During an all-day speaking engagement some time ago I mentioned that I am not a big fan of sticky notes. It’s becoming a bit of a known quirk now that “Beth doesn’t like sticky notes.” I don’t mind them as a temporary tool, but they quickly become permanent fixtures on desks, monitors and other parts of the office and that becomes visual clutter. So I’ve found an alternative for the times when you need to do some doodling, quick figuring, or keep track of something for just a few minutes–a dry erase board and marker.
I keep small dry erase boards at my desks/portable office bag for jotting quick things that don’t need a life beyond that day, or even that hour, at my work space. It gets erased when I don’t need the information any more (usually within the same day) and I don’t have the risk of building up too much paper clutter.
If you need to keep information handy for an extended period of time, find a place to store it that can be off the main “cockpit” of your desk, even if you do use paper. The danger of sticky notes is that they are designed to be left in visible places more often than not. That’s why they are stick. Cutting down on visual clutter (particularly paper with words and numbers on it) can help ease your brain of having to repeatedly process whether you still need that info, or worse, it fading into familiarity and having no use at all.
In addition to the benefit of using dry erase supplies for notes that can be erased quickly, here are some other cool things you can do with dry erase supplies:
1) Use a dry erase marker to jot a reminder on your bathroom mirror (or a note to your loved one.)
2) Keep a dry erase menu on your refrigerator that you can easily erase and update daily, always having several days of meal ideas planned ahead.
3) Use a dry erase marker on certain types of lids to mark whose lunch is whose (test on a small area first).
Your turn: How could you use a dry erase board to declutter your desk surfaces?