Sunday, 4 March 2012

My new custom rubber stamp

I have to go to a lot of meetings. I take a lot of notes in meetings. Some notes relate to new information that emerges, some to actions that other people will be taking and some to actions I agree to take. I just write things down as they get covered. A typical page of notes looks like this:

These notes are a couple of years old and pretty innocuous,
or I'd have smudged out some detail.

In a typical day I'l write perhaps five pages like that, often many more. In amongst it all are my personal actions, things I've committed to doing. You can see a couple of my actions on the page above. I've drawn little boxes to the left of them and then later ticked them when complete. Sometimes I can draw those as I go along, but other times things are going too quickly, and I have to scan the notes later and draw them in.

I have drawn those little boxes many thousands of times. A smaller number of times, I have drawn them, only later to realise they weren't prominent enough so I missed them when I reviewed the notes and failed to take the action.

You're probably thinking big red stars or lots of highlighter might be the way to go, but these are work notes and I don't want them to end up looking all strumpeted up and undignified.

I while ago, I came up with the idea of getting a rubber stamp to use. I could stamp prominent action boxes next to my actions. They'd look neat and tidy (neater and quicker than drawing my own each time), but would be impossible to miss. The trouble was, I couldn't find anyone who made such a stamp.

I put a shout out on Twitter for help to find someone who could make me a custom stamp. Steve Morton responded and this led me on a trail that ended at Speedy Stamps. Speedy Stamps offer a service where you can design your own stamp which they'll make and send you the next day. I cooked up a simple graphic and uploaded it to their web interface, scaling the picture to make just the right size stamp. It came the next day. It's pocket-sized, self-inking and looks like this:

That's what it looks like, but what does it do?

It does this:

Oh, I love that. I'm going to do it again.

Perfect every time. Also, neat and tidy, while being prominent enough to be unmissable. £15.84 well spent. Is it just me, or is this really, really cool?
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