How Post-Its Can Dramatically Accelerate Learning

Today I just wanted to post a Quick Tip of a productivity hack that I didn’t realise I was using until I suggested it to somebody else!


In Excel, I use many keyboard short-cuts to be more productive. I am able to do a lot of things faster this way, such as selecting an entire column using CTRL + Shift (good for combining with the Find tool CTRL + F).

There are a few approaches to learning keyboard short-cuts. The most common approach I’ve seen, which also seems to consistently fail, is to produce a print out or share a PDF of the top 10 or 20 most useful short-cuts. While useful to have around and see, sitting this list in front of a busy person probably isn’t going to help them learn. I’ve seen these end up scrapped in bins, at the bottom of stacks of papers, stuck to cubicle walls behind an array of desk items and just basically ignored.

I figured out that when I’m trying to remember a small thing like a short-cut, I tend to write it out on a Post-It and stick it on my monitor so that I can refer to it instantly when I need a reminder. I find that 3 seems to be the right amount for me to still continue taking notice of what’s written on them. After I’ve had the Post-It around for a while and stopped referring to it, or it’s no longer useful, I take it down, making space for another one.

Keeping reminders around the home, or workplace, of things you are trying to memorise is actually a proven study technique, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it works so well! I think that sometimes we forget that we are always learning and study techniques we picked up in school are just as applicable in the office.

I’d be willing to bet that all good study techniques are applicable, I’ll have to figure it out and see what I come up with!

Anyway, that was my quick tip for today, hope it helps!

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