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Office Supplies FAQ

Post-It® Frequently Asked Questions

How big is a Post-It® Note? +

The question, “How big is a sticky note?” isn't an entirely simple one to answer. If you're thinking of the original yellow (officially called canary) Post-It Note, it is 3-by-3-inches. However, that's just the tip of the Post-It® iceberg! You can now find Post-It® Notes in various sizes of squares and rectangles, ranging from as small as .47-by-1.7-inches to as big as 25-by-30-inches, and in a wide assortment of colors. There are also lined options, Page Markers measuring less than half an inch wide, Post-It® Notes with additional sticking capabilities, pads designed to work in a Post-It® Note dispenser and more.

How do I print on a Post-It® Note? +

If you find yourself writing the same message over and over or would like to print a graphic on your Post-It® Notes, you might want to learn how to print on Post-It® Notes. The good news is, this isn't a difficult task but it does require a couple of steps. First, find or create a template for whatever size Post-It® Note you plan to use. Print and save your template. Place your Post-It® Notes onto the printed sheet and load the sheet into your printer. Then use the saved template on your computer to add the text or graphics you want to print. Feed the template into the printer so the sticky side of the Post-It® Notes goes through the printer first. This will keep the Post-It® from getting pulled up and stuck in your printer.

Can Post-It® Notes be recycled? +

You'll be happy to know that Post-It® Notes are recyclable. Most of the adhesive, as well as the dyes, on the paper is removed during the de-inking process of paper recycling. Additionally, several colors and sizes of Post-It® Notes are made with various amounts of recycled content.

How do I use a Post-It® Note dispenser? +

Loading a Post-It® Pop-up Note Dispenser is a simple process. First, you'll need a Post-It® Pop-up Note Pad, which is different than a regular package of Post-It® Notes, so make sure you have the correct product. Then, open your package and insert it into the Post-It® Note dispenser, sliding the top sheet through the opening so it rests outside the dispenser. There are lots of dispensers to choose from, including those that look like apples, cats, purses, and more. All of them can be loaded using these basic steps.

Where can I buy Post-It® Notes in bulk? +

Because they're so handy and versatile, you might find yourself going through your stash of Post-It® Notes in a jiffy, which can lead you to wonder where to buy Post-It® Notes in bulk. Look no further! Quill offers Post-It® Notes in bulk packages of up to 48 pads in plenty of bright colors. The more you buy, the less you spend per pack.

How can I make Post-It® Notes stick better? +

If you want to know how to make Post-It® Notes stick better, it might have something to do with how you pull them off the stack. The best way to make your Post-It® Notes stick well is to pull them off from side to side, not from bottom to top. This way, the paper won't curl up from the loose bottom to the sticky top. Instead, it naturally lays flatter on the surface you want it to stick on, which helps it adhere more strongly. You might also consider picking up some Post-It® Extreme Dura-Hold Notes, which are made with water-resistant adhesive designed for indoor/outdoor with the ability to stick to rough textures like wood or concrete.

How many Post-It® Notes does it take to cover a car? +

When it comes to determining how many Post-It® Notes to cover a car, remember that the exact number depends on a few factors including the size of the car, how fully you intend to cover it, and whether you plan to use various colors to create designs or not. Some sources show the total coming in somewhere around 4,000 Post-It® Notes, while others, like this viral example from 2006, used a whopping 14,000. This might not be what Post-It® Notes were originally designed for, but more and more people are using Post-It® Notes to cover cars. If this is a prank (or just a design choice) that appeals to you, you need to get a handle on how many Post-It® Notes you need.

Why are Post-It® Notes yellow? +

You might assume the iconic canary yellow color was chosen because most colors of ink will show up on it, or perhaps because the light yellow stands out clearly against so many other colors. While those are great theories, they don't stick. It was simply a matter of luck: A neighboring lab happened to have yellow scrap paper on hand at just the right time. Production began with the yellow scrap paper, and since it was a hit—not to mention recognizable—yellow was the color used going forward.

How many Post-It® Notes are in a stack? +

While the most popular Post-It® Note pad typically includes 100 sheets, different Post-It® Note pads have different numbers of notes per stack (ranging from 70 to 100), so if you need an exact number for a project (for example, to fully cover a car), make sure to check the package of the exact product you buy.

Who invented Post-It® Notes?+

As to who invented Post-It® Notes, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® awarded the patents to Dr. Spencer Silver and Arthur L. Fry. Both inducted in 2010, Silver and Fry received the recognition for creating these sticky notes while working as scientists at 3M™ corporate headquarters. Silver developed the special adhesive that Fry used to coat paper with in order to make sticky bookmarks for his hymnals. Despite facing major difficulties in perfecting the design and manufacture of these notes, the two men stuck to their plan of making their collaboration a success. Thanks to the perseverance and dedication of a chemist and a church choir singer, users can now find more ways for boosting productivity at work, expressing themselves creatively, or improving organizational skills using Post-It® Notes.

Since their nationwide introduction, Post-It® Notes now rank among the most popular office supplies in the United States. This iconic pad of sticky paper also became instrumental in helping 3M™ earn the National Medal of Technology in 1995. In honor of their contribution to research and development, Dr. Spencer Silver and Art Fry became part of the prestigious Carlton Society, having won the highest recognition given to 3M™ scientists. The American Chemical Society also awarded the Medal for Creative Invention to Dr. Silver in 1998.

How to make Post-It® Notes +

Post-It® Notes are an invaluable office tool, whether you're using them to make comments on documents or to organize action points on a Kanban board. Knowing how to make Post-It® Notes yourself lets you personalize them to the exact size you need or to add a bit of fun and whimsy to the workspace with specially shaped notes.

Start by collecting copy paper in whatever colors you prefer, along with a glue stick and either scissors, rotary cutter, or paper trimmer. Measure the paper to mark the cutting lines and then cut the pieces into the desired note size. Next, run the glue stick along one edge and stack another note on top. Continue until you've glued and stacked all of your notes. Press lightly to make sure everything stays together until you're ready to use the notes. For shaped notes, use cookie cutters or a die-cut machine to cut out the paper.

