What You Need to Know about Post-it Notes (yes, there are different types)

By Nicole Tinkham


Pictured: Super Sticky 3 x 3 Jewel Pop Colors

Invented by Art Fry at 3M, Post-it Notes have helped keep us on track since the 80’s. Making life convenient, they allow us to jot down important bits of information (that would otherwise slip our mind) and temporarily stick it to documents, desks, computer monitors, and so on. While the Post-it Note brand has much more variety, sticky notes can be found in other brands as well, like Universal, Avery, Redi-Tag  and many more. We’re confident you’ve used these helpful pads either at home or in the office,  and by now you may be so familiar with the yellow 3X3 squares that you don’t think twice when purchasing them. Like anything else, you’ve got options: pop-up or original, lined or unlined, super sticky or regular. In this post, we’ll talk about all of your options when it comes to Post-it Notes so get ready, it’s about to get exciting!

Pop-up vs regular

As most know, regular sticky pads are stuck together with adhesive on one edge of the pad. You might even have some lying around your office right now. If you want a stylish way to contain them, dispensers are the way to go. While tear off isn’t necessarily difficult, dispensers make it even easier (especially when you only have one hand available). Unlike regular pads, pop-up (or fanfold) sticky notes have alternating sticky sides (accordion style) designed specifically for dispensers. Just place them in the dispenser and easily pull off the notes you need. View the pop-ups below to see how they differ from regular pads.

Pictured: Jewel Pop-Up Notes

We weren’t joking when we said the dispensers are stylish. Here’s a few of our favorites:


The standard sticky note is a 3 x 3 square, also used in the dispensers listed above. You may have seen sizes a bit smaller or larger but did you know about the giant 8 x 6? This large format may be a little extreme but we wanted to get our point across: Post-it Notes don’t come in only one size. See below for the many sizes available.


Canary is the most popular color for sticky notes but that’s not your only option. Add a pop of color in your office with these bright, eye-catching colors.


Post-it Notes come in plain, lined, and quadrille (grid). Lined and quadrille pads are great for lists and special projects. Please note that lined pads do not come in 3 x 3 and quadrille pads only come in 4 x 6.


Most 3 x 3 sticky notes come in a pack of 12 or value packs of 18 or 24. Larger pads like a 4 x 6 typically come with fewer in a pack. We wanted to mention packaging in this post because most don’t think about these types of options when making a purchase. Below are some features to consider.

  • The Decorative Box – These sticky notes come in a decorative box that is also used as a dispenser. They allow you to get a different design each time you purchase Post-it Notes!
  • The Cabinet Pack – These come in a box made for keeping sticky notes organized in a drawer or supply cabinet.
  • Value Packs – Whether in the catalog or on our website, you will notice special value packs that come with more pads per pack. We suggest purchasing these because even if you aren’t planning on using a lot at the time, you probably will have a use for them eventually and value packs can save you money. If you’re thinking about going with a dispenser, there are specials available that contain the dispenser and sticky notes, also saving you money.

Special Items

So far, we covered the basic sticky note options. But, what if you’re looking for something a little bit different? For example: a pad that has adhesive on the whole back, not just the edge? Here’s a list of some specialty sticky note products.

  • Full Adhesive – More adhesive allows for a better and longer stick. These pads allow you to stick the whole pad to your desk or notebook (or anywhere) so you always know where it is.
  • Laptop Dispenser – These work like a regular sticky note dispenser but they’re super slim and can stick to a laptop (or notebook).
  • The Vehicle Dispenser – Like the laptop dispenser is perfect to stick to laptops, this one is perfect for in the car. The dispenser easily clips onto the visor.
  • Super Sticky – Holds stronger and longer.
  • Personal Planner – These large (7 x 8) sticky notes have a printed weekly calendar with space to jot down appointments and tasks.
  • Note Pads – These colorful, patterned pads are perfect for home use with lines great for making lists and a magnet on the back to stick on the fridge.
  • Cubes – These pads are in a cube format and contain multiple colors per cube.
  • Greener Notes – This assortment contains multiple types and sizes of sticky notes that are all made from recycled paper and a plant-based adhesive.
  • Die-cut shapes – These two-tone sticky notes come in a pack of three shapes: a heart, speech bubble, and flower.
  • Erasable Notes – These 4 x 4 sticky notes are dry erase, eliminating paper waste.

As you can see, there’s a Post-it Note out there for everyone. Next time you’re in the market for more post-it notes, think about the available options and which fits your personality best. Are you bold and bright or calm and toned down? Do you want to make a statement or blend in with the crowd? Are you striving to go green? We have our personal favorites and now we want to hear from you! Which type of sticky notes are totally you? Comment your answer in the box below.

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