Do (Not) Disturb Cards

We’ve all been there: deep in thought, on the precipice of a major breakthrough in your latest project, when Jim from accounting comes by to tell you about his daughter’s dance recital.

As open office layouts take hold as the de facto modern workspace, we’ve become increasingly familiar with the pros and cons (but mostly the cons) of sitting out in the open for anyone with mildly interesting weekend plans to interrupt us.

If only there were a way to tell Jim to keep moving and check back later—a way that didn’t involve you breaking your train of thought.

That’s why we made the Do (Not) Disturb Cards, a beautifully simple (albeit passive aggressive) solution to intrusive office communication.

Print Your Own Cards

Since we created our first set of cards we have gotten many requests for more. Unfortunately we have given them all away, but you can use this DIY set to print your own cards.

How To Use

You’ll find cards for every situation. The general instructions are as follows:

Step 1: Suction clip to laptop or monitor. Depending on your surface, a touch of saliva may be required (saliva not included).

Step 2: Choose a card that best matches your mood and concentration level and insert into clip.

  • Green: interruptions welcome
  • Yellow: available for relevant discussions only
  • Red: now is not a good time, come back later

Step 3: Keep pack of cards close by for easy access.

Step 4: Respect the card choices of your co-workers. If you see Green, feel free to mingle; Yellow, keep it short; Red, you’re better off sending an email.

We made 1,000 sets of Do (Not) Disturb Cards and handed them out at SXSW 2015. Here’s what people thought:

A beautifully snarky solution to intrusive office communication.

If you thought this idea was cool, wait until you see what we do at our day jobs! Check out more tools for creative thinkers.
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