The Best Design Tool

Over the last few years, we have seen an explosion of great design tools with powerful features. It feels like every other month another amazing alternative is released. Sometimes, we at AJ&Smart spend all the time we save by using a great prototyping tool to discuss if we should switch to an even newer, even better one.

But there’s this neat, versatile little thing that I’ve grown really fond. It has become my favorite solution for structuring my design process and pretty much became a second brain for capturing ideas, to-dos, questions.

It’s this:

Ta-da.

The reasons why I think Post-Its are genuinely awesome tools:

1. Post-Its are cheap.

  • Not subscription based. Just buy a stack and use it whenever and however you like, even without internet access.
  • You can easily share them with your friends. In fact, one stack is plenty, even for groups.
  • Having lots of them on the wall don’t just make you look productive, but also saves heating cost and provides shelter for spiders.
  • Don’t need them anymore? Don’t bother archiving them. Straight to the recycling bin they go.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

2. Post-Its are easy to use

  • You don’t need a stylus to write on them. Even the cheapest, crappiest ballpoint pen some contractor left at your house will get. the. job. done.
  • Easy to learn, easy to master. Check out this hack to make your life easier forever:

3. Post-Its are versatile

  • They come in many colors, sizes and shapes. My favorite is rectangular pale yellow.
  • Hate writing? Just draw on them.
  • Easily scalable. If you run out of space, stick two together to create a BIGGER ONE.
  • You can use them to effortlessly capture ideas and organize information.
  • You can create new contexts and connections by sorting and moving them around however you want, and other people can see it — no login, invite or account management necessary. How cool is that?

4. Post-Its are reliable

  • They are made of paper. You don’t have to charge them, ever.
  • Great, great visibility and detail (if there’s a source of light).
  • They are very secure (i.e. fold them up and put them in your shoe).
  • They are a very mature product. No frustrating, product-breaking updates (DON’T buy Pop-Up Post-Its, though. They go zig-zag and are annoying to use unless you have a dispenser, which is a useless add-on).
  • They stick to surfaces and stay there until taken off. After you take them off, you can stick them somewhere else and they still stick (very few adhesives can do this).
“One of the biggest inventions of the 20th century” — Fortune Magazine

That said, if you already know what you want to build and now need to execute, there’s hundreds of great articles on tools that help you get the job done. Our product designers use Figma, which is incredibly useful and even better than Sketch, if you can believe it.


Tim Höfer is a product designer and consultant at AJ&Smart in Berlin and uses digital design tools to build prototypes every week. You can follow him on Twitter here. Want to see our how our Design Sprints look day-to-day? Follow us on Instagram for our daily story updates. Or sign up to our newsletter: