Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cheat sheets....

I recently bid to a new route and on my first day I got to experience cheat sheets for the first time.  These things are the best way for someone who's never cased a route before to find addresses quickly.  Whoever came up with the idea for these things is a genius!  
In case you've never had the pleasure, I'll explain them for you.  

On each row there are tags that list each street found on that row, in the order you would find them.  For example, If I'm looking for Secret Canyon and it's on the very last case, last row, you only have to  look down the left edge of my case to see where Secret Canyon shows up on the cheat sheets.  It happens that Secret Canyon is the very last street on my route, so the only place it shows up is the last part or the 2nd to last row and last row in the case.  That way, when you don't know the route it makes casing easier because you can quickly rule out the rows that don't include the street you're looking for.  

 I remember being a sub and hunting for address where there were only 1 or 2 boxes for a particular street on the whole route, but you still had to look through every row until you found that tiny little section.  Pretty sure I put those in the misthrow pile more than a time or two.   
For the regulars who don't have these....if you're expecting to get a new sub this is a great way to help them learn the case.

Maybe you're changing up your line of travel or just doing a route adjustment, it even helps subs who have already done the route, and maybe you too.  
I am getting a new sub, so I thought it was time to clean up my cheat sheets (the original ones were pretty worn and falling off).  I tend to invest a little time on the front end of things in order to avoid repeating the same work over and over.  I have my own label maker, I know others have just typed up the street names in the computer, so either way works.  

The goal is to not make it look like a cluttered mess.  I found some extra DPS divider cards to stick my labels on.  The heavier plastic will make them durable and also stand up against the case.  I spent about 2 hours total on this project, I have 850 or so boxes... 18 rows.  I didn't want the plastic pieces to be too big, so I put the labels on and then cut the plastic to fit.  Then I used packing tape to tape them onto the case.  :)
Update 1/10/16: I've since ordered new labels for my case and I used permanent markers to highlight the different streets.  I am also updating my cheat sheets to match the colors on the labels.  This time I used my Microsoft word program to print the names in the matching colors and just taped them onto the cards.  Sticker paper would work pretty well, I like taping over them so they won't start to peel. 

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