Remember When There Was Only One Type of Post-It Note?

In the beginning there was paper, and there was tape.  And if you wanted to leave a note on a page of a book, you had to tape a piece of paper bearing the note, and when you removed the note it would not come off easily, but would damage the page with its stickiness.[1]  And to tape the note to another page would take more tape, for the original tape would be unfit[2] to carry out its duties.

And the 3M Corporation said, “Let there be Post-it notes,” and there were Post-it notes.  And the 3M Corporation saw that the Post-it notes were good, and trademarked the name “Post-it.”  The Post-it notes were canary yellow, and the 3M Corporation saw that the canary yellow was good, and trademarked that, too.

And the world was filled with Post-it notes, all of the same size, and the same color.  And the 3M Corporation said, “Look, the Post-it notes are all the same, and everyone buys them.  Who knows how much more we can sell if the Post-it notes were different?”

And the 3M Corporation said, “Let there be Post-it notes of not only 3 inches by 3 inches, but also of 3 inches by 5 inches, and of 4 inches by 6 inches, and of  1 ½ inches by 2 inches, and of 1 3/8 inches by 1 7/8 inches.”  And the 3M Corporation said, “Let there be Post-it notes of not only canary yellow®, but also of blue, and green, and orange, and pink, and of neon colors and pastel colors.”  And the world was filled with Post-it notes of every size, and every color, although the 3M Corporation was unable to trademark the colors blue, green, orange, and pink.

And the 3M Corporation created Post-it notes with lines on them for people who needed to write on lines, and Post-it notes arranged in an accordian-style for people who needed to pull notes out of dispensers.  And world was now filled with Post-it notes of every size and color, and every design and arrangement.

And the 3M Corporation said, “It is not good for the Post-it notes to be alone.  We shall make helpmeets for them, so that they shall not be alone in the office supply storeroom, or mail room, or closet for companies that are too small or cheap to dedicate an entire room to office supplies as I have commanded.  And so that we shall make a greater return for our shareholders.”  And the 3M Corporation put the Post-it notes under a deep sleep, and took a piece of the patented low-stick adhesive, and formed around it Post-it tabs that could mark books of learning and pages of deposition transcripts that contained incriminating testimony so that lawyers could easily indicate which pages they wanted photocopied.

And the 3M Corporation created Post-it tabs of the same material, but that were much smaller, and some were loaded into a pen, and some were loaded into a highlighter.  And the 3M Corporation created Post-it tabs that were more durable, that would not wrinkle or crease or tear with normal use.  And the 3M Corporation created Post-it tabs that were narrower, and called “flags,” some with arrows, and some without arrows, and some that came in pop-up dispensers, and some that did not come in pop-up dispensers.  And the 3M Corporation saw that it was good.

And the 3M Corporation said, “The low-stick adhesive is not sticky enough for some people.”  And the 3M Corporation created a Post-it note with a super sticky adhesive, and called these notes “Post-it® Super Sticky Full Adhesive Notes.”  And these Post-it® Super-Sticky Full Adhesive Notes were truly the stickiest notes that the world had ever seen, and did not drop off pages easily, and gave people the confidence that their notes would stay put, but which sometimes damaged the page or ink when removed, as the 3M Corporation warned on the package.


[1] Older versions had “holiness.”

[2] Others “unclean.”

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132 Comments

Filed under Commerce and Marketing

132 responses to “Remember When There Was Only One Type of Post-It Note?

  1. Brilliantly funny :D There’s a post-it-note for everyone

  2. let us all sticky note this so we can remember it :-)

  3. This is awesome! Well deserving of the Freshly Pressed.

  4. Hilarious! Sometimes you can make a good thing better, hence the growing family of sticky notes :)

  5. All very true. It’s got to be the original or nothing for me. It’s terrible when someone orders the wrong size pad and then you can’t fit your messages in one page and you have to make multipage notes. Not to mention all the office gossip about peoples taste when they have non-canary colour note pads on their desk. The world can do with out luminous yellow, green and pink notes all over everything.

    • Oh, like when the message has to spill over to a second post-it note? Arrgh, that’s the worst! There is a proper post-it for every post. And how do I know this? Emily Post, of course.

  6. Well this was hysterical. Congratulations on the freshly pressed. I will willingly admit I am in love with Post-its! :)

  7. What is the most outrageous-looking, fun shapes that you have seen so far? I have seen apples, hearts, non-descript shapes, etc.

  8. I like the transparent, colored ones. Thank goodness for those :p Great post!

  9. I can’t remember the exact story, but I read that the inventor was trying to invent something that stuck better and he felt like a failure at first. There is a book of organization projects and things to do with Post-Its.
    Great post :)

  10. a great SEO exercise for the 3M Corporation – will be writing something similar for Sparkstone Technology very soon :)

  11. Perfectly written post…thank you! I do recall the dark days before post-its and wonder how on earth we all survived!

  12. sumeyyailanbey

    Great post! I really enjoyed it.

    From, an avid Post-it notes collector :)

  13. Now I will giggle at sticky notes

  14. Pingback: Remember the Olympics? | Mark Kaplowitz's Blog

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