skip to Main Content

Forget-Me-Not(e)s: Imagining a World Without Post-It Notes

With the forces of green combining with the electronic arts to ru(i)n the world, it’s only a matter of time before Post-It Notes enter upon an afterlife as nostalgic claptrap images making bygones appearances upon the future/futuristic lunchboxes.

Now, don’t shoot the messenger, Mr. Post-It. Don’t get me wrong; I mean, I love Post-It Notes almost as much as Rachel Willcox–in fact, I’m staring at a pile of them right now. And, I will fight the long, losing battle. However, I recognize the flow of culture; and, I do fully expect, one day, to be guarding my library against an angry mob wielding torches in one hand, and Kindles in the other. The fact of the matter, though, is that just about everybody has use for Post-It Notes; it’s just that some have converted the Post-It style of note-taking to electronic media, and others will be compelled to do so.

The other day, one of our clients asked me what she could to do to convert her Post-It Notes to electronic matter, which gave rise to the above theoretical musing, and the below practical suggestions:

The way I see it, there are options to go paperless with Post-It Notes, if that’s what you want to do; heck, you may already be doing it . . .

Post-it itself, perhaps recognizing the writing on the wall as clear, offers it own digital Post-It Notes software, retailing, for starters, at $9.99 for 1-4 licenses, with volume discounts therefrom.

You could stop there, certainly; but, what would be the fun of allowing Post-It a veritable (communicated) monopoly on both paper and electronic posted notes. There are some alternate methods for creating and utilizing non-paper, Post-It-style notes, which may not cost you anything at all, or which may cost you less than the official Post-It version software does, or that may even already be incorporated through features within some of your existing systems. Perhaps the nearest thing to traditional Post-It Notes are tasks; and, almost all modern email systems carry task functionality, including: GMail has task functionality built-in; and, you can find a quick tutorial on using tasks in GMail here. Outlook, while not a free program, is an email application that many attorneys use as part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Outlook, naturally, has tasking functionality, as well. Email systems will generally also allow you to create tasks from emails, and to associate tasks with calendar events and/or to include alarmed reminders for tasks. Traditional Post-It Notes can’t offer that sort of synchronization and richness. And, if you’re utilizing a practice management system of some kind, like Credenza for Outlook, you can filter your tasks by clients, after associating those tasks to individual matters. If you’re not in your email enough to make task management through that application effective, or if you want a separate method for creating and tracking tasks, you can use a system like Remember the Milk, which is a cowley task management tool, with some nifty features, like location-based tasking, mobile access and cross-posting for reminders.

If you’re looking for something more along the lines of scratch pads instead, you may try Microsoft’s OneNote, which more or less started out by allowing you to capture your jotted memoranda upon a legal pad-style, Wiki-ish background that was meant to free one from some of the strict formatting applied against us all via Microsoft Word. Watch the OneNote demo here, for all about the 2010 version, to see that OneNote moves ever closer to Evernote. Evernote being a favored free tool of a number of attorneys for (1) capturing any sort of electronic information (2) across devices, for access wherever you have an internet connection, (3) and so that you can find anything you’ve clipped via a global search tool.

Of course, you may still prefer your own handiwork to view; and, if that is the case, and you have run after the tablet craze directly to the iPad, you will likely find the PenUltimate app (selling for $1.99 as one of a number of iPad apps) to be a nice (the ultimate?) solution for capturing your own handwritten notes, as if they appeared on . . . well . . . as if they appeared on Post-It Notes.

In an interesting twist, and while we did discover that the Post-It Notes people have already begun hedging their bets against the demise of the little yellow sticky, it appears that the landscape of notetaking, or, more appropriately for twenty-eleven, the capture and leveraging of electronic information sets, is, perhaps, a wider panorama than previously thoughtfully imagined; and, neither does this represent an exhaustive list of arrayed options. Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and men, and Post-It Notes . . .

. . .