Personalize the notes even more by printing them before cutting. Create a table with cells in the desired note size. Insert text or pictures as desired and then print the sheets. Cut each note apart from the rest and proceed with the glue stick and stacking steps.

How were Post-It® Notes invented? +

The journey as to how Post-It® Notes were invented began with an unexpected discovery in 1968. Instead of producing stronger, tougher adhesives, Dr. Spencer Silver developed a weak acrylic adhesive while working as a senior chemist at 3M™. The substance features tiny spheres that cling lightly to surfaces but peel away easily leaving no residue. Despite these unique properties, Dr. Silver spent years trying to find a practical application for his accidental invention. It wasn't until 1974 that another 3M™ scientist entered the picture and came to Dr. Silver's rescue.

As a choir member, Arthur L. Fry needed bookmarks that would attach to the pages of his hymnals without damaging the paper. In a moment of sudden inspiration, he remembered one of Dr. Silver's seminars about a pressure-sensitive adhesive. The microspheres offered a potential solution to his recurring problem during church services. Fry then used the adhesive to coat his hymn markers and found the result satisfactory. Thanks to the collaborative efforts between Silver and Fry, the sticky paper markers evolved into something even more useful than makeshift bookmarks. Available in over 150 countries, Post-It® Notes now come in a wide range of colors, sizes, adhesive types, and sheet counts to suit consumer needs and preferences.

Where are Post-It® Notes manufactured? +

Post-It® Notes were first introduced in 1977 and marketed as Press 'n Peel bookmarks. While these bookmarks failed to gain popularity, the Post-It Note as we know it today was rolled out in 1979 and has become a staple of office supply closets since. The 3M™ plant in Cynthiana, Kentucky, manufactures Post-Its, the location also manufactures products like Scotch® Magic tape. The popular Post-Its have evolved to include a variety of sticky products including durable index tabs. 3M™'s plant in Kentucky produces Post-It® lined notepads to allow consumers to take in-depth notes on projects and stick them directly to books, documents, and folders. The Kentucky plant that manufactures Post-It® Notes also produces Post-It® Easels and Super Sticky™ Notes, which use an environmentally friendly plant-based adhesive. The adhesive is strong but can biodegrade over time, reducing the corporation's impact on the environment. The plant also plays a huge role in the city's economy by employing around 500 or more of the city's residents. From a page marker to a multipurpose organizational tool, Post-Its are common tools for businesses worldwide and still manufactured in the United States.

Who made Post-It® Notes?+

The answer to who made Post-It® Notes involves a collaboration between 3M™ scientists. Dr. Spencer Silver discovered an adhesive that didn't permanently bond, meaning it was removable and reusable without damaging surfaces. While he couldn't think of a use for this adhesive at first, he continually talked about it to his colleagues. A few years later, fellow 3M™ scientist, Art Fry, was searching for a way to prevent his notes from falling out of choir books and remembered Silver's adhesive. The two scientists join forces, and the original Canary Yellow™ Post-It® Notes were born. Post-It® eventually became so popular that 3M™ trademarked the color Canary Yellow. Studies show that the average professional gets up to 11 notes a day written on these handy adhesive notepads. Because 3M™ manufactures Post-It® from recycled paper sources, companies can use as many as they want guilt-free. The glue on super sticky Post-Its includes a 67 percent plant-based adhesive that's biodegradable. Post-Its have come a long way from their original canary yellow and are now available in pastel colors and other interesting options like novelty shapes. Post-It® Notes are now available in over 150 countries in a variety of colors, formats, and sizes.

How to use Post-It® Notes to organize +

Because Post-It® Notes come in a variety of styles there are many ways to use Post-It® Notes to organize homes, classrooms, and offices. Items like Post-It phone message pads help businesses keep track of important calls and conveniently stick to multiple surfaces, including doors and desks. Organize efficiently with bright Post-It® Notes in cupboards, supply rooms, storage closets, and other areas with bins, totes, or boxes full of product. Original size Post-It® Notes work as labels for totes and other storage containers, to make finding stored items easier. Professionals can use Post-It® preprinted flags to mark signature and date areas on important financial or legal forms. Some Post-It® tabs also come in packages that have convenient containers that dispense and store tabs. The dispenser helps keep dust and dirt from clinging to adhesive, which potentially causes product waste. Use Post-It® self-stick easel pads for construction plans, craft projects, diagrams, and more. 

How to store Post-It® Notes +

Whether brainstorming, capturing quick ideas, or jotting down contact information, knowing how to store Post-It® notes ensures that sticky notes are within reach whenever you need them. Some users choose to simply remove the paper backing of the bottom Post-It and stick the whole pad to a desktop calendar or workspace. This provides an easy way to remove single notes without grabbing the entire stack. For on-the-go usage, adhere small stacks of Post-It notes to the inside cover of a planner or notebook. This also works well for page flags.

Many users prefer the convenience of Post-It® dispensers that always keep one Post-It ready to go. Many dispenser products accept standard 3-inch x 3-inch pads. Some models have space for multiple Post-It pads, allowing users to keep page flags and standard notes accessible. Users in need of storage solutions that double as desk decor can choose dispensers that look like cats, cameras, apples, and other items. For bulk storage, consider cabinet boxes that store between 18 and 24 Post-It pads. This storage method protects the edges of notes from fraying and ripping, while keeping them safe in an attractive box. Cabinet boxes also accommodate users who prefer to color-code their Post-It® notes.

How to refill a Post-It® Note holder +

Post-It® Notes are an excellent way to track tasks, manage contacts, or keep meeting reminders front and center. Understanding how to refill a Post-It Note holder helps keep these handy pads accessible and makes room for other supplies on your desk. Post-It® Notes come in two styles. Flat pads have sticky edges all on one side, while the adhesive on Post-It Pop-up Notes alternates between edges. These sheets unfold like an accordion.

