Oh, how we love them.

Perri Ormont Blumberg
November 26, 2018
Prathan Chorruangsak / EyeEm/Getty Images

Coming home for a long weekend to see a Post-It note tacked below the doorbell? How about seeing a love note in the fog of the bathroom mirror to start your day? Ah, the magic of sticky notes.

While some may deem these colorful notes — which were first introduced in the 1970s — increasingly obsolete in this digital age, there's good reason so many still love them so. "They can convey a message—that is, content—but their placement provides context. They can be put in the line of sight of someone to grab attention or be affixed to a document or other object to provide instruction or commentary," writes Ross Rubin in a recent article on the simple-yet-brilliant invention for Fast Company. "Their ability to be attached again and again has made them popular for arranging ideas on surfaces such as whiteboards for analog mind-mapping," he continues.

Of course, over the years, more than a handful of companies have taken a stab at transforming the sticky note's allure into a digital product. These efforts have ranged from Pixsso to Microsoft Sticky Notes, resulting in various levels of disappointment, and for some, perhaps, the occasional delight. In the next generation of sticky notes, augmented reality (AR) developers may take on creating this millenium's 3"-x-3" wunderkind. However, as Rubin puts it, "...digital representations [i.e., apps] don’t fully capture the contextual relevance of paper stickies that can reference whatever they’re stuck on or near."

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These days, our smartphones can tell us the weather and traffic delays and Alexa can set a timer and place our online shopping orders. But will these modern-day tools ever give us the sweet buzz of discovering a note on a recipe from a loved one or a welcome home missive below that doorbell?