Discovering the World of Sticky Notes: A Comprehensive Guide

Sticky notes were invented by Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, in 1968 when he accidentally created a low-tack adhesive. However, it wasn't until 1980 that the first "Post-it" notes, as we know them today, were officially launched by 3M.

The sticky notes have continuously been innovating, from their color, size, adhesive material, and even shapes, making it hard to choose the one that suits your needs and preferences. With that, we prepared this guide with the different types of sticky notes available. We hope you find what you're looking for!

Most Popular Types of Sticky Notes

1. Transparent Note Pads

A recent addition to the sticky note family, transparent note pads offer a see-through alternative to conventional opaque sticky notes, making them ideal for document and textbook annotations.


  • Made from translucent plastic material
  • Allows underlying surface to show through
  • Perfect for document and textbook annotations
  • Innovative and increasingly popular
  • A unique alternative to traditional sticky notes
Transparent Note Pads

2. Printed Sticky Notes

Customizable and versatile, printed sticky notes serve as promotional marketing tools for businesses or creative, personalized giveaways for events like birthdays and weddings.


  • Formal or fun designs
  • Customizable for various purposes
  • Ideal for promotional marketing
  • Personalize with logos, slogans, contact information
  • Pre-printed with fun and eye-catching designs available
Printed Sticky Notes

3. Shaped Sticky Notes

Shaped sticky notes bring fun and unique shapes to your note-taking, including animals, food, flowers, and other objects, making them enjoyable and memorable.


  • Fun and unique shapes
  • Memorable and enjoyable to use
  • Popular shapes include hearts, stars, animals, and more
  • Can be used as speech bubbles
  • Adds a creative touch to note-taking
Shaped Sticky Notes

4. Aesthetic Sticky Notes

Combining pastel colors, kawaii designs, unique shapes, and whimsical fonts, aesthetic sticky notes offer a minimalist yet eye-catching appearance, enhancing creativity, mood, and memory retention.


  • Pastel colors, kawaii designs, unique shapes, whimsical fonts
  • Minimalist and eye-catching
  • Boosts creativity, mood, and memory retention
  • Incorporates characteristics of other sticky note types
  • The uplifting style for better note-taking
Aesthetic Sticky Notes

5. Sticky Note Cube

The sticky note cube features a stack of sticky notes in a cube shape, providing easy access and use, with various color options ranging from 2-6 colors and around 100 sheets per color.


  • Cube-shaped
  • Easy to access and use
  • Multiple color options
  • Organized and accessible
  • Efficient note-taking solution
Sticky Note Cube

6. Sticky Note Book

Sticky note books offer portable convenience, binding together various sticky notes in different sizes and colors with spiral bindings for easy flipping between layouts and a hardcover or cardboard backing for durability.


  • Bound together for portability
  • Spiral bindings for easy flipping
  • Hardcover or cardboard backing
  • It contains various sizes and colors
  • Convenient and durable design
Sticky Note Book

7. Sticky Note Flags

Sticky note flags are commonly used to mark documents or books and are often associated with "Sign here." Available in various colors, each color can serve a different purpose for organization and reference.


  • Size: 1/2 inch width and 1 3/4 inches length
  • Ideal for work and reading
  • Assorted colors for organization
  • No universal standard for color usage
  • Common color associations for different purposes

Color Associations

  • Yellow: highlight important information
  • Pink: signify urgency
  • Blue: mark references and research material
  • Green: mark areas for revision
  • Orange: flag items requiring attention
  • Purple: indicates parts needing more research
Sticky Note Flags

8. Reusable Sticky Notes

Designed to reduce paper waste, reusable sticky notes are an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use notes, utilizing materials like silicone or polyester and dry-erase markers for writing.


  • Economical and eco-friendly
  • Made from silicone or polyester
  • Compatible with dry-erase markers
  • Long-lasting adhesive
  • Reusable without compromising effectiveness
Reusable Sticky Notes

Sticky Note Types According to Color

Standard Yellow Sticky Notes

Standard Yellow Sticky Notes

Standard yellow sticky notes are the most common type in stores. They were the first-ever sticky notes, and their bright yellow color was chosen to stand out on white paper.