Flat pads fit in tray holders and just slip into place. Put one of these dispensers next to a desk organizer and use it to jot down reminders or take quick notes while on the phone. Pop-up dispensers have a removable cover or a side opening that provides access to the storage area. Slide the pad in and pull the first sheet through the opening. If the dispenser holds more than one size or type of sticky pad, it may be helpful to face them all in the same direction. If necessary, close the cover. Pop-up note dispensers work like a box of facial tissues. When you pull a page free, the adhesive pulls the non-sticky edge of the next sheet out of the dispenser so it's ready to use.

How to organize Post-It® Notes +

Keep your thoughts and important notes easily accessible with well-organized work spaces. Managing home and office tasks with the help of Post-It® Notes is a good start. Learning how to organize Post-It® Notes and set up a note-filing system helps ensure optimal productivity.

Color-coding methods are a good way to keep ideas and to-do lists in order. It can also help employees efficiently direct messages and paperwork to the correct department. Choose Post-Its and sticky notes in bright colors for items that need immediate attention. Pastel-colored notes can work for pointing out secondary action items and project revisions. For low-priority items and everyday tasks, choose classic canary yellow notes that suit a range of note-taking needs. Select note pads even come with convenient Post-It® dispensers to help users maintain clean desktops with quick access to essential office supplies.

Another way to stay on top of notes is to set up a dedicated message board system or wall calendar that employees can check on throughout the day. Users move notes on completion of tasks to different areas of a smooth-surface bulletin board or whiteboard. Facilitate quick filing and referencing of frequently accessed notes or passwords with the help of desk organizers, 3-ring binders, or a pocket planner. For long-term assignments, users can extend the life of their notes with protective sleeves that keep sheets clean and readable, even with heavy usage.

How to use Post-It® Notes +

Post-It® Notes allow employees and students to organize their work and personal life and save time as well as increase efficiency. Avid students can mark important studying pages to access the essential sections of the topic easily. They're also ideal for making to-do lists, whether it's for shopping, scheduling, or a simple motivational message before an upcoming event. When considering how to use Post-It® Notes, another use is labeling different folders or boxes to maintain order at home or work. You can also use them as a reminder on the refrigerator so that other family members can see them.

Browse versatile color options of Post-It® Notes for fun and organizational color coordination, which can help students learn faster. Colorful notes can serve as a visible reminder before an appointment, especially if the hue is striking. Most Post-It® Notes are recyclable so companies can use them as an environmentally friendly measure in the workplace. It's handy to keep a few notes near a computer so that users can quickly jot down shortcuts and other useful information. Compact sizing makes it easy to take them on a business trip to write down new ideas.

How to make a rose out of Post-It® Notes +

Roses are romantic any time of the year in any setting, and like the types of rose themselves, there are different ways to make a rose out of Post-It® Notes, and collections of colors to suit any theme. For a realistic look, an easy way to make a rose is to cut the petals separately from the Post-It® Notes and wrap them on to a stem or wire to get a spiral rose effect. You will need a glue gun, wire, pencil, floral or washi tape, scissors, and Post-It® Notes in whatever color you like. First you'll need to:

  • Cut out 30 to 40 petal shapes
  • Cut three to four leaf shapes

Make sure the V shape of each petal is on the sticky part of the Post-It Note. Curl each petal around the pencil to give a 3D effect. Attach the petals by the V sticky part one at a time around the top of the wire or stem. The first one wrap tightly, the second a little looser and so on. Secure these with a blob of hot glue. Wrap the stem in green floral tape or washi tape, and then attach the leaves.

Display on walls for a party, place on picture frames and mirrors, or in a wedding bouquet as a unique, one-of-a-kind creation which will last.

How to make origami out of Post-It® Notes +

Learning how to make origami out of Post-It® notes is just like learning the craft with traditional origami paper just on a smaller scale. That's because most Post-It notes are square (3 x 3 inches or 4 x 4 inches). They are also thin and available in many colors just like origami paper. A bonus is that sticky notes are often much cheaper than traditional origami paper. The only difference apart from size is the strip of sticky glue on the back, and if you don't want this residue, there are several simple ways to remove the adhesive. But it's important to note that the residue doesn't affect the paper-folding process much, since the adhesive used is repositionable. Post-It notes stick to many surfaces but are easy to remove. It's possible to fold the adhesive to itself or the paper and still unfold it, as required by many origami patterns, without fear of tearing the paper. Some things you can make with sticky notes include:

  • Butterflies
  • Roses
  • Stars
  • Cats
  • Hearts
  • Cranes

Beginners to origami should start by learning traditional origami folds and bases with larger sheets of square paper before tackling the small note sheets. Small paper is more difficult to fold but a fun challenge that many origami fans enjoy.

How to make a flipbook with Post-It® Notes +

When you know how to make a flip book with Post-It® Notes, you can create animated drawings and messages for family and friends. To make a flip book, you'll need a Post-It® Notes pad, pens or pencils, and embellishments, like stickers or ribbons, that you want to add. Have masking tape nearby as well. If you select colored masking tape, you can incorporate it into your flip book's cover design.

Begin by wrapping the masking tape around the sticky end of the Post-It notes. This holds the sheets together as you write or draw on them. Next, create a cover page for the book on the top note. Be sure to include instructions for how to use the flip book.

For a text message, plan out the sentences you want to share. Then, add the message to the pad, putting one word on each sheet, working from the top of the pad toward the bottom. Add embellishments to decorate the book. Use a permanent marker or two to dress up your message and make it even more special, maybe even alternating between Sharpies that write in thin and thick lines.

To make a flip book with an animated drawing, start on the last sheet of the pad. Draw the final drawing of the series on that page. Flip the next page on top of it. Trace the parts that don't move and then draw the parts that change. Remember, small changes make the smoothest animation. Between 15 to 24 images are a good range of sheets to use. Continue tracing and drawing until you reach the end of the series or the top sheet. Finally, remove the tape or use it as part of your cover design. Then, share your creation.

