Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site October 23, 2014, 01:43:03 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
The N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2011! Download 30+ custom programs!
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: Why Computers Can't Kill Post-Its - MIT research  (Read 7827 times)
patteo
Charter Member
***
Posts: 436


View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: February 05, 2009, 10:54:07 AM »

"Why Computers Can't Kill Post-Its
Lee Gomes, 01.22.09, 12:01 AM EST
MIT researchers argue that computers need to become as easy to use as those yellow sticky notes."
http://www.forbes.com/200...el-cz_lg_0122postits.html

I thought this article may benefit all those To Do List & PIM fanatics that lurk around Donationcoder looking for the Ultimate Software to take care of this problem for them.

It is instructive that it mentions

""A lot of people spend a lot of time trying to figure out cool new things for computers to do," Karger says. "What's more interesting to me is figuring out how to get the computer out of the way.""
http://www.forbes.com/200...el-cz_lg_0122postits.html

It's even got a free Firefox extension (Oh dear another extension) :

"One stab at such a program is list.it, just released by Karger and his students. To the casual observer, the program looks like any of the legion of notepad programs on the market already--some of which are built into the Windows and Macintosh operating system."

Karger said, though, that list.it was written with the lessons learned from the Post-it study in mind, including the need for the program to be started with absolute minimal effort.

List.it is available at http://groups.csail.mit.edu/haystack/listit/ and requires the latest version of the Firefox Web browser. Karger says he considers the program more of a research project than a finished product. It's free for the taking, though users are strongly encouraged to send in their reactions to the code after spending time with it. You can even write the comments on a Post-it and fax them in.

http://www.forbes.com/200...el-cz_lg_0122postits.html

I must add that I signed up but did not yet try it.

But it may interest some of you here.
Logged
SKesselman
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 317


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 11:26:17 AM »

Thanks! This is of particular interest to me.
This author of this article hit the nail on the head...these are some reasons I use post-its, but there are more.

I love where it tells about the guy with Post-its on his mobile phone-
Mobile Outlook can be a pain, and for all of these little problems they have software to make it easier...
but that software has problems, bugs, etc. and even attempting to solve those problems can bring on more problems (unresponsive customer service, being forced to search forums for help when you don't have time, etc.).

And that's just mobile devices. It gets even messier when I try to use a PC for to-do lists (for items not directly related to the computer itself, or major projects that require more thought than a regular to-do).

There's just no substitution for the Post-it.
Logged

-Sarah
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,271



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 12:04:40 PM »

There's just no substitution for the Post-it.

I totally agree, and that's one of the secrets to my whole way of organizing my mind. It's mostly in post-it notes, both the paper and digital kind. (digital ones can have alarms to remind you to read them, unlike paper)

As a matter of fact, I was just adding more to my collection when you were posting your reply:



(these are all links to free books that I am going to make blog posts about)

I never tried to fax one of these digital ones before (don't even know if I can). I have emailed them, sent them by MSN, attached them to Word docs, and sent them over the LAN to my daughter's desktop, but not yet ever faxed one.
Logged

40hz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 10,728



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 01:13:19 PM »

Very cool article. (I signed up.)

I've always been a big fan of Post-It notes. One of the best uses I've found is to use them in combination with a whiteboard for brainstorming or mapping out a project. You get the advantage of being able to easily rearrange major items without rewriting, while still being able to use the whiteboard to add minor notes and  "connect the dots."

Best of both worlds IMHO. Thmbsup
Logged

Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
SKesselman
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 317


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 01:22:45 PM »

WOW! That's a dizzying array of virtual post-its, app103!  Grin  Thmbsup

Hmm...never tried faxing a paper one either, (Edit: Oops, that's not what you were talking about)
but I'm sure with the appropriate faxing application on your PC, you could easily fax your virtual post-its!

I use Quick Notes, to stick to files, folders & certain windows in certain applications. Saves me a lot of trouble. I use the title as an instruction label such as, "Do not rename this file", then type the reason why in the post-it area (I won't even follow my own instructions without a good reason  Grin).

