Monday, June 13, 2011

Office Supply of the Month | Sticky notes

I can't believe it's taken me a long time to get to one of my favorite office supplies ever, but I think it's mostly because I see sticky notes as less of an office supply and more of a life tool. It's true—in my home office, I have an entire desktop organizer dedicated to various sizes and colors of sticky notes

Those white drawers on the left by the lamp are exclusively for sticky notes. Flags go in the top drawer, small rectangular notes in the middle, and regular 3"x3" notes and specialty notes (stars, footballs, etc.) on the bottom.

I use sticky notes for everything: edits on documents that I don't want to mark up, to-do lists, makeshift index tabs, directions, addresses on shipments (for ops staff to send), cleaning my keyboard (sticky side down). Although my home supply is typically the smaller stuff, at work I also like the lined kind (about 4"x6") or even the large wall-posted sized ones for meetings and brainstorms. Adhesive + paper = endless possibilities.

Sticky notes were (not so intentionally) invented in 1968 when 3M chemist Dr. Spencer Silver developed a pressure-sensitive, reusable adhesive. Initially, 3M struggled to find a use for this new discovery, and it wasn't until 1974 that Art Fry, one of Silver's colleagues at 3M, came up with the idea of using the adhesive on strips of paper to use as a bookmark in his church hymnal. In 1978, Fry began marketing the product under the brand Press n' Peel, but the sales were disappointing. Post-its were officially introduced into the U.S. market in 1980. Post-it flags came soon after in 1987. The patent for Post-its expired in the 1990s, opening the door for other manufacturers to get in on the sticky note market.

In case you're curious, 3M has a fun timeline of fun facts about their Post-it product on their website.

Marking notes and comments
Index tabs
Sticking reminders or inspirations quotes in high visibility places
Makeshift lint roller
Label things temporarily

Fun with sticky notes

What are your favorite uses for sticky notes?


  1. Sticky notes (in Poland we call the post-its, no matter what brand they actually are) are my favourite bookmarks. They are easy to spot, never get lost and can be used as a grocery list.

  2. I love sticky notes! I also have drawers full of them.

  3. Thanks for the history lesson Angeline - educational AND fun!
    P.S. I know you're a fellow grammar nut, so I hope you'll check out (and enjoy) my latest rant on I vs. ME.

  4. I lovvvvvvvvvvve sticky notes! I use them for lists, notes to Hubby, bookmarks, for writing down numbers on my answering machine, note-taking, etc. I have them all over the house and at work too!

  5. @ Annathea - You know, I don't think I've ever actually used post-its as bookmarks...I usually just grab whatever is around (usually a business card or coupon of some sort).

  6. @Angeline- I do the same thing and often use coupons(and pencils/cards/CDS/jewellery/instant soup), but sticky notes are just handy and always around.

  7. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful information specially the last part :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  8. I love post its! They make me happy- I use them in my text books all the time and little desk reminders, and I'm trying to be more organized at school so they're going to come in handy next year!

  9. i keep some in my car and stick them on the windshield to block out the sun while driving so i don't have to stare directly into the sun that's right above the car in front of me.

  10. Well... not exactly how Post-it came to be.
    Not even close. Looking for truth? Google
    'garland sticky note'.

  11. @ alexander wang - Thanks!

    @ step - I can't believe I forgot that! I've totally seen you use them in your car. :)

    @ Tom G. - Thanks for visiting and for the information! I googled "Garland sticky note" and here is the link I'm guessing you wanted me to see for any other readers that are interested:


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