I set a minimum of three alarms and calendar alerts on a daily basis. Still, I often write the most important tasks on yellow Post-It® notes and reference them while completing my errands. A recent study by Randy Garner, Professor of Behavioral Science at Sam Houston State University, proved that my habit is not as odd as it seems, with results showing that people are more likely to complete a request when asked on a Post-It® note.
Low tech products stick out in an increasingly digital world. That’s why in in 1980s, we placed the first Post It® note in a magazine ad, making sure readers took note. It’s not just the bright color contrast that makes these requests hard to ignore. Post-It® notes are personalized, and can’t be turned off until the tasks are completed. They also convey a sense of urgency, as compared to hearing the same iPhone ring tone for all alerts.
Paper based communication continues to play an important role as digital reliance grows. Next time you have an urgent request, think about how to make it stand out. It doesn’t always take bells and whistles to get people’s attention. A 3x3 Post-It® note will stick out just fine.