How to Organize eLearning Content with Sticky Notes

Developing an eLearning course from beginning to end is a complicated, multi-phased process—there’s no denying it. Each phase has its own unique set of roadblocks that can challenge you and bring your project to screeching halt if you aren’t careful. This is especially true if you’re new to eLearning.

When I first started developing eLearning courses, my biggest frustration was how to take all of the content provided by my subject matter expert and transform it into a development-ready storyboard that also met the learning needs of my audience.

After several failed attempts trying to write a storyboard from scratch, I realized that I needed to take a step back and look at the content from a higher level. I needed to create an outline. That’s when I decided to step away from my computer and grab a stack of sticky notes and a marker.

As I began to “digest” all of the content provided by my subject matter expert, I identified each of the important topics and create a dedicated sticky note for it. From there, I started creating sticky notes for each of the sub-topics. Before I knew it, I had created a rough outline of my eLearning course.

By the time I refined and completed this sticky note outline, the task of writing the storyboard didn’t seem as overwhelming as it once had. I had a springboard to help guide me through writing each slide in my course.

If you’re struggling with how to organize eLearning content, check out my video below to see how you can use sticky notes to get a jumpstart on your next eLearning project.

How to Organize eLearning Content with Sticky Notes

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Tim Slade
Tim Slade is a speaker, author, and award-winning freelance eLearning designer. Having spent the last decade working to help others elevate their eLearning and visual communications content, Tim has been recognized and awarded within the eLearning industry multiple times for his creative and innovative design aesthetics. Tim is a regular speaker at international eLearning conferences, is a recognized Articulate Super Hero, author of The eLearning Designer’s Handbook and creator of The eLearning Designer's Academy.

4 Responses to “How to Organize eLearning Content with Sticky Notes

  • Jesi Watts
    7 years ago

    Hey Tim…there’s an app made by Post-It Notes that allows you to take a pic of the post-It’s on the wall or board and creates individual pic files so you can move each one around independently of the other to arrange your content in the right order if the provided content by the SME is out of order or flows better by rearranging. The app is called Post-It’s Plus. You can find more about it at

  • Nice tips Tim. Question, what’s the roe of the SME once the ID has reviewed/Learned the content as you suggest in the video? Is the SME out of the picture?

    • Hi, Curtis! How much of a role the SME plays is going to be a little different from one project to another. Some SMEs only help with content in the early phases of creation, and others are involved through the entire project. At the end of the day, the role of the SME is to ensure the content is accurate. With the projects I work on, I involve the SME from storyboarding, through development. I hope that’s helps! Thanks for commenting!

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