As for tasks/reminders/instructions for others I see in person, the paper post-it gets my vote.
This way, you can physically hand it to them ('Don't say I never told you'!) or post at the area needing attention, like home repairs, etc.

The recipient may not always like it too much, but it works for me  smiley.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 10:30:03 PM by SKesselman » Logged

-Sarah
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,271



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2009, 08:04:18 PM »

The recipient may not always like it too much, but it works for me  smiley.

They don't always like when you slap the virtual ones on their desktop over the LAN either (especially when it has an alarm attached to it and starts beeping at them).  cheesy

The only things that keep me from upgrading to the latest version of the application is that they took all that good stuff out in the latest one. No more ability to send notes to others that run the same post-it app, by sending over LAN, email, MSN...and newest doesn't integrate into MS Office like the old one does. No more ability to stick the little notes to Word & Excel files.  Sad
Logged

cranioscopical
Friend of the Site
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 4,182



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2009, 08:24:17 PM »

these are some reasons I use post-its, but there are more.

Just about the only thing I can be sure of looking at/into when I'm out and about is my wallet.  Fortunately for me, it's of the exact size to accommodate a P-I note stuck to the top edge of whatever piece of plastic resides in the top slot. Saves me when I've left my PDA at home.
Logged

Chris
Grorgy
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 820

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2009, 09:04:03 PM »

I've been using listit for a couple of weeks now, sits down in the status bar out of the way and is great for those urls you want to look at later and stuff like that.  It also has a facility to sync with their server and back to another computer you have, which is good, tho it isnt automated at this stage as far as i can tell, but it does work ok if you remember to ask it to do it.
Logged
SKesselman
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 317


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2009, 11:06:09 PM »

App103, funny they took so many features away-makes no sense. Oh well, you're saving money  smiley.

Slightly off topic: I won't upgrade my program either, because I bought it for $20 & although they charge $30 for the new version, they want $20 to upgrade. That would leave me paying $40 for a program they sell for $30 new. Sounds more like a lease than a purchase to me. No, thanks.

Chris, just curious...What kind of PDA do you use, and how do you input your tasks?
The last time I was productive using a PDA task list was when I used Agendus.
But, I cannot get their Windows Mobile version to work on (or rather, not CRASH) my device.
Logged

-Sarah
PhilB66
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,510


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 11:35:19 PM »

Has anyone tried StickySorter? Free from Microsoft's Office Labs.



More info @ StickySorter: A Tool for Organizing Information


Logged
conceptworld
Member
**
Posts: 139

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 11:44:12 PM »


Thanks SKesselman for mentioning about Quick Notes Plus. The new version of Quick Notes Plus is now called NoteZilla (http://www.conceptworld.com/NoteZilla/) which is available at 30% discount to all DonationCoder members (http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=7302.0)

Logged
rjbull
Charter Member
***
Posts: 2,776

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2009, 03:55:43 PM »

ability to send notes to others that run the same post-it app, by sending over LAN, email, MSN...and newest doesn't integrate into MS Office like the old one does. No more ability to stick the little notes to Word & Excel files.  Sad

I think Stickies can do a good deal of that, and it's free.  You can set it so it pops up a note when certain windows open, for example.  So can the sticky notes feature built into PowerPro but I find it hard to use.

Logged
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2009, 05:01:33 PM »

I'm not sure I agree with the article. To be the devil's advocate (also to paraphrase the article's commentors:

Flaws:

a. Why no admittance and criticism towards software post-it programs?

Quote
There already is a computer version of Post-Its. It's Called ATnotes. Electronic stiky notes for your (computer) desktop.

http://www.download.​com/ATnotes/3000-2351_4-​10246762.html

b. The researcher pointed the flaw but how does his program address it?

Quote
Its 'in-your-face visibility' vs. 'out-of-sight, out-of-mind'. Post-Its do not require diving into an app - hell the PC need not be powered on. There is a reason every typical family refrigerator is covered with 'notes' - calendars, coupons, school menus, to-do's, etc. Simplicity wins over technology. Thinking is as close to zero as it gets. - SPR

Quote
One reader hit the nail on the head. It is the stickiness factor. It's cheap, portable, and its cost is covered by the company. Doesn't require electricity to run. Most stickies IMHO are created temporarily for short-term memory recall to be later disposed into the annal of human past knowledge. What a pork spending!

c. Why no admittance of the flaws of post-it notes?