How to make a heart with Post-It® Notes +

Show loved ones and friends how much you care with creative Post-It® Note arrangements in heart shapes and other novelty designs. It's easy to create visually pleasing mini art pieces for the entire office or set the mood for a home-based celebration. When you're deciding how to make a heart with Post-It® Notes, grab a single pad or gather up several packs of pink Post-Its to maximize the message's potential impact. Next, locate a smooth, clean surface such as a mirror, wall, or window that's in a visible area to ensure the intended audience notices the work of art.

Before going all out, sketch out a heart-shaped design on paper to use as a guide, or try a more spontaneous approach with random note placements on the chosen surface until the design looks like a heart or a similar shape that suits the occasion. Make the artwork stand out even more with multi-color Post-It® Notes packs in various shapes and sizes — larger designs attract attention from a distance, while intimate gatherings and low-key work spaces may call for small-scale arrangements.

Leave an especially sweet impression with romantic quotes, fun memories, and positive affirmations written on each piece of paper, or leave them blank so users can re-purpose the notes elsewhere. For added emphasis, place sheets from Post-It cubes around the design or use them to guide the recipients to their special message in another room or meeting space.

How to make Post-It® Note flowers +

Create thoughtful gifts and art installations for friends and co-workers when you make Post-It® Note flowers. Use pads of paper to fashion realistic looking flower arrangements that require no special maintenance or watering with a variety of notepad styles and colors that suit any season or occasion. Sticky note craft projects can range from simple drawings on paper to elaborate origami flower arrangements, giving you a plethora of creative options using the versatile Post-It® Note.

Make paper flower projects come to life with a stack of Post-Its, a utility knife or scissors, and adhesive materials such as glue or tape. Draw a design on paper or look for inspiration in the garden to find the perfect flower to recreate. Cut and fold individual notes into petals and stem shapes for 3D flower designs, or make flat, more abstract displays for walls, windows, and whiteboards with Post-It cabinet packs and pads in colors that liven up any home or office space.

Flower-shaped wall art designs can also double as interactive message boards for employees and guests. Place groups of regular and novelty Post-It® Notes in hallways and meeting areas featuring motivational messages and doodles, leaving blank notes sporadically so others can contribute their work to the community garden. When it's time to change out designs, encourage users to grab and share notes to help brighten the mood around the office or classroom.

Copy Paper FAQ Back to top

What is a ream of copy paper? +

When you begin shopping for copy paper, you'll find there are all kinds of options when it comes to the number of pages you get. Simply put, a ream is a common paper quantity. (Other options include a quire, a bundle, a bale, and a pallet.) A ream consists of 500 pages of copy paper, although that number may vary depending on the type of paper. For example, a ream of index paper will likely contain 250 sheets; blotting or tissue paper is generally 480 sheets per ream, and paper that's poster size is often sold in a ream of 516 sheets.

How many reams of paper are in a case? +

A case of copier paper typically contains 10 reams of paper. You may also see a case referred to as a bale of paper; there's no difference between these two terms.

How much is a ream of copy paper? +

You probably know that by purchasing copy paper in bulk you'll save money, but just how much should you expect to spend on a ream of copy paper? The answer to that depends on how many reams you purchase at one time. For example, at Quill.com you can purchase 10 reams of copy paper for $58.99 (or $5.90 per ream). If you buy five or more cartons of 10 reams, that price drops to $54.99 per carton ($5.50 per ream). If you're looking for smaller quantities, you can expect the price per ream to increase slightly; for example, the cost of a single 5-ream carton at Quill.com is $34.99, which equates to $7 per ream.

What size is copy paper? +

The size of standard copy paper that you're probably thinking of is 8.5 by 11 inches—this is also called letter size. Another fairly common size you may see is legal size, which measures 8.5 by 14 inches. However, don't be fooled into thinking those are the only paper sizes out there! There's also 11 by 17 inches (tabloid size), 7 by 10 inches (executive size), and a whole host of other sizes ranging from the largest standardized paper size, A0 (31.1 by 46.8 inches), which is often used for posters or blueprints, to A7, which as one of the smallest sizes (2.91 by 4.13 inches) is used for things like tickets and invitation response cards. You can learn more about the different sizes of paper available, as well as what each size is typically used for, here.

What is copy paper? +

Aside from just being handy for making copies, copy paper is a versatile and lightweight type of paper. It does not generally have a specialty finish, and is often found in a 20-pound weight.

What's the difference between copy paper, printer paper, and multipurpose paper? +

While every sheet of 8.5- by 11-inch white paper might look alike to you, it's important to know that papers with different names may in fact have different qualities. If you're wondering, “Is copy paper and printer paper the same?” or “What is the difference between copy paper and multipurpose paper?” we've got you covered. First, let's take copy paper versus printer paper. Standard copy paper is thinner than printer paper, which means it's fine to print, say, text documents. But if you're printing a large image that uses a lot of ink, that thinner weight can leave you with blurry images or even wrinkled paper. Copy paper and multipurpose paper, however, are the same thing—so you can use them interchangeably. If you'd like more information on the types of paper available and when you might want to use them, look here.

How is copy paper made? +

You might know that copy paper is made from trees (or from a fibrous substance found in trees, called cellulose), but you might be surprised to learn that nearly 100 pounds of water is needed to make just one pound of paper. After that process, the spaces between fibers are filled in with chalk (to give each sheet of paper its bright whiteness), and then these fibers are ground into microfibers until the right consistency is achieved. The mixture is then spread onto a screen, at which point tints of blue and/or purple dye can be used to reduce any natural yellowness left behind from the pulp. The pulp is then run through a machine to squeeze out the water and placed in an oven, which further extracts water. Once the paper is removed from the oven, it's saturated with starch to smooth away stray fibers and strengthen the paper. Finally, the paper is dried and pressed into the desired weight and thickness, after which it's cut into the specified size paper.

