Why you should use more sticky notes

Let it be known that I love sticky notes. Probably cliché for a UX designer to say that, but hey, stereotypes exist for a reason.

I use sticky notes every day, I use them at work and at home. They’re my go-to tool for taking notes or sketching out quick ideas as they come to me.

One of the greatest things about sticky notes is that I can easily break different thoughts and ideas — 1 per note. Which allows me to sort them however I need. Once I’m done with a sticky, I can easily crumple it up and throw it away, giving me that awesome sense of accomplishment. Let me walk you through the many reasons why sticky notes are so great.

Why are sticky notes so great?

They’re low tech; no learning curve; simple and easy to use!

Sticky! (how many times have I said that word already?)

Due to their stickiness, they can stick to anything — walls, windows, desks — broadening your workspace by a lot. Bonus: they can also be easily rearranged to your needs and you can also chain them together.

They’re visible and colorful. If you put up sticky notes, they’re certainly going to be noticed by everyone. This has a ripple effect of encouraging others to check them out, add on to them, or start using them more in their own process.

Different colors and sizes — So many options! This will allow you to also break or sort them by different ideas or categories.

Increases collaboration, enables participation, and encourages explorations. Since sticky notes come in individual blocks, you can assign 1 pack per person, allowing anyone to jump in and build on top of what’s there. This will level the playing field and make all contributions equally valuable.

Forces people to be concise. Since the original sticky notes size is fairly small, it forces people to get to the essence of what they’re trying to convey. Concise ideas = concise conversations.

Perceived as disposable. This allows us to not get attached to any thoughts or ideas. Don’t like something? Crumple your sticky. Done with something? Crumple your sticky. Need amo to get your co-worker’s attention? Crumple your sticky and throw it at the target.

Versatility. Sticky notes can be used for so many things. We’re only limited to our imagination. They can be used to produce quick sketches, write words, write short sentences, stick a bunch of them together to create a storyboard — the possibilities are endless.

Last but not least — they’re fun! I believe it’s the combination of all of the above reasons that sticky notes are so fun. Which means we can always make “work”, fun. Plus, it’s been proven that integrating playfulness at work enhances motivation, increases productivity, reduces stress, increases job satisfaction, and improved task performance — who doesn’t want that?

Some personal examples:

Sticky notes are heavily used in my UX process, this includes using them to create user-flows, storyboarding, user mapping, ideation sessions, or even quick paper prototyping.

As for fun, I’ve used them to joke with my fellow teammates and even inspire art in the office!

For 2020, I’ve actually broadened my usage of sticky notes, right now I’m using them to track my monthly goals, plan events, set up tasks for my job, and I even put them next to my laptop’s mouse as small reminders for that day.

I think we can all agree, sticky notes are awesome, and you’re only limited to your imagination as to how you can use them. Maybe next time you’re collaborating or trying to be creative, try using sticky notes.

PRO TIP:

Don’t forget to also properly peel a sticky note, there’s nothing worse than a poorly peeled sticky. Trust me, it’ll look bad in pictures and it won’t stick right. Always peel from the side, not bottom-to-top.

UX Designer