Quote
Being a designer/project developer, I often need to write something down. Math primarily but also job numbers and other info I get via phone call or e-mail. After tearing through pad after pad of those annoying post it notes and always losing that one, I went out and bought a 5.99 small whiteboard and stuck it to my desk. Now, I never lose the info I need and I ALWAYS have something readily available to write on.

d. Why didn't he address mobile hardware especially in this day and age?

Quote
if it's just a matter of leaving the note on a desk, they can use a tablet pc. on my hp touchsmart you can write directly on the screen. The problem is touchscreens cost an arm and a leg and supplying an entire office with them would be very pricey. So until they're as cheap as a sticky, we'll have to keep the post-it notes around

Article reeks too much of sensationalism and I have a feeling a lot of the post-it stuff were misquoted:

Quote
A recent paper from his team chronicled the attraction of "information scraps" like Post-Its, which, says Karger, are actually near-perfect data base tools. They're accessible and easy to use, and they take advantage of the brain's facility to remember an object's location in the three-dimensional world.

All goals, he adds, to which a well-designed computer program should aspire. "A lot of people spend a lot of time trying to figure out cool new things for computers to do," Karger says. "What's more interesting to me is figuring out how to get the computer out of the way."
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
SKesselman
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 317


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2009, 07:21:14 PM »

Paul,

No wonder you thought the article "reeked of sensationalism"!
Most of those quotes are comments from readers of the article, not the article itself.
Who cares what they're saying? Pay no attention to readers' comments, you'll get all worked up over nothing.

The article is not the best, I agree...it's "light" reading, at best. Take it for what it's worth.
However, if you do go back to it, you may see that it does answer your questions to a, b & d.

As for c, Why no admittance of the flaws of post-it notes?
Because, the article was biased. The title says it all.  Wink
Logged

-Sarah
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2009, 10:34:33 AM »

@Skesselman,

Yeah, I understand the article is biased. I guess I should have said the article didn't really explain the criticisms adequately.

The last bit where I accuse the reporter of sensationalizing is actually from the article itself. The ones about the commentors are actually my own criticisms but rather than prolong it, I decided to copy paste theirs to make my reply shorter.

I guess what I find flawed about the article wasn't just it's gross "light read" and bias but overall it reads very much like an advertisement for list.it sensationalized by the reporter and the product design itself seems very uninspired by Post-Its and reeks of Opera's Note, Google Notebooks, QuickNotes via the comments underneath Lifehacker's own article on it and so I'm being skeptical about the actual link there is to post-its much less a post-it for computers because even when the researcher said it was still an early build, just the design they are heading for seems to imply a lack of research with what's currently out there.

Most glaring being that it's chained to Firefox when post-its are supposed to be easy to stick anywhere. Just the combination of applications both here, on Lifehacker, unmentioned, pointing out that there's already an app for the PC like this concept suggests that the idea has long been considered and it already has many clones and yet this "researcher" and "reporter" is just reporting it now?

It makes me think they weren't just biased in reporting but they literally are trying to pull a wool over people's heads and their interest isn't really on explaining and closing the barrier between post-its and PCs but that they found a way to generally insult the niche market of notetaking lovers to make it seem to casual readers that they are promoting and discovering something new.

Maybe I'm just being over-critical but I find it weird how something you can "Google for in seconds literally" doesn't get addressed in the article and instead we get a passing comment on how people who are looking for software aren't also about getting their computers out of the way. It reeks of borderline insulting the less popular so you can pump up and attract more users to your infomercial firefox extension.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 10:37:43 AM by Paul Keith » Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
SKesselman
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 317


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2009, 08:46:45 PM »

OK, I understand a lot more clearly now why this article has ruffled your feathers...
But it's like this everywhere & I guess I'm so calloused to it now, that I forget it has an effect on others.

