Goldilocks and the Holy Grail

May 14th, 2009 by Pamela Poole

Yes, I’m mixing my stories up. But that’s the way our lives are these days, isn’t it? Kind of all mixed up, faster than a speeding bullet, generally wacky? Mine is anyway.


In my quest for personal and professional organization, I have tried a number of to-do options. They all sucked. Or at least they didn’t work for me. Too big or too small, too hard or too soft… I felt like Goldilocks.

Now, Forbes Magazine recently said that computers can’t kill Post-Its. (Clearly they hadn’t yet heard of Doris the Post-It Killer.)

So of course the very first thing I tried, a few years ago, was the official 3M Post-It Digital Notes desktop app. The obvious choice. I even paid for it after 30 days because I was convinced virtual Post-Its would work for me every bit as well as the cute little paper ones always had.

Wrong. Painfully slow to load on startup, cumbersome to work with (hard to edit, hard to read, hard to create, no way to prioritize or group). Impossible to organize (no button you could click to line them all up neatly the way you can desktop icons). And they took up way too much screen real estate. Very, very bad.

Many have tried to interpret the beloved little almost-squares for the computer. All have failed.

And what’s funny is that they all focused on the physicality of the Post-Its and failed utterly to grasp what it was about them that worked so well for all of us. Scribble, stick, unstick, restick on top, unstick, throw away, unstick, put in your wallet, on the fridge… I even sometimes stuck ’em on my shirt. Very short term. (I hope I’m not the only person who ever did that…)

It was never about the squares. It’s about versatile and effortless and portable. That describes Doris.

Stay tuned for more of the saga of my search for the perfect to-do list!

Still not a believer? Read the whole series of articles on my quest for the perfect task-management app:

  1. Doris saved my sanity
  2. Goldilocks and the Holy Grail
  3. What do you have to do to get a decent to-do list around here?
  4. More complex does not mean more robust
  5. Then along came Doris…