I think between my wife and me, we are the world’s largest consumers of Post-It. We have them in all sizes and all colors. But my wife uses them to run my life (but mostly her own). Her daily to-do lists reflect the highs and lows of our life. You can see them stuck everywhere. On the fridge door. On the washing machine (they reflect what she has said in her mind). “Separate whites – red color runs”. Her notes do not have a full stop ever. That is probably because her work never ends.
The whole magic of the Post-It note lies in the splash of gum at the back. It is “temporarily-permanent”. Or is it permanently-temporary? Maybe it is a bit of both. It is such an integral part of our lives.
In the morning she makes to-do lists for the day. In the evening she makes to-do lists for the next day. Actually, in the morning she makes two lists. The second Post-It lists all the stuff that is pending. Over the years I have been trained to look for all that has double underlines and stars. That usually refers to a last warning of sorts. It identifies those tasks that have appeared in several notes handed over to me in the previous week and that devastation is inevitable if I forget it, yet again, today.
We put reminders for each other on these yellow sticky notes. You can see them on the bathroom mirror. I once wished her on Valentine’s Day with a heart drawn on pink colored Post-It. It was stuck to the bathroom mirror. I don’t know when she noticed it because there was no time stamp on the response she had scribbled on the same note. It said, “Me too”.
I am a bit of a stationery connoisseur. Are you one of them? Then you know what that means. We buy stationery that is too good to be used. Post-It notes fall in that category. They are my lifeline. But I use them differently.
The little stubby ones that I use as bookmarks. There are the slightly bigger ones that I use it to summarize key ideas of the book I am reading. I love using these to illustrate articles I have written. I use them to scribble lines of poetry and inspiration. You can find them in my wallet. As a facilitator I use them to run workshops. Design Thinking would never exist but for these stickies. I used them to do quick caricatures of people to wish them happy birthday on Twitter. On Freud’s birthday I wrote
“If I had forgotten Sigmund’s 160th birthday, it would have been a Freudian slip. Freud is still Jung at heart.”
I have used these yellow thingies to write welcome notes and bid goodbye. To share a word of appreciation for my team members. To say thank you for great work done. Several appraisals and many bosses later, my team members still have the fading thank you notes and cartoons on their desk. The gum behind the Post-It is permanently temporary. But the emotions it can convey stay forever.
Are you a Post-It lover? What is the most memorable Post-It note you have got or given to someone? Leave your story in the comments.
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