How much does a box of copy paper weigh? +

Anyone who has ever carried a box of copy paper knows that those lightweight sheets really add up. But just how heavy is a box of copy paper? Before we get to the answer, it's helpful to understand a little bit about how paper is weighed—and how that influences the way each type of paper is named. Paper is measured by pounds per 500 sheets (which for copy paper, is generally 20 pounds). However, with your typical copy paper, the sheets being weighed have not yet been cut to letter size. At the time they're weighed they measure 17 by 22 inches. Since that's double the length and width of a letter size sheet of copy paper (8.5 by 11 inches), you'll have 2000 sheets or four reams. Therefore, four reams of paper weigh 20 pounds with each ream weighing five pounds. The only thing that still needs to be determined is how many reams the box in question contains. If we're talking about a case (or bale) of paper, it holds 10 reams and therefore weighs 50 pounds.

What is 3 reams of copy paper? +

While ordering copy or printer paper for the office, it's important to consider any upcoming large projects and routine printing tasks. Those purchasing by the ream often ask, What is 3 reams of copy paper? A ream is a unit of measurement equivalent to 500 sheets, so 3 reams of paper is 1500 sheets. Each ream of paper is typically packaged separately to accommodate quick refills and convenient storage. Users interested in buying copy paper in bulk can look into bundles. A bundle of copy paper includes 2 reams, or 1000 sheets, of paper. Some order by the case or carton. Cases and cartons typically contain between 5 and 10 reams. Keeping different types of stock on hand, such as multipurpose paper, ensures that professionals are ready for any printing task that arises. Some types of specialty printer paper are not available by the ream and are instead available in small packages.

Is copy paper and printer paper the same? +

The multiple types of paper available may make you wonder if copy paper and printer paper are the same. They vary in terms of basis weight, brightness, thickness, and opacity. The industry classifies standard copy paper as 20-pound paper, while printer paper comes with a 24- to 28-pound basis weight. On the brightness scale from 1 to 100, regular copy paper registers an 80 to 85 rating. Specially designed paper for inkjet or laser printers typically measures around 90 to 100. Paper with higher ratings features brighter whites than those with a lower grade. The higher opacity levels of printer paper also help reduce show through on the reverse side of a printed sheet.

For printing text-based documents, the two terms are often interchangeable. The slightly thinner copy paper suits everyday printing of emails, drafts, and faxes. For graphics-intensive applications, you may benefit more from using printer paper. The smoother finishes of inkjet or laser papers allow better adhesion of ink or laser toner, resulting in crisper and more vibrant images. While it's not advisable to use inkjet paper in a laser printer and vise versa, high-quality copy paper works for either printer type. From laser and inkjet paper to recycled and specialty paper, Quill carries a broad selection of printer paper to suit different needs and preferences.

How big is copy paper? +

On the question of how big copy paper is, popular formats range from letter and legal to tabloid and ledger sizes. Suitable for home and office printing, letter size copy paper is the default size for most printers, copiers, and fax machines. It measures 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long for creating memos, drafts, and business reports. This size is also the standard choice if you need to print academic papers like class essays or thesis proposals.

Most contracts, court briefs, and affidavits use legal size paper. It's three inches longer than letter size paper at 8.5 by 14 inches. Opt for premium multipurpose paper when printing legal agreements or records. It offers archival-quality results to help preserve valuable documents. To stay organized, browse Quill for a wide assortment of filing supplies that accommodate letter and legal size papers.

Ledger and tabloid copy papers, which both measure 11 by 17 inches, are ideal for large-sized drawing and printing applications. Ledger paper normally uses a horizontal or landscape orientation. It's common for creating blueprints or accounting spreadsheets. Tabloid papers are more suitable for printing newspapers and other documents viewed using a vertical or portrait layout. With a variety of sizes available, choose the copy paper that's right for your project.

How thick is copy paper? +

Copy paper is the most the basic, uncoated medium available for preparing business reports and correspondence. While its conventional manufacturing process and content provides cost savings to businesses, copy paper is also essential for many print applications. So how thick is copy paper to withstand the rigors of printing while also providing the output businesses need?

The industry assigns several qualities to paper, including size, finish, brightness, color, and weight. The weight of paper is the most complex variable.

There are two standards for determining paper weight. One is the basis weight, or the number of pounds the paper weighs in 500-sheet reams. This measure is the weight of uncut, parent-size sheets of paper, not the package-size versions. Each subfamily of paper, whether bond, offset, cover, or cardstock, has different parent-sheet dimensions. So basis numbers for each may seem similar to or different from each other for a given thickness and density of paper.

The other, more logical value for weight is the metric standard, or the number of grams that a 1 x 1 meter square (GSM) of a specific paper weighs.

Together, these two measures help the industry define the weight of paper within specific subfamilies, from copy to cardstock, and from there the thickness, or caliper, of paper.

Copy paper is part of the bond-paper subfamily, with different finishes, coatings, and densities. Bond-paper weights range from 16 to 36 pounds, in 4-pound increments. Non-presentation-ready copy paper is either 20 pounds, useful for one-sided draft printing, or 24 pounds, suitable for letterhead and double-sided printing.

With a GSM of 75.2, 20-pound copy paper has a caliper of 0.0038 inch, or 0.097 millimeters. With a GSM of 90.3, 24-pound copy paper has a thickness of 0.0048 inch, or 0.12 millimeters.

What are the dimensions of a copy paper box? +

Standard copy paper is 20-lb., thin, lightweight bond paper that is also available as multi-purpose paper, or printer paper up to 24 lbs., still thin and lightweight. It comes in several dimensions, and in packaging that includes single boxes of up 500-sheet reams, and in carton boxes containing either 5 or 10 reams. What are the dimensions of a copy paper box is a question that office managers need to know the answer to, so they can balance their purchasing decisions against their storage options.

