Monday, 7 January 2013

The Printed Post-It Notes Project

A while ago I posted on how to print onto Post-It Notes index tabs. Today I am upscaling to full-size Post-It Notes.



Start by making a Word document that contains a single page with empty text boxes the size of your Post-It Notes. I am using the square ones that I happened to have, so my text boxes are 77 mm squares. I can fit six on an A4 page:


Save the file and print a copy or two. Here is what the resulting page will look like:


Now fill each of the text boxes however you like. Keep anything you want to be on your notes inside the boxes, but it's a good idea to extend any graphical elements slightly outside the box if you want them to print right to the edge. You can see this in action in the top-left box below:


You now need to remove the border from the text boxes, as you can see I have done with the bottom-right one in the picture above. When you've removed all of them, the file will look like this:


Save the document with a new name at this point. You'll want to keep both this file and the one you saved earlier with empty, bordered text boxes. If you print now, here is what you will get:


Of course, we have missed out the important part. Go back to the first page you printed out and load it with Post-It Notes. Carefully place one Post-It Note in each box. Your page should look like this:


Now you need to place this in your printer's sheet feeder. Two words of caution:
  1. I've done this in several printers and not come to grief. Theoretically, though, a Post-It Note might get detached in the printing process and mess up your printer innards. Proceed at your own risk.
  2. Printer sheet feeders sometimes need the paper face up, sometimes face down, sometimes top edge first, sometimes bottom edge first. If in doubt, take a plain page, write on it "This side up" in pencil, put it in the sheet feeder whatever way you like and print a single-page text document. From the way this sheet emerges, you'll be able to tell what way to place your sheet in the feeder. Make sure the first bit of the Post-It Notes that enter the printer is the bit with the glue.
Once the loaded sheet is in the sheet feeder, hit the print button and this is what should now emerge:


Peel off the post it notes and go and find something to stick them to, for instance...

An article you want to send someone a copy of

A slovenly co-worker's messy desk

I'm sure you can find many hundreds of uses for these. You don't have to use Word. You could use any software that will let you draw boxes of a precise size and then fill them with text and/or images. 

I hope you'll be creative with this idea and come up with brilliant designs of your own, but if you want to use mine either fully or just to get started with and adapt, you can download my empty boxes document and my Post-It Note designs document.

Have fun!
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