Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Use Sticky Note Templates to Get Organized

A few years ago while I was working as an Instructional Coach, I found myself regularly putting sticky notes on papers to place in teachers' mailboxes. I would write out a dozen or more sticky notes with the same message: "Sign and return", "Bring to PLC meeting on Thursday", "Share with your grade level team", etc. One day I came to my senses and realized that there was a more efficient way to do that. I typed the message I wanted to share via sticky note, placed sticky notes onto printer paper, and printed several copies of the message onto sticky notes. I shared this idea with my good friend Amanda McRary - who happens to love organization even more than I do - and she created sticky note templates in Microsoft Publisher for various sizes of sticky notes to make this process easy and efficient. I used the sticky note templates whenever I needed to attach the same message to documents, books, and other resources for multiple people. You can view sample templates here, here, and here.

For the upcoming semester, I'm posting my office hours, the courses I'm teaching, the courses I'm taking, and the tasks / areas I need to focus on each day. The beauty of these sticky notes is that they look great on my calendar and I can re-use them each week. For meetings and other events that pop up throughout the week, I pencil them in. I only use the sticky notes for events that repeat on a weekly basis. On Fridays, I simply move the sticky notes to the following week.

There are so many possibilities for using sticky note templates to make your work more efficient. Use them to give feedback on student work, send home a message to parents, or share information with colleagues. Is this a process that can work for you? Share your own ideas below!