3 Ways Post It Notes Can Help You Create Content

I love Post It Notes.

There, I said it.

And it’s not just because I have a penchant for stationery (although that is also true).

I find they are such a great way to organise my thinking.

Here are 5 Ways I Use Post Its To Create Content

1. Mapping out content structure

This works whether you are creating a blog post, a lead magnet, an online course or even a book. Any content project, really.

Grab your sticky notes and start brain dumping your ideas.

This first pass is all about green light thinking. Don’t give yourself any red lights (ie don’t stop an idea by judging it, just let it flow).

Now, on a wall or the windows (or any flat surface you can find!) start grouping the sticky notes into categories.

You can use a different coloured sticky note to label each category.

Just dump ’em all on the wall.

You might need to move them around a few times.

The aim here is to get your categories as clear and simple as possible. Look for categories that may be duplicating each other and try to merge them.

Also look for post its that seem like “orphans” that don’t really fit into any of your categories and decide if you really do need that content.

Is it a “ring in”?

Or is it an important thought that needs beefing up?

If it’s the latter, then look for a way to create a meaningful category around that piece of content and flag that as an area you may need to do more research or give more thinking time.

After some time spent moving post its around, merging categories and generally mulling the big picture over, I start to get real clarity around the structure I am going to use.

Capturing all my thoughts and “pinning” them down takes a lot of the stress out of the situation and frees my mind to build on what I’ve already captured.

2. Putting some “meat on the bones”

Yikes, I’ve mixed so many metaphors in this post!

OK so I am going with the skeleton/flesh metaphor for this part. Stay with me folks.

So, now you have your structure (AKA Skeleton!), you need to flesh it out.

You’ve got your initial sticky notes already grouped under your category titles. Now you need to put some meat on them by adding research data, additional points, questions or areas of inspiration you need to explore further etc.

If you’re working on a book, then at this stage you might still only be listing subtitles on your Post It Notes, under your various chapter categories and you may need to give this process a second round where you start adding more detail under your subtitles.

If it’s a shorter blog post, then you could be writing your entire point on your Post It Notes, under your various paragraph categories.

3. Bringing it all together

I usually find by this point, the creative juices are flowing. I’ve got clarity around my structure and much more understanding of the detailed points I want to make.

This is when I usually head to my laptop and start recording my category titles (for a book that would chapter titles, for a course that might be module titles and for a blog post that might be paragraph titles – you get the gist) and get to work on pulling it all together.

By breaking it down into chunks, knowing I’ve captured the main points for the other sections, my mind is free to focus just on the section at hand. Suddenly I am eating my “elephant” of a project one bite at a time and the sense of overwhelm reduces as I get through section after section.

Note: It’s always a good idea to take photos of your Post It walls to keep on file for later, or in the unfortunate situation where your post its fly off due to an ill-timed breeze or because you left them there so long they lost their sticky!).

Other alternatives

There is a great free app called Trello that also does something similar to this if you want to keep things in the digital domain (although I really love the tactile nature of sticky notes).

What about you?

Do you use Post Its?

Would love to hear your productivity hacks.

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