Spencer Silver, the scientist at 3M, experimented with other colors but ultimately settled on yellow, a popular choice for office supplies.
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    The classic choice
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    Classic and recognizable design
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    Bright yellow color for high visibility
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    Ideal for office use and everyday tasks
Pastel Sticky Notes

Pastel Sticky Notes

Pastel sticky notes offer a more subdued and elegant alternative to the standard yellow notepads. Their soft pastel colors, such as pale blue, pink, green, or yellow, evoke thoughts of spring and Easter.

Despite the muted tones, they still catch attention when pasted on any surface and are perfect for creative hobbies like scrapbooking or personal journals.
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    Subdued and elegant pastel colors
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    Suitable for creative hobbies and personalization
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    Eye-catching yet understated design
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    Available in a variety of pastel shades

The Right Sticky Notes Color for You

Yellow Sticky Note


  • The most common color of sticky notes.
  • Grabs attention without being too distracting
  • Believed to stimulate mental activity and memory
Pink Sticky Note


  • One of the most popular colors
  • Use for more urgent or essential task notes
Green Sticky Note


  • Associated with growth and renewal
  • Use this to take note of new ideas or projects. 
Blue Sticky Note


  • A calming color often used to take less urgent notes
Orange Sticky Note


  • A bright and energetic color 
  • Attention-grabbing
  • Use to mark pages or highlight important information
White Sticky Note


  • Less distractive
  • A versatile color you can use for any application
  • Preferred by minimalists or people who appreciate the simple aesthetic.

Sticky Notes Types According to Size

1. Standard Size

    • The most common size of sticky notes
    • Measures 3 x 3 inches
    • Fits on desks, planners, or notebooks
    • Large enough to hold a few lines or drawing

    2. Mini Size

    • Smaller than the standard size
    • Measures 1.5 x 2 inches
    • Portable and can fit in pockets, purses, or wallets
    • Ideal for quick reminders

    3. Jumbo Size

    • Larger than the standard size
    • Measures 4 x 6 inches
    • Best used for longer notes like to-do lists that require more space
    • Often ruled for use as a writing guide

    4. Full Page Size

    • Considered as giant sticky notes
    • Measures 8.5 x 11 inches
    • Ideal for large-scale drawings, brainstorming, or presentations
    • It can be easily attached to a wall or whiteboard

    5. Custom Size

    • Tailored to fit specific needs
    • Can be customized in shape/size with branding or messaging
    different sized sticky notes
    Ruled and Unruled Sticky Notes

    Ruled and Unruled Sticky Notes

    Ruled Sticky Notes

    Like the student paper, ruled sticky notes have printed lines. These lines help the user to keep their writing neat and organized. Some benefits of ruled sticky notes are:

    • Writing guide provided
    • Legible and readable notes
    • Recommended for more extended messages/notes
    • Ideal for lists and bullets
    • Useful for organized individuals

    Unruled Sticky Notes

    Compared to ruled sticky notes, this type has no lines on them. The paper is a blank page that offers freedom in writing or doodling. Here are the benefits of unruled sticky notes:

    • Write anywhere on the paper
    • Great for brainstorming/mind-mapping
    • Suitable for doodling/diagramming


    1. What are sticky notes made of?

    Sticky notes are pieces of paper with an adhesive strip on the back to be affixed to any flat surface. Traditional sticky notes use a pressure-sensitive adhesive, while more eco-friendly alternatives may use materials like silicone or polyester.

    2. Can sticky notes be recycled?

    Some sticky notes, like those produced by 3M, are recyclable. However, not all sticky notes can be recycled due to the adhesive used. It's essential to check with the manufacturer to determine if their sticky notes are made from recyclable materials.

    For instance, Interwell can produce a sticky notes stationery product line according to your preferences, offering various design and material options to ensure high-quality products.

    3. How long do sticky notes stay sticky?

    It depends on the brand and quality of the adhesive. They can stick for a few days or weeks, depending on how often you handle or keep them. Interwell is one of the few manufacturers offering extra-sticky and long-lasting adhesive options for your brand.
    Su - Interwell Founder
    Hi, I'm Su, the author of this post. I founded Interwell Stationery and have served over 1000+ clients since 2003. Feel free to contact us for custom stationery supplies, manufacturing support, and the latest trends in the industry.

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