“Hey Lori!” I heard a girl yell across the parking lot.

I turned to see an old friend coming toward me. We hugged and talked excitedly back and forth. Within minutes she laughed and pointed to my hand. “I see you’re still using the same notebook.”

I’m a bit of a gadget geek. I love my iPods and now my computer tablet. I’ve had many versions of PDAs and electronic organizers. Regardless of how organized and synced across various platforms I am, I always write my most important notes for the day on my left thumb.

My “thumb drive,” has served me well for probably 30 years. You know you count when you make it to the thumb (or at the very least you’re a news reporter expecting a call-back). A really hectic day may find two or three notes written across my thumb. Numerous hand-washing stops ensure a clean slate for the ever revolving list of urgent “to dos.”

I’ve learned some thumb drive tips. First, be careful in your ink selections. Permanent markers, especially anything labeled Sharpie, is a bad choice for writing on your thumb. You won’t risk inadvertently smudging or washing off the note, but you will eventually run out of clean skin space when you keep writing on top of previous notes.

Second, keep your notes brief. Use only the most necessary wording. Think short key words. The thumb is not the space to write a declarative statement or romantic poem. Think of your thumb as the ultimate old school Tweet.

Third, only write on your thumb what you’re comfortable with your family, friends and co-workers reading. Trust me. You write on your thumb and everyone feels welcome to lean around this way and that to read it.

Fourth, don’t write any guilt-trip tasks on your thumb. There is no condemnation in the world of thumb notes. Keep your angry personal missives in your planner of choice. You don’t need to be reminded of the project you’ve been dragging around for the last three months (especially when you’re speeding down the highway). Practice kind self-talk on your thumb.

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