Copy paper is available in letter-size (8.5 x 11 inches), legal-size (8.5 x 14 inches), and tabloid paper (11 x 17 inches). Letter size is the dimension of company letterhead and reports. Legal-size paper accommodates contracts and affidavits. Tabloid paper is useful for copying specialty items like newspaper pages. Copy paper also comes in nonstandard sizes for specialty copiers or printers, and their accessories, for reproducing even more specialized documents like posters, blueprints, or brochures. Their dimensions include 11.7 x 17.7 inches (called full-bleed tabloid paper), 12 x 18 inches, and 13 x 19 inches.

Manufacturers package these types of office paper in ream or multi-ream boxes. Ream boxes with 500 sheets are cardboard containers; multi-ream boxes are corrugated, with independent lids that add no more than 0.25 inch to the width and length of the specific paper when packaged. The height of a stacked, single-box ream of these copy papers is about 2 inches, whether 20-lb. or 24-lb. weight. Letter size 10-ream paper, which comes in 5 side-by-side stacks, has a 10-inch height, and a 16-inch length. All other oversize papers, normally available in 5-ream boxes, have a 10-inch height, and a width and height of that specific paper dimension.

What impact does recycled paper have on our economy? +

Analysts use cost-benefit analysis to determine the economic value of a policy or action in the present versus the savings or costs it might create in the future. What impact does recycled paper have on our economy now? The answer is that it both imposes costs and generates benefits. What impact will it have? The answer is that it's already creating ecological savings that will continue to have huge benefits for our economy and society.

Manufacturing recycled paper costs more than manufacturing virgin-wood paper. The major reason is the expense of processing recycled content to make it de-inked enough to yield suitable paper pulp. Consumers and businesses pay more for recycled paper than for virgin-wood paper. Given a fixed budget, they theoretically have less to spend on other marketplace goods. That's a cost to the economy.

However, cost differences are narrowing with more streamlined recycling processes. And businesses have a range of cost-saving options among many products, including an array of printer paper, that won't affect their profit margins.

The ecological impact of recycled paper, or any recycled product, on the economy may be less quantifiable. However, the net value for society is undeniable. It takes 40 to 70 percent less energy to produce recycled paper. Harvesting virgin wood erodes topsoil, releasing carbon dioxide, and requires heavy, diesel-fuel equipment. Reducing virgin-wood harvesting lowers greenhouse-gas and contaminant emissions into the air. Experts suggest that every one ton of recycled newspaper eliminates 3 cubic meters of landfill, reducing methane emissions, and cuts water pollution by 35 percent.

A microeconomic analysis of the impact of these benefits on the economy would suggest that they far outweigh the costs.

How is paper made from recycled paper? +

Using products made from recycled materials is an easy way to implement eco-friendly standards in the office. Professionals who use a substantial amount of copy paper may be interested in the benefits of recycled products and wonder, how is paper made from recycled paper? Mills that produce this product begin with recycled paper. They mix recycled paper and water in the pulper. The pulper breaks down the recycled paper into individual fibers. This machine spins the paper and water mixture, separating glass, dust, tape, and other foreign materials from the paper pulp, preventing these items from contaminating the final product. Once the mixture reaches a slurry consistency, it goes through a refining stage to remove impurities. It also undergoes the de-inking process, which removes glue and other surfactants from the pulp. The paper mixture goes through a machine that rolls it out and removes excess water. As the paper exits the machine, it is stacked and prepared for packaging. Using recycled paper is a simple way to reduce waste, as each ton of paper that is recycled keeps approximately 3 cubic yards of waste out of the landfill.

Is recycled paper cheaper? +

Depending on the perspective of the purchaser, recycled paper may be more or less expensive than virgin paper that consists solely of wood-forest pulp. To retail consumers and small businesses, recycled paper may be more expensive. To bulk-purchasing companies, its cost is probably equivalent to virgin paper. To society at large, however, using recycled paper is much cheaper. Is recycled paper cheaper may be a question that requires balancing out-of-pocket costs against corporate image, and social benefits.

Recycling paper is more expensive than producing virgin paper, so that cost passes on to consumers and small businesses. One reason for the expense is that recyclers have to remove ink from used paper in a process called deinking. Doing so creates clean, high-quality recycled printer paper. Other supply and demand factors, including competitive-pricing, increase the cost as well. However, bulk-purchasing corporations may choose recycled paper while still lowering their product costs by assessing how they can use specific types of printer paper more economically. In addition, corporations that operate print-heavy businesses, such as marketers and publishers, may pay a price for not using recycled paper if they lose clients who want to do business only with socially responsible companies.

For society, recycled paper is cheaper than virgin. EPA-based statistics suggest that substituting just 20 cases of recycled paper for virgin paper saves 17 trees, hundreds of gallons of oil, and thousands of gallons of water. It also eliminates 60 pounds of air contaminants. Those are huge, current-day and future savings. On the whole, recycled paper is cheaper, except for its unit price. However, new processing technologies also continue to narrow the cost for consumers and small businesses.

Can recycled paper be recycled again? +

Among the thousands of recycled products available, recycled paper is one that has multiple lives. That's fortunate, because just in the United States alone the Clean Air Council and EPA estimate that each typical office worker uses 10,000 paper sheets annually. That's a collective total of 4 million tons of paper each year that eventually reaches the recycle bin. Can recycled paper be recycled again is therefore a key question for the ecological and economic health of any nation. The alternative - relying solely on paper processed with virgin-forest pulp - would risk depleting a valuable natural resource.

Paper consists of cellulose fibers of different lengths, whether the paper comes from virgin or recycled pulp. The longer the fiber, the higher the quality of the paper. Each iteration of recycled paper shortens the fiber as recyclers chop and shred the re-recycled paper, and subject it to a mix of chemicals to re-pulp it. When the fiber becomes too short, and thus too coarse and stiff, the paper is no longer useful for the type of copying and printing applications that offices need.

