It’s amazing how many of our most innovative inventions happened by complete accident. The uniquely low-tack properties of the glue on post-it notes that makes them easy to stick, remove and re-stick, were discovered by Dr. Spencer Silver, who was actually trying to create the complete opposite – a high-strength glue that would probably never be able be removed.
It didn’t take long for the idea to take off and post-its have been a mainstay in workplaces ever since their introduction in 1980. From phone numbers to calendar reminders, the little paper notes keep anything info you can quickly jot down on them in front of you at all times so you don’t forget it.
But post-it notes have not enjoyed a completely unsullied reputation. More than one productivity and time management expert has pointed out the bad habits they can cause.
Among others, we’ve listed below just a couple of the criticisms levelled at post-its over their almost 50 years in existence:
1. They Add to Clutter
You can have the most organized work space ever, yet it can look like a storm of yellow paper has just passed through. Unfortunately, by their very nature of being small pieces of paper, post-its can cause productivity-sapping clutter to the tidiest offices.
2. Bad Time Management & Scheduling Habits
When post-it notes were introduced, it wasn’t possible to have your day planner and calendar with you at all times, in your pocket, in an app on your smartphone. So people used them as reminders of meetings, shipment schedules, employee vacations; anything they needed to be reminded of. But today, there are many more practical and easy ways to do the same thing. Yet we continue to scribble out post-its.
3. They are a Security Risk
No, we’re not kidding. If data security is important to your company, post-its are a threat to it. How many times have you or a colleague written a password on a post it? Or a customer order that you didn’t have time to enter properly? There’s no password to protect the information on a post-it, which can be seen by anyone in the office.
The point here is that your workplace could probably benefit from at least a review of how post-its are used to make sure they aren’t more counter-productive than you think.