Liner Notes

I’ve written, here and there: everywhere, and in snatches and fits and starts, at the LOMAP Blog, about Son Volt, one of my favorite bands ever. At one point, I’d christened Jay Shepherd, founder of the consultancy Prefix, LLC, a big fan. Son Volt is largely unknown, which is unfortunate, given the depth and quality of music that they’ve produced over 15 years. (Son Volt was born of the split within Uncle Tupelo
, a popular alt country band led by Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy formed the more pop-friendly Wilco, which relatively recently produced something of an eponymous comeback album, and which you may know from the song “Box Full of Letters”. Farrar founded Son Volt, which leans more country than alt, and which has produced, to my mind, some of the finest music of the late past and just new century.) Although Son Volt’s first album, in certain parts, was amendable to pop radio, especially their first single, “Drown”, their, generally more traditional, sound has remained pretty much unchanged since that first album, save for the fact that their two most recent albums have slowed things down some, with fewer driving rock songs, and more drawling countrified moaners, more closely matching in the melancholy overwhelming Farrar’s voice. Perhaps, had their popularity crested at a higher apex in the late ‘90s, Son Volt would now be viewed as a modern-day Eagles, the crossover alt country band that’s (still) charting; but, if that would have changed their sound toward the Hotel California, then . . . I’ll take what I can get: what I’ve got, with discrete apologies to the various members of Son Volt’s various wallets.

Although this is a massive oversimplification, I will nevertheless tell you that Son Volt generally puts together two types of songs: (1) these sorts of alternative rock songs with a country twang, that is very slight, at times; and, (2) these sorts of dripping, molasses-moving country road songs, complete with pedal steel guitars and tears held back. Jay Farrar’s lyrics are often bordering on brilliant; and, if you listen close for the words (including in the song titles) throughout the Son Volt discography, you’ll likely need to keep both a dictionary and an encyclopedia (Wikipedia?) at hand, for the opportune moments; and, that’s something you can’t say about most, more modern, musicians, especially those with some modicum of chart success.

I’ve been intending to write in full about Son Volt for quite some time; only, I was feeling like a poser: because I didn’t yet own all the group’s albums. I’ve recently remedied that sadly gap, and have given a listen through to the complete Son Volt compendium. Assisting my ability to drop this here knowledge is the Grooveshark listening service. While most Son Volt songs cannot be found on YouTube (or, if found, can only be so found as homegrown live recordings; although, MrAlstec appears to be attempting to remedy this situation, all on his own), most of the original album recordings, at least, are available on Grooveshark. Now, I don’t know how Grooveshark works; but, it has much better taste than YouTube . . . or, perhaps, that’s just a willingness to transgress copyright laws with virtuoso ferocity.

Now, then, without further ado, here are some of my favorite songs from the albums, something of a Son Volt primer for you:

Trace (1995) (one of the best albums ever made, by the way)

-“Windfall(the perfect companion song for driving at night)

-“Catching On

-“Route

Straightaways (1997)

-“Creosote

-“No More Parades

-“Left a Slide

Wide Swing Tremolo (1998)

-“Medicine Hat(their best song)

-“Straightface

-“Hanging Blue Side

A Retrospective: 1995-2000 (2005)

-“Lookin’ at the World Through a Windshield

-“Loose String (Demo)

-“Tulsa County

-“Medicine Hat (Live Acoustic)” (yes, I love this song–that’s why I’ve listed it twice; also, listen to how closely the studio and live versions sound–that’s one of the marks of a good band: the unnecessity of post-production values)

Okemah and the Melody of Riot
(2005)

-“Jet Pilot” (a send-up of George W. Bush)

-“Afterglow 61” (something of a tribute to Bob Dylan and his “Highway 61 Revisited”, done in a very Son Volt-ish manner, as one of the sublest: Highway 61 Revisited Revisited)

-“Gramophone

The Search (2007)

-“Beacon Soul

-“Methamphetamine

-“Houdini Punches” (sounding a little bit like R.E.M.)

American Central Dust (2009)

-“Sultana” (a song memorializing the sinking of a steamboat on the Mississippi, just after the Civil War, that resulted in more lives lost than in the Titanic disaster)

-“When the Wheels Don’t Move

-“Jukebox of Steel

. . .

Son Volt’s even covered
the Beatles. Hello!

Goodbye
.