The EPA and other industry experts suggest that printer paper should be recycled no more than 5 times. Beyond that, it loses its print-application quality, and also its flexibility for moving through printers or copiers smoothly.

What is made from recycled paper? +

The importance of recycling paper is simply the preservation of the world's forests. While U.S. paper manufacturers operate tree-replenishment programs, and serve as good stewards for forest ecology, not all paper companies globally take such care. In addition, tree harvesting itself depletes the topsoil, and it takes fuel-filled equipment to fell trees, collect and stack logs on trucks, and haul them to the mills. The entire process releases tons of carbon dioxide and other contaminants into the air. Experts estimate that just one ton of recycled newspaper alone saves 17 trees. Thus, knowing what is made from recycled paper will help you help our environment by purchasing recycled paper products.

For businesses, the main category of products made from recycled paper includes various types of recycled office paper. These products comprise copy and print paper, file folders, Post-It® and sticky notes, business cards, notebook paper, and writing pads.

Other recycled paper includes cleaning or hygiene products for the office breakroom and washroom, or the household kitchen and bathroom. These products, including recycled paper towels, paper napkins, toilet paper, and tissue, could save hundreds of thousands of trees if each U.S. household purchased just one recycled roll or package, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Recycled paper also goes into paperboard and cardboard products like cereal boxes, or even the boxes that house reams of recycled printer or copy paper. Egg cartons, newspapers, greeting cards, and grocery bags are additional recycled paper products. More surprising, there are innovative products like paper water bottles, and paper furniture such as shelves, tables, and sofas. As recycled paper technology advances expect a whole range of other products that will continue to help conserve domestic and global woodlands and forests.

What is multipurpose paper? +

Multipurpose paper is one of the essential office supplies and is suitable for printing using an inkjet or laser printer. There's practically no difference between multipurpose paper and copy paper, so businesses in many industries always have a solid supply on hand. Most multipurpose paper types are acid free, which ensures that they'll last for an extended period. This makes them a practical option for archival documents. Besides being ideal for text and image documents, multipurpose paper is also suitable for doodling, or jotting down notes during conference meetings. Basically, the answer to what is multipurpose paper is whatever you need it to be.

Having this type of paper in the workplace can speed up working processes, since it's compatible with laser and inkjet printing technologies. Sturdy paper construction makes it perfect for handing out company memos and notices to coworkers in busy offices. With a bright white color, multipurpose paper makes it easy to present a clear copy that's easy to read, and has a professional look. The smear-resistant feature prevents smudges when writing on paper, so left- and right-handed users can write or sketch on them. Some recyclable paper types give establishments and individuals a chance to contribute to the environment by reducing waste.

Is multipurpose paper the same as printer paper? +

Given the wide range of paper supplies available, it's no wonder consumers often ask if multipurpose paper is the same as printer paper. Typically, multipurpose paper lacks a specialized finish that's present in most printer paper. This makes it a versatile and suitable option for a variety of office equipment. Aside from fax machines and copiers, multipurpose paper also runs through both inkjet and laser printers. For the best performance, opt for paper that's formulated for your printer type.

In most cases, multipurpose paper is the same as copy paper. Standard copy paper usually features a thinner, less bright, and less opaque appearance than printer paper. For everyday home and office tasks, copy paper offers acceptable results for printing basic emails, faxes, drafts, and other text-based documents. Consider premium multipurpose paper for higher brightness ratings that provide sharper contrast, and easy readability.

When running image-heavy applications, use the recommended inkjet or laser printer paper to produce professional quality graphics. Printer paper comes with higher opacity levels to minimize show-through on the back of the printout. Along with multipurpose and printer paper, equip the workplace with other essential office supplies for high efficiency and productivity.

What is the difference between copy paper and multipurpose paper? +

In general, there's no difference between copy paper and multipurpose paper. Standard multipurpose or copy paper features a simple and lightweight design without the specialty finish found on most inkjet, laser, or glossy photo papers. This makes it ideal for basic printing tasks on a wide variety of office equipment. Whether you own a laser or inkjet printer, high-speed copier, or fax machine, multipurpose paper delivers quality output for text-based documents. Keep plenty on hand to ensure less interruption when printing urgent memos, draft reports, faxes, and client emails. To maintain an efficient workplace, stock up on other essential office supplies, including pens, markers, file folders, and desk organizers.

If you're looking for enhanced document clarity, consider premium multipurpose paper. This ultra-bright white paper offers sharper contrast with black ink for readable text documents. Premium multipurpose paper is also slightly thicker and more opaque than regular copy paper. This makes it suitable for double-sided printing with no bleed-through. Thanks to its acid-free construction, high-grade multipurpose paper also helps preserve important documents, such as business contracts and certificates. Quill carries a broad selection of printer paper to provide suitable options for most printing needs.

Is copy paper printer paper? +

Many types of office paper have different workplace applications, including memo writing, note taking, and file labeling. However, the two key types are copy paper and printer paper. Many offices use them interchangeably, copying with printer paper, and printing with copy paper. So, is copy paper printer paper, essentially? The answer depends on why you use each, and with what equipment.

While many manufacturers package copy and multifunction paper separately, they are basically the same. Both are general-use paper, with a thinner weave and lighter weight than standard printer paper. They also have an off-white, less bright finish that provides lower print contrast. Use copy or multifunction paper for copying or printing report drafts, internal communications, and test graphics not meant for clients, or the public.

Conversely, printer paper consists of several types, including recycled paper, color paper, and even copy paper. What's important to note, however, is that the printer paper family includes two types of coated paper that produce the highest quality, presentation-ready print output, whether for reports, brochures, or marketing material.

One is laser paper for printers with electrostatic, heated printheads that use pigmented powder toner to print. The other is inkjet paper for printers whose printheads eject pigment- and dye-based ink through nozzles to create text and images. The same coated printer paper also works in toner-based photocopiers and inkjet copiers. Using uncoated copy or printer paper on either printer compromises the sharpness, vibrancy, and coherence of the print medium.

