor’s appointment, or that it was time to change the oil.

Then, “Change cat box” and “Take out trash” began appearing on the bathroom mirror, or stuck to the alarm clock — painfully obvious things that were reminders in and of themselves.

My life was becoming sort of a dot-to-dot, or in this instance note-to-nore, existence, moving from one reminder to the next. What was next?



“Don’t drink soda with Alka-Seltzer?”

So, I decided enough was enough. It was time to end the addiction. For those of you who followed my attempt to give up coffee, you probably know where this is going. Still, I reached into my shirt pocket, snatched my last, still-cellophaned package of pads and tossed them out the window and into the trash.

This was my moment, something I would long remember without a scrap of yellow paper conveniently laced with “stick-um.”

“Excuse me, sir,” the gas attendant said, interrupting my moment of triumph. “You got another gas card? This one’s expired.”

Confused, I thumbed through my wallet as the attendant handed me a yellow slip of paper. “By the way, this fell off the back of your card.”

I took it from him and stared at my handwritten reminder:

“Call about gas card.”

After handing the attendant my cash, I reluctantly stepped from the truck and, with no small amount of humiliation, dug the Post-Its back out of the trash, opened it and made myself a note.

“Get more Post-Its.”



Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. Write to him at nedhickson@ icloud.com

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

83 thoughts on “I just remembered! I’m slowly replacing my memory with Post-Its!”

  1. Oh, how I identify with this. Notes everywhere, 95% of which I forget to read. But then, I’m older’n dirt, Ned. What’s your excuse? I’m just askin’ ………… 😀

  2. Oh dear, like making extensive list of thing to get when I go shopping and leaving the list on the counter. At least I remember where I left it when I am in the store. Now if I could just remember what was on it. Keep those post-it-notes, when you remember to read them they are great.

  3. I can so relate to this! I now use my phone for all these things… I have a running list for each of the stores I need lots of stuff from, because otherwise I’m standing in the hardware store saying “I just known there is something else I need”. I add to the lists when I think about it then look them up when I’m in the store 🙂

    1. I already use (i.e. RELY) on my phone to remind me about my appointments and meetings! I don’t know if I’m ready to take it to the next level with lists! As it is now, if something happened to my phone, I’d be left standing in the street wondering where I’m supposed to go!

  4. In my house, I have a mantra, “If it’s not written down, it didn’t (or won’t) happen”
    Writers write stuff down. There is no shame in relying on post-its…or coffee 🙂

  5. i totally get this. when i worked in advertising, in an office, my daughters would make stickies daily to put on the front of my computer monitor such as: “don’t forget your daughters again, we will need to be picked up at school at 4:45 and it is your turn as the carpoool mom so don’t forget as it was embarrassing last time when you forgot.”

  6. I have graduated to neon Post-Its and made each color a DEFCON level. Purple – DEFCON 1. Blue – DEFCON 2. Yellow – DEFCON 3. All the way up to DEFCON 5 which is neon Pink. Guess what color is stuck all over my desk. Hint: It isn’t Purple, Blue, Yellow or Orange.

    1. That sounds BRILLIANT, Mrs. C.! What does DEFCON stand for? I’ve got some neon green ones, and small yellow ones. Still looking for a VERY IMPORTANT ‘small yellow one’! I think I should invent something beside a computer to attach Post-It notes to. My whole life depends on them. Which means I am in a pretty precarious position! (How’s that for unintentional alliteration?) Once I know what DEFCON stands for, I’ll figure out how to use
      several colors of notes.

      Ned: I COMPLETELY can relate to you! Where did MY brain go?

      1. This is from Wikipedia (I know….a terrible place for reliable facts but in this case they explain it in one sentence….which is important to me): The DEFense readiness CONdition (DEFCON) is an alert state used by the United States Armed Forces. And now that I’ve gone and looked for official information….I have my DEFCONs backwards. I shouldn’t be surprised by that. Nor should you. :o)

          1. A narrow escape, I’m sure. In the future I should probably research my systems before I put them in place but then what would I do with all my time if everything worked the way it should. :o)

  7. Thanks for the reminder, my screen is very visible through the stacks of post its along the edges. I tried a calendar reminder, a scheduler, the reminder calendar on my pc but forget to ck it…nothing works like post its!

  8. There are times I HAVE to write things down. If I am really busy with life and if it DOESN’T get written down? The chances are very good it won’t get done! Notes and lists are a good tool! I see no reason to stop using them. If it is a tool that works for you? Then use it! You wouldn’t try and change a flat tire without a jack wouldja?? Just sayin………. 😀 ❤

  9. Just don’t become the guy who expects someone to know where “the sticky with the phone # written in purple ink and posted 5 weeks ago” went. I’ve worked for a few lawyers like that…sadly, I did know where that post-it was…

  10. Then there’s post-it blindness: the post-its are there but I still ignore them. That’s why I set an alarm on my phone for everything. It works but I’m a little jumpy.

  11. I’m unrepentantly 100% sticky note reliant, but I became immune to the standard yellow long ago and have to change the colors up constantly to keep my brain on its toes. It makes for quite the travelling rainbow, but hey, whatever works, right? If shedding adhesive neon squares everywhere I go is what it takes for me to pass for a semi-functional adult, so be it.

      1. Nono, but the note won’t fall off and become a plaything for the animals. Just be sure to use dry erase, permanent marker is much more difficult to remove.

  12. So Loling. It sounds like you need to spice up your post-it collection. I have them in various sizes and colors! And yes, they’re everywhere! But you know what I got to start the year fresh? I got tired of post-its stuck everywhere with no law and order to the point I don’t even know which is the urgent stuff anymore. I bought a huge dry erase board! Loving it!
    I put my must dos on it and erase as I get the jobs done! Give it a try and lemme know. 🙂

  13. I used to have a post-it problem, but I successfully kicked the habit, and you can too!

    Now I set up reminders and lists on my phone, which are shared to my laptop and every other device in my life, so when it’s time to do something they all go *ping* no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Sure, I got stuck keeping everyone else’s calendar too, but that’s fine because now I’m known as “the organized one,” in spite of the fact that I cannot find my socks without asking the cat where he hid them.

  14. At the risk of sounding like a lawyer (too late), I think it’s all in how you spin it. You’re not depending on Post-It Notes, you’re helping to preserve an industry and medium that’s in danger of being lost to the ravages of digitization. Society NEEDS you!

  15. Hah! When you start needing secondary post-its to remind you of primary post-its, that’s when you need to worry. Have you tried a colour-coding system? Yellow for home reminders, pink for work reminders, blue for outdoorsy reminders, etc? I think you could really build on that. I realise you’re trying to kick the habit and I’m actively encouraging you to expand it, but I’m only going by the post-it on my laptop that says ‘Encourage other post-it dependents.’

  16. Lists, lists everywhere, in the kitchen, by my computer, by the front door when we’re going away; recycled paper on clip boards, lists of things to do and lists of things to remind Cyberspouse to do… and I’ve no intention of giving them up.

No one is watching, I swear...

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