How to use post-it notes: A complete guide
Written by: Suman Shekhar Sarangi
Staying productive every day is both a challenge and a disappointment for most people.
One of the best tools for productivity are Post-It notes. They are a powerful system for organising your day to be more effective and productive, by breaking down complex tasks into useful pieces of small tasks.
Post-It notes may seem superficial and pristine, but you’ll start creating your post-it note in no time after knowing its benefits.
Benefits of Post-Its
Compared with books and records, the architectural style of post-it notes makes them a great tool for highlighting important information.
A study noted in Harvard Business Review found that Post-It notes were an enticing method in getting people to obey a request, as adding a post-it note with a written message added a personal touch to which people reacted well.
Using post-it notes helps to clarify your intentions, so that you stay focused on the things that truly count. Our brains tend to process tasks better when written by pen compared to typing.
Here are 6 ways in which Post-It notes can improve your productivity and efficiency.
#1: Create Mind Maps
Post-it notes are independent of each other so you can arrange and rearrange the topics as often as you want. You can also re-organise your mind maps on notebooks, or on an empty wall.
If you’re a visual learner, studying with colourful mind maps can really help you on the way for better grades because your mind will associate certain information to a certain colour.
Mind maps can be very helpful in getting rid of your mental clutter by writing all your information in different post-it notes. This would be beneficial to get rid of pessimistic thoughts.
#2: Handle Project Management
If you have tons of to-do tasks pending, you can use post-it notes to complete the tasks in an efficient manner.
This is an important method to increase your list-making potential. When you’re about to start working on multiple projects, to avoid multitasking and switching between the projects and to reduce overwhelm, create post-it notes for every single project that you’ve been assigned.
Write the title of the project, followed by various topics that you need to complete to finish that task. Then, on your daily list, add various steps from each of your projects. Your multitasking skills will be off the board in no time.
Soon, you’ll find out that priorities for things that are in the whole are moving up and you’re getting further along in your action plan.
#3: Simplify To-Do List
To-do lists can become burdensome, growing into unmanageable tasks. However, you can reduce these long lists and make them more actionable using post-it notes. Use post-its as a place to put a small scale to-do list.
Mark Foster, the author of Do It Tomorrow, said it eloquently when he quoted, “When you jot down a list on a piece of paper, the list becomes an ‘open list’, meaning more items can be added to it. This creates a problem i.e. it diminishes your sense of accomplishment and your progress seems unattainable.”
That's when post-it notes come into the picture as they’ve only a limited space to add new to-do’s i.e it’s a ‘closed list’. It helps you reduce overwhelm.
The key is to make the list more realistic- not filling it with irrelevant tasks. Post-its will help you weed out distractions. It’s designed to focus on things worth your time. It’s the difference between being busy and being productive.
#4: Productive Reading using Post-its
A post-It note is perfect to use in the form of a bookmark. Using them to add thoughts and insights while reading will improve your reading skills. A great skill to have, it challenges you to think critically and enforces you to read above your comfort level.
You can use post-it notes to annotate chunks of texts and summarize phrases and paragraphs of a specific chapter of a book. In this way, you’re able to flip to the required pages easily which would help streamline your reading. Since post-it notes are tangible and visual, they are also a great tool for memorizing new words.
You can also use a colour code for specific tasks for more productive reading and learning as it’s a great medium for organizing your planning and thinking.
#5: Visualize Workflow and Prioritize Tasks
Post-It notes make it easy to organize ideas, wants, tasks, etc.
Just like Pinterest, create post-its in a notebook that relate to the important things in your life. You can include things like upcoming tasks, ideas, events, or reminders. It's very useful and helps you keep on top of things.
Ultimately, you’ll be able to quickly visualize important ideas and tasks related to various aspects of your life.
Talking about prioritizing tasks, jot down your urgent tasks the night before on a post-it note. These should be the things that had to get done that day in order for you to feel it as a success.
This technique is based on a Japanese philosophy called Kanban, and it can be applied in any area of your life that needs organizing to optimize your workflow.
#6: Conquer your Affirmations
Get those post-it notes in the morning as well as in the night to help you put your best foot forward and reflect when the day is over. Write resolutions that you want to accomplish for your success every day on a post-it note and put it someplace where you’ll see it every morning right after you wake up.
Take a minute in the morning to recommit to each of your resolutions. This focuses your mind to find and notice opportunities to fulfil those commitments that you might have overlooked. Before you sleep, take a minute to reflect on how well you fulfilled your resolutions.
Practice this technique for at least 2 months and you’ll amaze everyone you know. This will elevate your efficiency and productivity levels at your home, at your workplace.
You can use this for reducing nebulous anxiety or worry and for improving your focus and appreciation.
Organizing and optimizing productivity remains a challenge for everyone. Break down the process of unmanageable tasks and organize them into smaller manageable tasks.
When it comes to learning, people have their own habits and develop their own methodology to enhance their particular skills. Post-it’s uniqueness is their ease of use and flexibility- making them adapt to any situation. This is why they are still highly preferred over sophisticated applications.
These are my 6 ways of using Post-It notes to be more seamless and productive. What’s your post-it productivity tip? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you for reading!