Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Keyring for spider's web multi-tasking success

Don't forget a thing while looking like a weirdo.
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A problem I sometimes have when I’m in a hurry is having a large number of small tasks to be carried out before I can leave the house/office. Because I want as many of these tasks done as quickly as possible before I leave, I will not carry out the tasks as I think of them. For example, if I notice that bins need brought out, I will not bring them out immediately – I’ll wait until I’m leaving and bring them then. Time and Motion, see? The problem is that in between thinking that they have to be brought out, and leaving, there is a good chance that I will have forgotten. In the mornings when I’m getting ready to go to work is a good example of a time that I will be in a rush. Not only will there be small jobs to do (windows to close, washing to hang up etc.), but there are objects that I have to remember to bring with me (phone, sandwiches, wallet, book, papers etc). First thing in the morning I can usually remember everything once, but if I decide not to do the task/pick up the item right at that very moment, the chances are that I will forget and not remember again. Only the other day I left the house to cycle into work only to realise that I had forgotten my bike.

The multi-task “spider’s web” keyring would clip to my belt. It would consist of a number of highly elastic strings each with an attaching device on the end. On each of the thirty or so strings (10cm long when contracted) there would be one of a few different attaching devices – hooks, pins, blue-tac, etc. So, when rushing around your house you notice a task that must be done, but would be better not to do yet, simply stick one of your strings to it and keep going. The strings would be so stretchy that you could still go anywhere in your house. As these strings build up it would create a cool web around you. When you complete a task or pick up an object you just have to detach the string. When all your strings are detached, you’re safe to leave.

stupop, May 31 2002


       Um, somehow I can see myself getting so tangled up in all the strings, I'd never get out of the house.
pottedstu, May 31 2002

       Instead of being stretchy, could the strings be attached to a sprung reel? That way, you could stand in the doorway and release a catch, and all the objects would come to you.
angel, May 31 2002

       Bit of a nightmare if one of the tasks was to empty the cat's litter tray, but at least it would get emptied I guess...
sild, May 31 2002

       Even more of a nightmare if the cat was using it at the time.
angel, May 31 2002

       As a longtime lurker, I thank you, stupop, for making today the day I join the halfbakery. I would definitely use one of these. The web would be really cool, and entertaining to my cats. Plus I'd get some exercise retracing all my steps through the house to untangle the web.
china, May 31 2002

       About halfway through this idea, I thought you were going to set some sort of tripwire system next to the bin, so that as you went to walk past them, they would be brought to your attention...
yamahito, May 31 2002

       This is a very creative solution to a common problem. I, however, find a sticky pad and pen in my pocket are as effective with less mess...but what to do while thinking of tasks in the shower or other situations when pen and paper are not convenient?   

       On a side note: Isn't the shower a great place to think of ideas? I'll bet this one was hatched in a shower somewhere, eh, stupop?
XSarenkaX, May 31 2002

       Sticky pads and pens are great, X -- until you are 10 minutes away from your house and you find that all the helpful notes you wrote to yourself are still in your pocket. The great thing about the keyring is you really can't leave the house without either taking care of all your tasks, or unclipping the whole shebang from your waist and trying to escape through a window somewhere.
china, May 31 2002

       Chyna -- that's beautiful, bliss.
china, May 31 2002

       baked - string theory
po, May 31 2002

       When I'm in a hurry, I usually end up doing Mary Tyler Moore-esque spins in the middle of my living room (in order to assess my readiness to leave). I foresee ending up mummified in spider webs were I to adopt this system, much like [pottedstu]   

       As an alteration, but still sticking with the spider motif, you could have small, sticky spider-shaped homing devices that you attach to the various tasks, with the tracker in the keyring. (Much like the Spidey-tracers from the old-school Spiderman cartoon.)   

       Still, croissant for the great mental images you've invoked.
MrWrong, May 31 2002

       I hate to do this, china, but...try sticking the reminder notes on the door where you leave your house. Again, I'm not saying notes are perfect - I seldom have a notepad when I need one. You're right to try to think of a guaranteed way to get things done, but using something so tangly could endanger a person or their family.   

       I kinda like MrWrong's remote idea - same thing w/out the mess. Maybe the devices could blink or beep until you go nuts or detect when you are about to leave and set off alarms of some sort. Yeah, there could be a special detector to match the keyring and set off the alarms in the pieces stuck to your tasks. Sticking them could activate so you won't have to worry about on/off switches. Whaddaya think?
XSarenkaX, Jun 03 2002

       While the spouse is sleeping set up his morning's/day's work. "Undo the web, dear, and then you are free to go."
bluerowan, Jun 05 2002


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