Three Ways to Use Post-It Notes to Spark Ideas

Post-It notes are magical. They are so simple and versatile; using them just for taking notes is a crime.

In this issue, we’ll play with three ways to use Post-It notes to ignite creativity and spark new ideas in any context and for any challenge.

Modular Design

One of the great things about Post-It notes is that you can apply and reapply them multiple times, which means we can play with them and experiment with different arrangements with great ease.

When you think of a challenge, the solution can often be broken down into multiple logical steps or components. For example, when you define a workflow, multiple stakeholders are responsible for various activities. In the same manner, when you design a product, different modules in the product are responsible for different things in the flow. When you create a presentation or an article, you need to consider the different logical parts you wish to address.

With Post-It notes, you can rapidly capture the different building blocks, play with them, and change their arrangements to evaluate different designs. Often, this experimentation will result in new insights about missing parts, redundant components, or taking a completely different approach.

Using Post-It notes for this purpose turns the design activity into a playful game you can play as a team to spark even more unexpected ideas.

Random Trigger

Post-It notes will stick to practically anything without leaving a mark. Let’s use this quality to spice up some mundane aspects of our work.

Write down on a Post-It note a random word or phrase. You can use a random seed from [] for that. Now, apply this Post-It note where you can see it while you work, especially on tasks you find to be less creative. A good location would be your monitor or keyboard — somewhere you won’t be able to ignore it.

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Throughout the day, whenever you catch a glimpse of the Post-It note, try to spice up what you are doing with some association derived from the phrase on the note. For example, if you wrote the word “Disco” on the Post-It note, consider how you can add some “Disco-spirit” to whatever it is you are working on.

Unresolved Challenge

When we struggle with thinking about a challenge, we often come to a dead-end. At that point, it is recommended to let go and do something else. This allows our minds to continue processing the problem in the background and potentially make surprising connections to other domains.

A variant of this idea you can experiment with is writing on a Post-It note a word or a short phrase that captures the essence of the challenge and placing it somewhere you can see it throughout the day.

You don’t have to do anything more than that. Seeing this short phrase throughout the day might help your mind create these connections with surprising, unrelated domains, and one of them might spark an innovative idea.

The 3X CREATIVITY Newsletter

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The 3X CREATIVITY Newsletter

Three things to experience and experiment with every week

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