How to Turn the Side of Your Tape Measure Into a Reusable Notepad

Tired of trying to keep all the numbers in your head straight? Turn your tape measure into a convenient place for taking notes.

Construction Pro Tips

Never Forget a Measurement Again

The walk between making a measurement and going to make that cut on a saw can be a long one. There are a lot of things going on on the typical construction jobsite, which means there are a lot of potential distractions just waiting to knock that important measurement number out of your memory. Were you supposed to cut that piece of casing at 8 feet and 1/4-inch or 8 feet and 3/4-inch? Messing up cuts and having to make them more than once is not just a waste of time, it’s a waste of material. And if you’re working with materials like composite decking that can cost more than $5 per square foot, that waste can be costly.

Luckily, there’s a simple way to keep track of important numbers on the jobsite and avoid looking like a rookie carpenter– turning your tape measure into a reusable notepad.

Construction Pro Tips

How to Turn Your Tape Measure Into a Notepad

Step One

This tip works with most colored tape measures, but brightly colored models are the best because they make your writing easier to see. The first thing you’re going to want to do is to remove the sticker label from the front of the tape measure. Depending on how old the tape measure is, removing the label could take some work and might even require a chisel and some rubbing alcohol to get the side cleaned up fully.

Once the majority of the sticker residue has been removed, attack the now empty side of the tape measure with a piece of 600 grit sandpaper. Sand down the smooth plastic on the wall of the tape while being sure to clean up any leftover residual from the sticker.

Construction Pro Tips

How to Turn Your Tape Measure Into a Notepad

Step Two

Now that the side of your tape measure has been cleaned and “roughed up”, test a pencil on it. If the sandpaper has done its job, the graphite in your pencil should be able to make a mark on the plastic. You can either use a quality eraser or the same bit of sandpaper to remove any pencil markings you end up making. Now you’ve got a handy little notepad that will go with you from the place where you’re measuring to the saw, serving as a helpful reminder and hopefully eliminating mistakes and miscuts. Check out more pro tips you should definitely know here.