From the desk of Bob Hirschfield, Cybersatirist

"You always hear how computers free up our time. They do.  Every time your PC crashes it frees you up to take care of errands. Why do you think Microsoft uses the slogan 'Where do you want to go today?'  I need to pick up laundry, get my car repaired…"
 

Multitasker takes a BIG detour

A multitasking 25 year old was driving a flat-bed truck carrying 2 motorcycles and towing 2 trucks.  He was talking on one cell phone while texting on another and accidentally crashed into a house, ending up with himself, his truck and part of his cargo submerged under water. That's one way to find out that multitasking is not efficient.

Post-It® Notes

Did you know that Post-it Notes® are in our country's top 5 best selling office supply products of all time?

Art Frye was a product development consultant who worked with 3M. Dr. Spencer Silver was 3M scientists who had invented a weak adhesive. Frye thought there must be some need for it in the marketplace, but didn't know what it was.

While sitting in church one Sunday, Frye noticed the choir singing and marking places in their books with little slips of paper. He began thinking this adhesive applied to paper would make a great bookmark and gave samples to his colleagues.

In 1977 they began test marketing the idea and the rest, as they say, is history.
 

Be Careful With Your 'To Do' List

'To Do' lists can be helpful for not only the person writing them, but for others. Consider...

...2 men broke out of a jail in Rutland, VT in May 1996. They were captured a week later when police recovered a 'things to do' list they had made.

…in Dallas, a 15 year old was indicted for murder. Why? Police found a list of instructions he had written to himself for a robbery. The list include a reminder to 'kill the victim', which, unfortunately, he allegedly did.
 

Henry Ford Probably Needed a Professional Organizer

Henry Ford never threw away a letter or a bill and his lawyers were left to sort out over 5,000,000 documents. Among these documents were 10,000 unopened letters. The task of opening this mail took two and one-half years!
 

A Bit of Hollywood Humor

There are several quotes attributed to the legendary motion picture executive, Samuel Goldwyn of Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM). It is said that a bookkeeper once said:

"Mr. Goldwyn, our files are bulging with paperwork we no longer need. May I have your permission to destroy all records before 1945?"

Goldwyn responded, "Certainly, just be sure to keep a copy of everything."


Dorothy Neustadter, widow of Arnold Neustadter, said "He was a very organized man".

That's a good thing because Arnold Neustadter was the inventor of the Swivodex a non-spillable inkwell, the Clipodex (a knee clip to aid secretaries in taking dictation) and of course, the Rolodex.

For those of you who have your names and addresses on computer, this was a rotary card file that 'organized' your contacts and debuted in U.S. offices in 1950.


A Paper Pile Solution...Maybe?

Office furniture manufacturers think they have come up with the solution to those piles of paper on your desk. According to a Newsweek magazine report in the National Business Employment Weekly, manufacturers are designing workspace with no flat areas so it is virtually impossible to pile papers on top of the desk. You either have to sort papers or clip them onto bars in front of you. There they will hang until you decide their disposition. Their goal, according to the article, is to make the workstation a 3D storage system with a visual 'to-do' list.


Organizing Forms and Numbers

Do you know how the IRS form 1040 got its name?

Some say it was in 1040 B.C. when one of the prophets warned that the king would require people to pay taxes.

Other say it was 1040 A.D. when Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry.

But the IRS denies both claims. They claim that in 1913, when the personal income tax form was devised, 1040 happened to be the next four-digit number available in their forms numbering system. Too bad. I rather liked the story about Lady Godiva.


Henry Ford Probably Needed a Professional Organizer

Henry Ford never threw away a letter or a bill and his lawyers were left to sort out over 5,000,000 documents. Among these documents were 10,000 unopened letters. The task of opening this mail took two and one-half years!


House Made of Paper ... Really

In Rockport, Massachusetts there is a home made entirely of paper. It was built by Elis Stenman, designer of the paperclip machine, who built it over 80 years ago.

He folded newspapers 215 layers thick to insulate the walls of his summer home. He eventually used 100,000 copies for ceilings and furniture. His wife, Esther, decorated curtains with stars woven from the 'Life' and 'Saturday Evening Post' magazine covers.

His grandniece is now responsible for maintaining the home. She says every year or so she varnishes the outside but not the inside for fear of damaging the print.


Mr. Dewey and His Decimal System

Melvil Dewey was the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System, which revolutionized the way libraries organized information. He was also involved with the metric system and shorthand and owned a business called the Library Bureau, which was similar to the mega-office supply stores we have today. His vertical filing system was really an overgrown card catalog where documents, rather than cards, hung vertically in long drawers. It won a gold medal at the 1893 World's Fair. Truly a man ahead of his time.