I’ve learnt a thing a two since my inauguration into startup life, and one that sticks in my mind like a fluorescent yellow square is the indulgent use of post-its.

It has become a staple, and if Startup Land were to have a flag, it would absolutely be a mosaic of multi colored squares.

Working in UX, I’ve used my fair share of sticky notes. I’ve covered the walls, floors, white boards and even my arms (great spot for them to hang while you take a break). I’ve practically buried my desk in them and I even keep a deck in purse for emergencies.

If you’ve participated in a design sprint, you’ll know that it’s inconceivable to replace the infamous post-it. But by the time you and your team have completed the exercise, you’ve possibly exhausted hundreds of sharpie scribbled squares.

The truth is, I cringe every time I pull off another post-it, knowing very well that it’s life will be short and it will soon end up in the post-it graveyard. I try not to imagine the amount of sticky notes used every day all over the world, and how many more trees are probably being cut down every time a new startup pops up.

I don’t have a solution to offer, but I have a few easy ways to reuse your fluorescent friends.

  1. Book marks

Though this won’t revolutionize your life, you can be sure it will at least save you the 20 seconds it takes for you to remember your page!

2. Cord labels

Don’t lose your laptop charger again!

2. Coasters

They are hanging around on your desk anyway, might as well protect the table!

3. Keyboard cleaners

Slide the post-it between your keys, and voila! Say goodbye to the trail mix crumbs.

4. Tick Tack Toe

Need a brain break after a long meeting? Here’s a low-fi stress reliever by simply drawing Xs and Ox on the back of your used post-its.

5. Voting stickers (For the design sprinters out there)

Many teams vote on sketches during the second day of the sprint. By putting in a little extra work and cutting the top sticky part of the post-it can provide you with a whole new set of stickers to use during your brainstorms.

Remember that for the most part, post-its ARE recyclable despite their sticky strip. If you know of other ways to upcycle or reuse post-its, please share!

Fingers crossed that new sustainable alternatives that “stick” are on the way!

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