How to properly use Post-Its

The invention of a century – the mildly adhesive note that changed the landscape of desks indefinitely. Let’s get real; Post-It’s are fun. But they can stop being fun and start being a hamper on your productivity if you use them in less than ideal ways. So here’s my list of Do’s and Don’t when it comes to Post It’s. Please feel free to share any others in the comments section below!

Post it!

  • When you need to see something often until you have memorized it. Think a name and extension at your workplace desk that you need to refer to often until it’s ingrained in your brain. Once it is, toss the Post-It.
  • When you need information once, at a certain time, at a certain place. Think the classic “Don’t forget lunch” post it on your front door that you see as you leave for school/work. You may need to change up the post-it to a different color, however, if you use it a lot because you’ll start to not notice it anymore!
  • To label boxes and bins. We at Living-Peace do this all the time! Bold, bright colored Post-Its are great, especially for those of us who are very visual. Just be sure to use Scotch or painter’s tape, otherwise, the mild adhesive will dry up and you’ll lose the label.
  • When you feel like doing something like this:


Don’t post it!

  • Tasks that belong on your To-Do list. If you stop and think about it for a minute, writing a task on a Post-It again and again will surmount to a surface covered in Post-It’s, compared to a bunch of tasks all fitting nicely on one sheet of paper in a notebook. Capturing To-Do tasks down in a notepad/notebook/or smartphone (an essential for time management and productivity) makes a lot more sense.
  • To capture a task you need to do that doesn’t have a certain time constraint… Odds are, it will sit as a task on that post-it forever and never get done. If you feel the urge to write out “make a vet appointment for Fluffy soon” on a Post-It, consider that choosing a time and date on your calendar – and recording it there – will be more likely to get done.
  • Passwords. I have seen this! Post-It’s have a big risk of being lost. Important information such as passwords do not belong on a Post-It near your desk, but rather filed in a locked filing cabinet or filed online using LastPass or Zoho.

As a final thought, consider the size Post-It appropriate for your needs. I used to write out one or two words, or one phone number on 3×3 inch Post-Its. Then I realized it’s a whole lot less wasteful to use 1/5×2 inch ones instead. If you’re leaving a note for a friend or colleague, consider using 3×3” instead of the big 4×6” if your note is a short one. Can you even fathom how many Post-It’s have been recycled or landed in the dump? Treat them with consideration and they will work their magic for you 🙂

About Sara Luisa Valverde

Supporting people in organizing, time-management, and simplifying has always come naturally for Sara. She´s had the opportunity to hone this skillset in her professional career, most recently while supporting three (incredibly busy) senior professors at Harvard Business School, and while working within a clinical research team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Since June 2015, she has worked as an independent yoga teacher, specializing in un-learning habitual posture patterns that get in one´s way. Sara honors the act of organizing as both an internal and external process. Her approach is to keep it simple, so you have the mental and physical space for maintaining clarity and peace of mind. She loves that her services in professional organizing bring together two passions: internal and external de-cluttering. She thrives on living a minimalist lifestyle, living as a full-time liveaboard on her beloved sailboat.

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