When I say Korean study tools I mean both the tools that Koreans use for studying and tools for studying Korean language.
Post-its are probably known in every country in the world but I have never seen this line of Study Mate Post-its before I stumbled across them in an online Korean bookstore where I was searching for a printed version of a webtoon I was reading.
It would make sense that 3M found the market for studying supplies in Korea that doesn’t exist in most other countries.
I bought 3 different kinds of post-its that I thought would help me with learning Korean language. There were quite a few other types as well, such as round Post-it notes marked with 24 hours for planning out your day, or calendar-type ones, but since I am stuck in bed all day long and can only do things when my unpredictable health permits it, there is no point in me planning anything ahead.
The largest one is called Post-it Study Mate Summary Note. The yellow-orange speech bubble is simply called Post-it Study Mate Note and the small white squarish pad is Post-it Study Mate Memorizing Notes (made especially for foreign language vocabulary).
On the left you can see usage instructions you get in the back of the pack and on the right is the pad itself. Pad is divided into sections starting with the date in the upper right corner, then a title, notes on the right in the largest field, keywords on the left for quick at a glance, and key summary at the bottom.
Even though its several times larger than sticky notes usually are it has glue strip on the top back side.
This is the textbook I am currently studying from, SungKyun Korean 1. I don’t always follow the set format but just use them as I see fit. In the above photo you can see I used it to compare several similar words pertaining to holidays in Korean.
I keep it in the textbook where the vocabulary is covered in the lesson…
…or stick it next to my bed in hopes of memorizing it when I’m staring at it.
Speaking of memorizing…
Once again, on the left you can see usage instructions you get in the back of the pack and on the right is the Memorizing Notes pad itself. The little grey looping arrow marks the line where you fold the paper in half.
As you can see in the instructions you write the new word or expression you need to learn on one side, and on the other side you write the translation and sample sentences. These instructions are written with Koreans in mind so if you are learning Korean language you would switch the side on which you write English and Korean, like in my photo below.
The blue label in the textbook said 잡화, and since I didn’t know what that meant I put the Post-it next to it for future reference.
On the outside of the Memorizing Note I wrote the Korean word in big green letters and on the inside a definition, pronunciation, and two sample expressions in which the word was used.
The bright orangish-yellow pads are shaped like a square speech bubble with rounded corners and they come two in a pack with tails pointing the opposite direction.
I use them as regular post-its when I need to make a note or if I come across something I feel I should remember for later.
The good side is that with the shape of a speech bubble you can have the tail pointing exactly at what the note is referring to.
The bad side is that they are a very intense orangish-yellow color which, while very easy to notice while flipping through a textbook, doesn’t offer enough contrast for me to easily read the text even when using a black pen.
I think they are good for notes that are brief and written in large text that need to be easily found.
I bought them mainly because I don’t like writing in my books. I like my books pristine, and yet there are so many notes I wish to make in my Korean textbooks:
- differentiating similar vocabulary,
- expanding on a grammar explanation,
- noting mistakes I often make,
- marking something to look it up later,
- writing down a question I have
and so on.
These Post-its allow me to do all that, and if needed it takes a minute to remove them and once again I have a book that looks untouched.
If you’re interested in getting these not long ago I wrote a guide how I buy Korean stationery from Korea with a reasonable shipping price.
If you can’t get your hands on these special post-its, I think any regular sticky note will do just fine. Honestly, the biggest value I got out of these is simply ideas how to use sticky notes for studying a foreign language.
Admittedly I’ve never seen a sticky note as large as the Summary Note but the other two are easy to emulate. Fold any regular sticky note in half and you have the Memorizing Notes for vocabulary, and the Bubble speech Post-it you can cut out a little tail or even simpler just draw an arrow on it to point at what you want.
Both of the white pads are pretty thin which is good because they don’t add bulk to the book you put them in, but on the other hand every pen I have ghosts and some even bleed through so I think if you dislike ghosting you should stick to a regular pencil or mechanical pen with them.
If you have any ideas on how to use Post-its for studying let me know in the comments below.