I assembled a couple of adjustable shelving units today. Trying to count the same number of indentations on all four legs for each level quickly grew tedious, and I realized that I needed to make a story stick. I cut a "stick" to the right length and then I was able to place the stick along the leg and instantly read where the next pair of snap rings should be placed. I mentioned this to Emma and she had never heard of story sticks.
Woodworkers have used story sticks for a long time to build furniture and to get reproducible results. Instead of writing down a measurement on a sheet of paper and later using a tape measure to cut something to that length, the measurement is instead marked on a stick and transferred to the new piece of wood. It’s less error prone, especially if the actual measurement is slightly off from the prescribed measurement. A story stick often has several marks, describing different aspects of the piece being built.
More: 1, 2, 3.