I have often been accused of being a bit obsessed with stationery… and I plead guilty to the charge!
It’s possible that my favourite of all stationery items is the Post-it® note. Invented by mistake in 1968 when Dr Spencer Silver (a chemist at 3M) was trying to invent a super glue and instead he created this masterpiece and essential tool of my trade.
Since their original incarnation, you can now buy a veritable array of Post-its in various sizes, colours, and shapes to suit your mood, your brand and the activity in hand. From tiny stickers to flip charts – I’ve made it my mission to try them all out!
Not only are they perfectly crafted for those “note to self” reminders (mine are often stuck on the fridge or the front door), they can also make meetings more memorable, project planning more practical and facilitation more fun!
Here are some of my suggestions for working with Post-it® Notes:
If you’re trying to generate ideas or creative thinking – try getting a group of people putting all their ideas on Post-its BEFORE they share with others. What you’ll likely find amongst the notes will be the gem of an idea you are looking for! This exercise has the wonderful effect of bringing out creative thinking from every participant, as it doesn’t require them to say it out loud and it can help to avoid “group think”.
If you want to develop content or communications that anyone can understand – try using a small Post-it with a chunky pen. This means you only have space to write a few words. Having to simplify your thoughts on paper will cement it in your mind, make it easier to explain and help you get other people on board.
If you want to make project planning more effective – try putting a project timeline up on the wall using Post-its and then check / challenge if it can really work. The fact they can be repositioned means you can see your ideas and plans from different perspectives, join ideas together and manoeuvre them as and when things change. Also try using different colours for different elements to really make it visual!
If you want to initiate action – try writing a short note on a Post-it. Have you ever tried leaving a Post-it note on someone’s desk saying “call-me” or left yourself a note to remind yourself to do something? If you have, you will know that this method is far more effective than an email or a to do list! Use your brightest colour Post-it for a positive reaction and try a little doodle as well.
If you ever find yourself stuck for ideas, if you need to get people involved or simply need to get someone to do something – try grabbing a pad of Post-its and see how this humble tool can have a massive impact.
PS – this post was not sponsored by Post-it® Notes and other brands are available!
Beth is an organisational and people development expert, with an impressive track record of enabling businesses to achieve results by transforming the way they develop, engage, and lead their people through her business Transforment. She’s on a mission to help people create and cultivate more joy in their working lives, sharing inspiration from guests on her WorkJoy Jam podcast and through the WorkJoy Way coaching programme.