Ode to the sticky note


I have a confession to make. I am slightly obsessed with sticky notes. You know, those little pieces of paper that come in a variety of colors and shapes and have a thin strip of adhesive on the back. They stick anywhere and come off easily, never leaving a mark. Many people call them Post-it notes, which is the brand name for the sticky product produced by the 3M Company.

They are handy for a variety of tasks. Notes to yourself, reminders, notes to others, more reminders, labels … well, you get the idea. And the rainbow of colors makes them particularly helpful for a busy person: Choose a different color for each task. And the really thin ones are good for bookmarking pages wherever you need that sort of thing.

The idea was actually conceived in 1974 by Arthur Fry as a way of holding a place in a book. The adhesive itself was developed in 1968 by Spencer Silver. Both were 3M employees. The company went on to develop the Post-it brand in 1977, and they were on the market nationally in 1980.

When my children were younger, they loved to get those large packs of sticky notes in all sizes and colors. They were a practical treat and really not too expensive given their usefulness. As the kids got older, sticky notes came in handy in school. I think each child used them for bookmarking pages and, of course, organizing the studying for important exams.

Now, I see them using the notes as reminders at home and at the office. I guess I’ve set an example.

Even my cat likes sticky notes. One of her favorite activities is pulling them off the computer monitor, where I’ve put them to remind myself of this or that. When she was a kitten, she’d chew on them. Now, she just pulls them all off and walks away. Only a cat would find removing all the sticky notes from something a worthwhile activity.

I started thinking about all this during July. We were packing for a move, and I found myself using my square yellow stickies for labeling boxes and folders, and jotting down reminders. The reminders went on my computer monitor – until I realized I’d run out of space. It was then that I realized how dependent I’d become on these little items. 

You might laugh if you saw the monitor. Yes, the computer has a built-in sticky-note function for reminders, but I prefer the old-fashioned Post-it variety.

Are you a sticky note user? Feel free to send me a picture of your desk, bookshelf or fridge and tell me how you use them to stay organized. We’ll share this on our website.

The Voice has moved again, this time down the hall to a temporary space in the Camp JORI office. Since the folks from Camp JORI are in South County having a great summer, we have taken over their space while our permanent office (along with several others)is being renovated.  We hope to be in our upgraded permanent office in the next month or so. Pictures to come.

For now, our thoughts are turning to fall, like back to school and the High Holy Days. But we still want to see photos of your summer activities, so feel free to send them our way.

And remember – with or without a sticky-note reminder – to enjoy the rest of August!