The Post-It

Creativity 101, Uncategorized, Understanding Creativity

Most creative idea I had this week: the Post-It.

Ok, so not actually the Post-It.

But here’s the idea: Any time I have something that’s giving me anxiety, like an upcoming exam (or two or three, that all happen to be on the same day), I write the thought down on a Post-It note and slap it on my wall/computer/whatever surface I’m around. The point being, I get the thought out of my head so I don’t have to let it sit around screaming for my attention. I can see it in front of me, acknowledge it, know it’s there so I don’t have to keep it inside.

Actually, the invention of the Post-It note itself is a pretty cool story. The whole thing was an accident. In creativity class right now, we’re trying to find problems so we can come up with creative solutions to them. But when the Post-It note was first developed, the process happened in reverse– the solution was invented first.

Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, created the adhesive used for the Post-It note when he was trying to make a super-strong glue. Instead he came up with a low-tack adhesive and presented it at seminars as the “solution without a problem.” One of his colleagues, Arthur Fry, had the idea of using the adhesive to stick his bookmark to a book. And that was the birth of the Post-It.

Some say beer is the simple solution to complicated problems. I say it’s the Post-It.


One thought on “The Post-It

  1. Good idea! Anything we can do to get irritating or anxiety-producing thoughts out of our heads can be useful!

    I find that “to do” lists serve some of the same purpose — in this case, preventing me from worrying that I’ve forgotten something. And crossing the item off the list when it’s done is so cathartic! Do you tear up your post-its when the exams are over?

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