Dear Alexia, why I love post-its


7.6x7.6 cm colored paper.
But the glue is what makes them special. Did you know that it was discovered by accident at 3M? Anyway.

Pieter Jongerius

Software en tools overleg bij Fabrique

I love them. They give me freedom. Sometimes, they are just a physical recording of my speeding mind. To-do, Idea, Insight. Sometimes, when I put them on a wall, they help me understand the many aspects of a complex system.

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas” Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling once said. In an ideation process, post-its give confidence to the people I work with. They can write an idea on a post-it and throw it away again, no hard feelings. They can write on many post-its and select the best ones later. The times are gone that designers are devine providers of insight and creation to the world. Post-its are democratizing ideation and I love that.

Colors. Columns. Rows. Buckets. Don’t be afraid of structure, Alexia. Never be scared or even tempted to become its slave. If you are the master of structure, your subconscious chaos and creativity will be stronger than ever.

I’ll give you this. Like with any weapon, I hate to see people swaying that gun around without knowing how to use it, or even worse, claiming position as a warrior or designer. Writing many post-its can hide a lack of vision and originality. Moving them across a Scrum board can hide lack of progress.

Post-its can paint the biggest picture in the world. But only if you keep your distance. They can propel your creative rocket ship. But only if you use them to fuel your imagination. They can land a project. But only if you allow for progressive insight and rewrite all. They’ll help you rewrite history. 3M style.

This blogpost is a reaction to Alexia's letter' to Pieter: Dear Pieter, I hate post-its.