The TileAll my really smart friends were posting about the Tile. When my really smart friends post, discuss or tweet the same thing, it gets my attention. One of the best ways to be successful in life is to pay attention to the smart folks–it’s carried me this far.

But what was this mystery object–the “Tile?” It looked like little white luggage tag or a piece of bubble gum the package forgot. What’s cool about that? Another couple of people posted. I took a second look. I clicked the link.

It’s a little square that…(gasp)…finds stuff you lose. If Jesus Christ went to Silicon Valley and started iterating solutions that could save my life, he would have made this.

Here is my morning routine:

I get up at 4AM. I write for two hours. Somewhere ten minutes after the last possible minute, I realize I can’t teach in my pajamas. Having just enough time to change, create some bad-hair-day styles, grab a cup of coffee, reach for my keys and bag, I rush out the door.

My keys….

I lose them constantly. Several times a week. I came up with a solution to this. Put them in the same place “every day.” Sadly, though, as I am tackled by boy and dog on my way in the door, “same” doesn’t have the consistency you’d expect when you look up its meaning. Maybe I put them in the “same-ish” place, so I check the top three places. No luck. I run one more lap, checking. I’m late. Every second ticking on the clock is a second I have to make up on the road. Now, I’m not just being a mindless disaster, I’m being a bad citizen. I’m about to speed. If I lose a minute or two more, I’ll be a bad employee–I’ll be late.

So I make the call… I go into the bedroom. My husband is fast asleep. Not for long. I tiptoe, but when I tiptoe, two things happen. I trip over something I forgot to pick up, then I smash my hip on the side of the bed sneaking around–there is a spare key in my nightstand. Bash. Now, he is awake. I snatch the key, trying to keep up the shattered illusion of silence. I sprint out the door.

Bad citizen. Bad employee. Bad wife. After school, I find my keys on the dresser where I remember I left them. I could’ve saved a whole ton of stress.

I clicked on the video for “The Tile” and watched an actor just like me–maybe it is me, and I lost my mind as well–looking for all her stuff. Keys, computer, bike…Tile had it covered.

“What if you lose your phone?” said my very smart friend. She knows me too well. Tile had that covered, too. You can log in with a friend’s phone. It gives “hot/cold” signals until you find what’s missing. Heck, I may just put tiles on some of Declan’s toys and use this as a game.

Thinking differently requires me to come up with solutions for problems that don’t plague the average person. I carry a notebook to scribble ideas so I won’t forget them. I can do the actual writing later on and relax. Now that I’m not afraid of losing my stuff or my mind, I will rest a bit easier. Maybe even relax and enjoy another cup of coffee in the morning.

A normal person would say, “Why don’t you just get organized?” I do try. But once in a while–okay, a lot–keys get lost in the mix. In working with visionaries that provide solutions in the EdTech space for over a year now, I’ve come to appreciate entrepreneurs who envision solutions to my problems before I even know I have them. This situation’s a bit different. I knew I needed something, but short of drugs, never expected a solution. Bravo!  You can check out Tile here.

If this works for me, I’m going to recommend Nick and Mike–the Tile Guys–bring this out of Techland into schools. I’ll tie Tiles to my kids’ backpacks, notebooks, pencils…heck, I’ll even safety-pin them to the shirt of the occasional freshman or two who never seems to be able to find my class when he’s supposed to. Thanks, Nick and Mike.  Every time I find my keys or my students, I’ll think of you.