Sticky Notes and Post-It ®Notes – Power Tools for the Brain

consulting frameworks and tools
Sticky or Post-It Notes are Power Tools for a Consultant

3M Post-It® notes are like power tools for the brain. Actually, a better metaphor is that they are power tools for multiple brains working together.

Post-It notes are great tools for generating ideas, developing project management work flows, mapping processes, developing tasks lists, and more. If you’re working with a group you will want to use the large half-sheet sized Post-It notes that can be seen from across a meeting room. 

A few of the ways you can use sticky notes with teams are,

The half-sheet Post-It Super Sticky notes I’ve found most useful. About the only place they won’t stick is on fuzzy or dusty wall paper or curtains. If you are facilitating a meeting in a room you’ve never been in before it’s a good idea to learn ahead of time the type of wall covering, the amount of clear space on the walls, and whether windows or white boards are available.

Be sure to buy the right type of 3M Post-It notes or sticky notes. There is a large note format, 1/2 sheet, 8 1/2" X 11", with portrait and landscape orientations as well as lined and unlined. I think the unlined landscape orientation works best for most meetings. They are easy to write on in large block letters with whiteboard markers.

Note! These Post-It notes are expensive, but I’ve tried buying the non-3M versions to save money and it’s not worth it. They slowly peel off the wall during a meeting. You end up running back and forth at the front of the room like a plate-spinner at the circus – not good for maintaining your presence of mind or the focus of the group.

I recommend getting packs that have multiple bright colors. That way you can use light green or blue for idea notes, yellow for titles and labels, red for caution, etc. Make sure you have enough! I always carry an extra pack in my roll-aboard case as well as a few marker pens.

In the United States you can get the large Post-It notes through Amazon, Office Depot, and Staples. Just be sure you order the right orientation and lined/unlined with adequate delivery time. They come in a pack of four colors with 45 sheets total, but you can also buy a bundle of four 45-sheet packs. 

Tip: Keep all of one type of topic on a single color. For example, all ideas on light green or blue, all category headings on yellow, all critical issues on red, and so forth. 

For marker pens in the US use Expo dry erase markers with the chisel point. These are the type commonly used on whiteboards. The great thing about these pens is that if someone accidentally marks a table or whiteboard, it wipes right off.

3M even sells large tablets you can write on while they are on an easel, then you team the top sheet off and stick it to the wall for everyone to see.


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