Sticky Note Productivity

Truth:  I love office supplies.

It goes back to when I was a kid.  It was just a simpler time.  Growing up in the country in the 80s with a couple of old-school parents, we didn’t splurge on a lot of things, largely because we couldn’t afford it (we lived on a non-working horse ranch and there were three kids)- but also because there wasn’t a lot to buy.  Especially once we got to be 10 or 11- because we were really too old for most of the toys that were out there.  Computers and cellphones weren’t really widely used, bought, or sold.

But the weeks before we went back to school were a different story.  We tended to get every single item on our supply lists- and not the cheap versions.  We got the good crayons and colored pencils.  A box of bics?  GTFO with that nonsense!!  Please.

Both of our parents are stationery junkies.  My dad likes his index cards and legal pads, and mom her pens and steno pads.

So, my love of office supplies goes back far.  Luckily for me, office supplies are a thing now.  You can get just about any kind of pen you want.  Ball-point pens, gel pens, fountain pens, fine-liners, colored pens.  Same for notebooks.

But the thing that is truly a modern marvel is the post-it/sticky note.


We had popcorn textured walls in our house, so I had no use for post-its/sticky notes as a kid.  But, man, I love them now.  With a planner?  FORGET ABOUT IT.

NoteShel has a post the highlights four uses of post-its for productivity:

1. Handwriting on such a small space forces you to choose smart, realistic goals.  

img_7616Because a post-it can only accommodate three or four items, you are forced to think about realistically about what you can get done.  The major benefit to this, is that by choosing only a few items for a to-do list, you generate momentum- the kind of momentum that comes from feeling like you’re kicking ass and taking names.  A day that you get all the things done feels like a win.  Even better are the days that you can get all the things done, without grinding yourself down to the bone.  I don’t know about you, but the days when my back is against the wall and I am trying to do all the things, just take it out of me.  And that isn’t even mentioning what happens when my to-do list looks too big (I have been known to shut it down at 10am because I can’t even with my list).

2.  Handwritten to-do list are more effective by allowing more effective prioritization.  

Research has shown that hand-writing items forces you to prioritize and plan.   I personally think that I handwriting also “makes it real”.  Also, something about the writing it down with my hand and a pen solidifies the connection in my brain.

3. Post-its Notes make a great wall planner.  

If you have a marker board, post-its are really nice.  Different colored post-its could allow you to track multiple projects.  This is perfect for people who have to track progress- where you might have multiple moving parts.  This is also a really great way to go if your system has a “process” component to it.  The “moveability” of post-its around the board from this section to that, can be really handy.


Of post-it notes, I am a huge-huge-huge fan of the full stick post-it.  These things are awesome, particularly for including in a planner or moving around.  I like putting longer-term goals on them, so that I can move the note across weekly pages.   These items tend to be personal goals or big-picture items, the things I can’t work on every day.  Brightly colored, I am always reminded of what these longer term goals.  In the midst of crazy weeks and months, it is nice to be reminded of the of these things, which is nice.