Sticky notes are an invaluable piece of stationery. They allow people to leave notes or memos to others or serve as reminders to themselves. A sticky note will come in an assortment of sizes, but there’s usually one size that people will come across.
The standard sticky note will measure 3 × 3 inches. However, you can find sticky notes as small as 2 × 2 inches, rectangular sticky notes that measure 3 × 5 inches, or oversized sticky notes that measure 15 inches on both sides.
If you’d like to learn more about sticky notes, I will cover their rich history, their sizes and uses, as well as include a few tricks and tricks on how to upgrade your sticky-note game.
A Brief History of Sticky Notes
Believe it or not, the sticky note was accidentally conceived, but it became one of the popular and staple pieces of office equipment over the last four decades or so.
It all began when a scientist at 3M was researching adhesives. At the time, the scientist was tasked with discovering a new adhesive that was bigger, stronger, and tougher than 3M already had.
During their experiments, they created a light-duty adhesive that worked well at attaching pieces of paper on flat, clean surfaces but didn’t create an unbreakable bond.
At first, the adhesive didn’t catch on, and the inventor had trouble finding practical uses for the light-duty sticky materials.
Coincidentally, another 3M scientist, who attended Sunday mass, had trouble keeping the hymn sheets in place. When the two met up and discussed their conundrum, they had a Eureka moment together.
3M launched their sticky-note product, which was known as Press n’ Peel at the time, but it didn’t become an instant hit. It wasn’t until the product reached a wider audience and received overwhelmingly positive reviews Press n’ Peel became a success.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Sticky Note Sizes
Today, you can find sticky notes in all shapes and sizes. However, the classic square remains to be the top-selling sticky note product in the sticky note sphere.
The standard sticky note will measure 3 × 3 inches, but you can find smaller variants that measure 2 × 2 inches.
Another popular sticky note shape is the rectangle, which typically starts at 1.5 × 2 inches. The more popular rectangular sticky note, however, will measure 3 × 5 inches and have the adhesive portion running along the wider end of the note.
Finally, you can find oversized sticky notes that are comically large but just as helpful. 3M’s largest sticky note, which falls under the Post-It brand name, measures 15 × 15 inches and comes in neon orange, canary yellow, light green, and pink.
As for the more playful sticky notes shapes, you’ll find that they come in hearts, squares, circles, houses, and much, much more. They will usually measure 3 inches at their widest points.
Facts About Sticky Notes
- While sticky notes come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, the most popular shape is the 3 × 3-inch sticky note with canary yellow sheets.
- There is no rhyme or reason as to why sticky notes are canary yellow. It just so happened that at the time the adhesive was being discovered, the scientists only had access to scrap pieces of canary yellow sheets.
It happened by sheer coincidence that canary yellow would be the iconic color of all sticky notes.
- Sticky notes usually come in 50-sheet pads, but you can purchase them in bulk sizes of 100 sheets per pad and five pads per package.
- On average, office workers read or receive up to 11 messages written on sticky notes every day.
- Even though the adhesive used on sticky notes wasn’t meant to be long-lasting or permanent in any way, a family found the sticky note they left on their front door three days after Hurricane Hugo tore their neighborhood apart.
- After attaching a sticky note onto the nose of a plane, the pilot discovered that the sticky note was still there, despite traveling from Las Vegas to Minneapolis at speeds of over 500 miles per hour and in temperatures of over -55 degrees.
- The total yearly sales of sticky notes add up to over $1 billion.
- The distance between the Earth and the moon is about 238,855 miles, which is equal to 1,261,312,800 feet or 15,135,753,600 inches. It would take 5,045,251,200 3 × 3-inch sticky notes to connect our planet to the moon.
Creative Uses for Sticky Notes
Even though sticky notes are supposed to be used for super-serious business matters, you will find that the slightly sticky back of a sticky note can serve a-million-and-one different purposes.
I’ll cover only some of the other uses of sticky notes below to give you an idea of just how versatile this accidental product is.
Cable Marker—if you’re tired of trying to figure out what cable belongs to what plug or electronic, you can color-code the cables by using a different-colored sticky note for each.
Drink Coaster—do you want to enjoy a cold drink without leaving an unsightly ring on your coffee table? Just use a single sticky note sheet as a temporary coaster.
Nail/Screw Holder—the DIYers out there will know how annoying it is when their screws or nails begin rolling all over the place.
That’s why you should stick them onto the sticky side of a sticky note. A single 3 × 3-inch sticky note can keep over two dozen nails or screws in place, depending on their sizes.
Keyboard Cleaner—our keyboards can become incredibly filthy with time due to the amount of snacking we do in front of our computers.
Instead of turning your keyboard upside down and giving it a few good whacks, just use the sticky end of a sticky note to run it in between the keys.
Color-Code Files/Folders—snip off the sticky portion of a sticky note and press it onto a folder or sheet of paper as a quick reference.