Archive for category In the Agilista’s Backpack

Post-it note pro-tip


Did you know there’s a wrong way and a right way to use a post-it?

If you peel them off the pack upwards from the bottom corner, they tend to just curl up and fall off the wall – especially with modern paints which seem to be chemically engineered to repel anything.  I noticed half my retros were ending up on the floor and I spent a lot of time picking up pesky post-its and slamming them back up on the wall, only to watch them fall again.  I was like that clown at the circus, running from spinning plate to plate, trying to keep them all in the air.  Then someone showed me the right way – peel them off the pack sideways to avoid adding any curl.  Your post-its will stay stuck much longer.

Bart Vermijlen explains it really well here: http://www.bartvermijlen.com/how-to-peel-of-a-sticky-note/

The right way!

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Slickynotes look like they are worth a try


Index Cards and Post-its. Whiteboards.  These are our utensils.  We spend our days with them.  We write on them, stick em on walls, we photograph them. We write them up.  Hundreds of them.  I spend so much time with them that they even invade my dreams.  I think if I see those 5 pukey index card colours for another year though, I’m going to have to kill someone.  Ergh.

Hello, Slickynotes.

Slickynotes are reusable, 2 sided, and adhere by static cling.

Slickynotes stick to smooth surfaces by static electricity.  I tried them on glass and painted walls and they seem to stick about as well as post-its.  They don’t have adhesive on them which means that they are usable on both sides.  As an added bonus, one side is erasable if you use whiteboard markers, much like a whiteboard or those flexible magnetic index cards.  Another bonus is that these are re-usable – we do generate a lot of waste with all our post-its.

Slickynotes come in two sizes – the smallish ones are 100mm x 74mm, and the medium-sized ones are 200mm by 100mm.

I have some of these, and I’ve played with them, but I haven’t had a chance to try them out in a real life work setting yet.  A colleague swears by them though so I think they are worth a try.

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Post-it Not


No, that strapline is not missing an “e”.

We Agilistas navigate through our days using tons of post-it notes.  You can always tell where the agile folks have been: they leave a trail of the things just like Hansel & Gretel.  When you’re facilitating, or even thinking, they’re just too handy. They allow us to group ideas, to reposition them in relation to each other. We can use their colour and arrangement to help us see patterns in ideas. We can have everyone in the room contribute their own ideas, and then group and edit them as a team. What could be better?

Well…in some cases, this stuff.   This turns any piece of paper into a post-it.  You just smear a line of it onto a card or bit of paper and you can re-stick it and reposition it to your lil’ agile heart’s content. It’s called a re-stickable glue stick.

So what? Well, it’s a lot neater and less splodgy than blu-tac, so it’s good for avatars and little badges which go onto the surface of index cards. Blu-tac often causes these smaller pieces of paper to warp.  But it also lets you effectively create your own post-its. You can create post-its of different shapes, where the shapes are meaningful for your team. They could have templates on them for key terms, or story numbers, or, or… anything!

You could get it here, for example.

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Shower Curtain Aids Transparency


No, it’s not for planning your iteration in the shower. Sorry.

Sometimes, you just can’t get to the walls. Maybe the building police won’t let you put anything on the walls. Maybe there just isn’t the space, or your team isn’t located adjacent to a wall.  Portable whiteboards, which are the usual guerilla weapon of choice in this situation, can block lines of sight and available light. And sometimes they get the building police excited, too.

One team decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own Shower Scene. The cards fit into little pockets designed into the shower curtain. Note the little suckers at the top which allow you to stick it up on any smooth surface.

Just one supplier for this product (shop around, people, and let us know where the bargains are!).

photo (3)

Spotted: Bankwest, Perth

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Whiteboard Paint


Turn any wall into a whiteboard! This stuff is the bomb.

I haven’t used this brand before, but there are a few variants on the market. Once you get over your fear of writing directly on the wall, being able to write anywhere is very liberating.

At Lonely Planet, there was a team war-room where all the walls were painted with whiteboard paint. The kind we had wrote well, and erased well too. For a while, we had an entire business case sketched up on the wall and stakeholders could come and talk through the whole thing. We could change the slides right there on the wall, on the fly. A great place for thinking. Look out though, your wall is going to look like this in no time!

Here is another brand.

Special props to Nigel Dalton and Gus Balbontin on this one.

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