The bottom line is uncoated copy paper is lighter weight than uncoated. However, use coated laser or inkjet printer paper for preparing the highest-quality output. Use uncoated copy or printer paper interchangeably for other applications. Choose between the comparative weave and weight of standard copy and printer paper for cost-savings, or appeal.

What's the difference between laser and inkjet paper? +

Laser and inkjet printers use different transfer formulas for imprinting text, characters, and images onto paper. Lasers use toner, a pigmented powder that a printer drum unit attracts electrostatically to the paper surface, and bonds to the surface when a fuser melts the powder. Inkjets use pigment- or dye-based inks that hundreds of printhead nozzles eject onto the paper surface. What's the difference between laser and inkjet paper is basically a question of how manufacturers coat the paper to accept the toner and ink precisely.

Although you may use uncoated copy or office paper to print text and images with both lasers and inkjets, print quality won't be optimal. Laser toner won't bond completely to the paper, risking smears. Inkjet ink may absorb too deeply into the paper, softening its sharp definition.

The coating on laser paper consists of a heat-resistant overlay that withstands the high temperatures that fusers need to bond the toner particles. Inkjet paper has a coating that enables the dyes and pigments to absorb only so far into the paper before drying quickly and crisply on the paper surface.

Many businesses choose lasers because the toner cartridge system can churn out a huge volume of printed pages before needing replacement. Others choose inkjets for the boldness and vibrancy of their black and color ink cartridge output. Both ink and toner cartridges, however, offer high-quality presentation-ready printing.

One note of caution. While you may use coated laser paper in inkjets, you should never use coated inkjet paper in laser printers. The high heat from the toner fuser may melt the absorption-control coating of the inkjet paper, potentially damaging the laser printhead.

Packing Peanuts FAQ Back to top

Where can I buy bubble wrap? +

Figuring out where to buy bubble wrap isn't too difficult a task. You can buy it online at office supply stores, like Quill.com, and you can also buy bubble wrap near you at office supply or big box stores. And with most of those retailers, you can purchase large rolls of bubble wrap in bulk if necessary. If you're looking for a smaller amount, however, you may be able to purchase it in many mailing and shipping stores, including the post office, as well as the places mentioned above.

Can you recycle bubble wrap? +

Can bubble wrap be recycled? The good news: Yes it can! However, curbside recycling for #4 plastic, or low-density polyethylene (the same type of plastic used for thin plastic bags and plastic wrap), is quite limited. In order to make sure bubble wrap is recycled properly, you'll need to search for a recycling facility that will accept #4 plastic. However, bubble wrap is actually designed to be used more than once. (And no, popping the bubbles doesn't technically count as a second use.) Reusing is often better than recycling, so perhaps the best thing to do is hold onto your used bubble wrap. The next time you need to ship something safely, you'll thank yourself—and Mother Nature will thank you too!

How do I use bubble wrap? +

If you want to protect an object, you probably want to make sure you know how to wrap with bubble wrap—the right way. To properly use bubble wrap, first lay the item on a flat surface, and then cut enough bubble wrap to completely cover the item more than once. (The more easily damaged the object, the more bubble wrap you'll want to use.) Then, lay your bubble wrap with the bubble side facing up, meaning the bubble side will be in contact with your object when you lay it on top of the bubble wrap. Once your item is placed on top of the bubbled side of the bubble wrap, go ahead and wrap it up, making sure to cover all surfaces more than once. You can use a piece of tape to hold the loose end of the bubble wrap in place.

If you accidentally wrap an object with the bubbles facing out, don't worry. Just know that the bubble wrap will not provide as much protection as it would with the bubbles facing the item you wrap.

Where can I buy packing peanuts? +

Want to know where to buy packing peanuts? You can easily get your fill at office supply stores like, Quill.com and buy them in bulk to save money. Packing peanuts are also available at most shipping supply stores, and some big box stores, too.

Are packing peanuts recyclable? +

If you've ever received something fragile in the mail, it's likely that the box was filled with an abundance of packing peanuts—and it's also likely that you found yourself wondering, can packing peanuts be recycled? It's easy to be confused about the answer, because many of us assume packing peanuts are made of Styrofoam. But in reality, most are made of expanded polystyrene—a slightly different material. The important takeaway is that, while it is possible to recycle packing peanuts, the recycling market for that material is limited. It's better to reuse your packing peanuts—or donate them to a local business (such as a shipping store) or organization that can use them.

Other more environmentally-friendly options to consider are packing peanuts made from recycled materials. Biodegradable packing peanuts, for instance, are plant based and break down upon direct contact with water. While they are a great option, they generally weigh more than traditional packing peanuts (which can be a real issue when it comes to shipping costs).

How do I dispose of packing peanuts? +

In the event that you have no further use for your packing peanuts, can't find a business that will accept them, and don't have access to a recycling facility that will take them, you need to know how to dispose of packing peanuts responsibly. You see, this type of material is one of the biggest sources of marine debris and is easily mistaken for food by birds and fish. Packing peanuts are so lightweight that it's easy for them to get loose and blow away. And because they don't biodegrade, once they become litter, those peanuts can remain in the landscape for hundreds of years. If you need to dispose of your packing peanuts, bag them up tightly so they don't fly off the garbage truck.

What can I do with packing peanuts? +

Found yourself with a plethora of packing peanuts and not sure what to do with them? Unless you do a lot of shipping, you might think you have no use for them, but you just may be surprised by how much you can do with packing peanuts. You could also use it as a lightweight stuffing in toys, bean bag chairs, and more. And if you have a large planter, you may be able to use your packing peanuts to fill the bottom, placing soil and your plant on top, which will save you money and make big planters lighter and easier to move around. They can also be used to tighten loose screws, separate toes for DIY pedicures, and protect painted walls from sharp frame edges.

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