Post-It-Note Brainstorming

I have a confession to make: I love paper. You might have noticed this if you’ve browsed my site and have seen my art page. When I write, I do it on a chunky little notepad, sheets of Hello Kitty paper or a spiral bound journal. Even my mouse pad is paper.

Sometimes I think that writers have such a difficult time completing manuscripts and brainstorming ideas because they have disconnected from tactile aspects of writing. The typewriter was much more tactile than a keyboard and computer screen ever will be. Modernly, some people are reading by swiping a screen and not turning a page. There are hundreds of studies that indicate tactile enhanced studying increasing learning, not just for children, but adults.

With that in mind, I would like to advocate my favorite form of brainstorming–and this is a sort you can do all day long without your keyboard–by using Post-It-Notes.

There are so many colors, shapes and sizes of sticky-notes, that you can find one that best suits your creativity stimulation needs. They have heart-shaped, apple-shaped, inch square, neon, pastel, primary. You can carry them around in your purse or wallet, write a note and stick it on the opposite side of the pad until you get home and paste it up on the wall in front of your computer. They are great writing prompt simulators, fabulous for story boarding (I do this), editing tools (your Word program uses a concept based on sticky notes with their editing alert balloons).

They stimulate creativity through tactile interaction. Plus, they are just plain fun.

Try not to get addicted to them: Don’t use them for chore lists or to-do lists unless you want them to remind you of work and not writing.

How do you use your Post-It Notes?

7 thoughts on “Post-It-Note Brainstorming

  1. I’ve been using them for storyboarding since I read an interview with Philip Pullman in which he he said that he used to use bits of paper until he realised he couldn’t have the window open at the same time, at which point he switched to bits of paper that stick.

    I think you’re write about disconnecting from the tactile aspect of writing. I always do drafts of novels and poems by hand first, even though it means that I struggle to decipher them afterwards, because it just seems to flow better. I actually actively avoided it for novels for ages because not only is typing more legible than handwriting, but faster, too. It was only when I was computer-less for a month and a half that I realised writing, say, a thousand words (my usual daily goal) by hand is in the end faster than typing. It comes more naturally, so there are fewer pauses, and those pauses aren’t interrupted by the internet, so in the end it does take less time. Yes, this means I’m going to be one of those Luddites doing NaNoWriMo by hand this year.

    1. I just realised I substituted ‘write’ for ‘right’ in the first sentence of the second paragraph. I was so absorbed in writing about writing that I must have typed that without thinking. I don’t usually make that kind of mistake!

      1. Your mind was in the write place!

        I am also going to do NANOWRIMO. I think it’s good practice. I am not normally a novel writer, but all the novels I have written have been with NANOWRIMO.

    2. Yay for NaNo! I can’t do the hand-written thing anymore. I used to write exclusively by hand, but I just can’t anymore. Physically unable or too lazy? I do not know.

      1. I do both. I write by hand, mostly on breaks at work, then transcribe at home. When I transcribe on the wordprocessor/computer much more comes out than I originally put into it. But I’ll admit I’m addicted to paper… and ink, and have way too many notepads.

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