Paul, welcome to the party  smiley.
I, and millions of others, cannot look at products anywhere, without being insulted...if not by salespeople themselves, then by the makers of the products they're pushing. Off the top of my head, I can swiftly name at least 15 companies making a lot of money off of people who believe that these products are innovative, when they're not. It's just capitalism at work. (BTW: Virtually any cleaning product will clean stainless steel to a shine, & any mascara will easily make my lashes at least 200% thicker. I could go on forever. Nothing new here.)

If I let it get to me, I'd be a wreck.

My unsolicited advice for the day is: Choose your battles, and smilesmiley
Logged

-Sarah
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,271



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2009, 02:43:09 AM »

One very big mistake that the writer made repeatedly, is in calling all sticky notes, "Post-its".

This mistake is equal to calling all search engines, Google...or all operating systems Windows. As a professional writer for a magazine, he should know better.

Post-it is a trademarked brand name of sticky notes, belonging to the 3M corporation. You can call all Post-its, sticky notes, but you can't call all sticky notes, Post-its.

There is only one Post-it Notes in the physical world, and only one in the software world. Both are products of 3M.

And yes, the article did seem as if it was an advertisement for list.it.

And I really don't understand how any kind of digital notes that relies on you having to have a browser open, and Firefox 3 in particular, is supposed to be "started with absolute minimal effort". A simple notes.txt file on your desktop sounds easier & less effort.

My 3M Post-it digital notes are right in my tray, one click and I have one popped up right in front of me to begin typing. Application loads at startup and I don't have to think about it...just use it. And I can use it offline, with my browser closed. This is true with most digital sticky notes applications.

Even Yahoo Notepad is more convenient through their desktop widget, and it has auto-save that stores your notes online in your Yahoo account, accessible from any PC with an internet connection, even if you don't have access to the widget itself (use any browser you want, not locked to FF3).

And more important, you won't have a bunch of students spying on the content of your notes, which to me is both a privacy & security concern with list.it. The whole purpose behind the creation of list.it is for them to gain access to the content of a large quantity of people's notes. It was made specifically to spy on its users. The content of your notes may even be made public* (without your name connected to it, but public, nonetheless) The fact they tell you that they will be spying on you, and that they give you an option to opt out doesn't make it any less spying.


*a pdf file of a published paper was found, containing text gathered from the actual notes from users of list.it. Since the project is still open, there is the likelihood of an even longer paper containing even more examples of real note content.
Logged

kwacky1
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 178



i am Cody's cousin

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2009, 05:25:28 AM »

And I really don't understand how any kind of digital notes that relies on you having to have a browser open, and Firefox 3 in particular, is supposed to be "started with absolute minimal effort". A simple notes.txt file on your desktop sounds easier & less effort.

I think a sticky note plugin for FARR would be doubly awesome, who wants to waste time clicking a mouse button  smiley

Hmm, I wonder if there is a sticky note plugin for FARR.... huh
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 05:35:24 AM by kwacky1 » Logged

Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2009, 03:55:52 PM »

Quote from: Skesselman
If I let it get to me, I'd be a wreck.

My unsolicited advice for the day is: Choose your battles, and smile.   smiley

Thanks Skesselman. I guess I'm just being more optimistic (or pessimistic) than you are on this issue.  Grin


Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
OldElmerFudd
Charter Member
***
Posts: 181


Bite-sized trouble

see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2009, 12:27:27 PM »

It's odd, I've never been motivated to use digital to-do lists or PIMs. I can't remember to keep Google Calendar or TBirds' calendar extension properly filled in. I use little spiral notebooks that fit in a shirt pocket, and rarely, Post-It notes. And yes, I've lost the furshlugginer notebooks a couple of times. It taught me to double entry important stuff in another book for reference.

Some habits are hard to break, I guess.
Logged

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath and knows where you live.
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2009, 09:56:52 AM »

Hi spectateswamp - welcome to DC  Thmbsup

We love having developers drop in and participate on the DC boards. However, to be fair to everyone that posts/lurks here, you really should make clear your relationship to the applications that you are recommending. The above is only your second post, and it is the second that mentions a program that (it appears that) you develop without clearly indicating without indicating  embarassed how you are related to the program.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 04:06:58 PM by Darwin » Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.062s | Server load: 0.1 ]