How to use sticky notes for effective collaboration
How To & Tips

How to use sticky notes for effective collaboration

Sticky notes are the ideal tool for encouraging your colleagues to collaborate and share ideas. They’re also handy for leaving a message for your workmate that you’re off to lunch, or posting a bright yellow ‘hands off’ warning on your yoghurt in the communal fridge.

This adhesive square of paper is your friend in the workplace, however you choose to use them. Some people’s workstations bristle with a chaotic forest of post-its reminding them to do things, while others use slim, colour-coded stickies as tabs in their perfect, black notebooks.

They come in many different shapes and sizes and colours too. Starbursts, heart-shapes, speech bubbles and lips, fluorescents or pastels, lined or plain – the options are endless. Read on to find out how to bring a pop of colour or a flare of creative inspiration into your office environment.

How can I use sticky notes to collaborate with colleagues?

Creative collaborating

Sticky notes come into their own in a workshop or creative thinking session. They offer a way to showcase the ideas of the team, while providing a way to record thoughts so they can be developed later. Thanks to them being sticky, you can move them around during a meeting in order to create categories or a flow of ideas.

Start an idea tree – use a whiteboard or flipchart as the canvas, give everyone access to sticky notes and let them post suggestions or ideas to the tree like multi-coloured leaves.

Project planning

Some companies dedicate a wall for their employees to post ideas on and to track the progress of big projects. By doing this, they are harnessing one of the finest qualities of the sticky note – its disposability. A task or idea can be stuck on the wall, then recycled once the task is complete. It can also allow you to add or remove specific jobs and you can assign specific colours to members of staff so they can see what they need to do to help the project succeed.

Assign colours

All those bright, shiny colours aren’t just to please the stationery addicts – they offer the perfect chance to categorise and organise your thinking and planning. You could use different colours for each department or assigned task. If you’re a company who works with a number of clients, you could even use sticky notes as a way of organising work by assigning client’s specific colours.

Build timelines

Draw a timeline to chart progress on a project and then use sticky notes to show how various deliverables and tasks are going. Sticky notes are perfect for this as they’re colour-coded and can be moved up and down the timeline.

Why not try these sticky note hacks in the office or at home?

  • Use a sticky note pad as a tiny to-do-list, with one task per note which can be removed as and when it’s done.
  • Stick them on your desk to remind you of appointments and help you keep track of the working day.
  • Put a sticky note in a book you’re studying to mark off sections and things you need to remember.
  • Create a visual wall planner with each employee assigned a coloured sticky note – this will give an overall view of who is working on what.
  • Use them to colour-code cables, ensuring that you never unplug your printer by mistake again.
  • Note down less common keyboard shortcuts and stick them to your computer.
  • Take down messages by keeping a stack of sticky notes next to the office phone and then stick them on the desk of who the message is for.