Sticky notes are a great way to serve as reminders for things you need to do/things you need to remember. However, using actual sticky notes can be somewhat of a hassle. With everything becoming digital nowadays, why not replace physical sticky notes with sticky notes on your phone? Oh wait, you wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t already thinking of doing that. (My bad.)
This articles looks at the best free sticky notes app – also referred to as PostIt notes, quick notes, etc. – available on Android.
(Note: This article is about apps that simulate sticky notes – notes that serve as quick reminders for stuff. In other words, this article looks at quick note taking apps that have widget support. Although some/most of the apps discussed can serve as notepads, we will discuss best free notepads in a different article in the near future.)
(Note: For widgets to work, the sticky notes apps must be installed on your phone’s internal memory; they cannot be installed on the SD card. Also, if you are using a task killer  be sure to add the sticky notes app you use to the ignore list.)
Table of Contents
App Name: ColorNote Notepad Notes  
Download Size: 534 KB
Version Reviewed: v3.1.2
Requires: Android 1.5 and up
- Allows users to quickly and easily creates notes and widgets for those notes.
- Notes can be regular notes or they can be checklists.
- Has the ability to set reminders for individual notes.
- Reminders can be time based or set to always show in notification bar.
- Users can share notes via e-mail, SMS, bluetooth, etc.
- Notes can be password protected.
- Notes can be “checked”, to indicate completion/they are no longer needed.
- Notes can be nine different colors.
- Notes can be sorted in alphabetical order, by color, by modified time, by created time, or by reminder time.
- Has the ability to search notes.
- Notes can be backed up/restored.
- Has an automatic backup feature.
- Well designed, aesthetically pleasing interface.
- Notes can only be comprised of text – images are not supported.
- Does not support any method of organizing notes, such as tags or folders.
- Only supports 1×1 widgets – no other sizes supported.
Like many of the quick notes/sticky notes apps, ColorNote Notepad Notes allows users to do all the basics of note taking: Create notes; have widgets for notes; set note reminders (including putting a permanent reminder in the notification bar); share notes via e-mail, SMS, bluetooth, etc.; search notes; backup and restore notes; lock/password protection notes; mark notes as completed; etc. What makes ColorNote Notepad Notes better than the rest is…
- Its ability to create regular notes and checklist notes. Regular notes are simple text notes where users type in whatever they want. Checklists, on the other hand, are literally lists that users can make and mark each individual task as complete once it has been completed. Checklists support drag + drop so you can easily re-order the checklists whenever and how ever you want.
- Its ability to color code notes. Each note can be any of nine different colors: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, black, gray, or white.
- The ability to create a new note and a widget for that new note at the same time. Most/all other apps I tested force you to first create a note from within the main app first, then go to your home screen and add the widget for that note. ColorNote Notepad Notes, however, allows users to add a note and a widget for that note in one go: Long tap on the home screen, go to Widgets, click on ColorNote Sticky 1×1, click on Add Note, pick if you want a text or checklist note, type up your note, press the back button on your phone once to save the note, and press the back button again to exit ColorNote Notepad Notes. Once you have exited out of the app, you will have a new widget on your home screen for the new note you just created. This functionality makes it extremely easy to write quick notes on the go; with most – if not all – other apps you must first create a new note from within the main app, then go to the home screen and add the widget for that note. This is one feature is probably the biggest reason why I feel ColorNote Notepad Notes is the best free sticky notes app.
That said, there are three features I find ColorNote Notepad Notes to be lacking:
- First and foremost, ColorNote Notepad Notes only works with text. You cannot include images – or any other types of attachments – in notes. For the purposes of quick/sticky notes, most people probably won’t be bothered by this because I doubt many users will want to take the time to add images or whatnot to quick/sticky notes. However, for other users this may be a deal-breaker.
- Secondly, aside from color coding notes, there is no way to organize notes. There is no support for folders or tags or any other organizing feature. This, I feel, is a bit more significant than the previous point because it is reasonable that people may have notes for many different aspects of their life (work, play, home, etc.). You can, of course, color code notes but using colors to organize notes is a lot more cumbersome than using folders or tags.
- Lastly, ColorNote Notepad Notes only supports 1×1 widgets. (The 1×1 widgets display the note title and allow users to access the note when the widget is tapped on; checklist widgets have a number on them indicating the amount of outstanding items on the checklist.) I know many people will want to have larger widgets, such as ones that show some parts of the note body as opposed to just showing the title.
All in all, taking into consideration the fact that users will typically want to create on-the-fly notes (i.e. create notes quickly), I feel the integrated new note and new widget feature of ColorNote Notepad Notes makes up for the features it lacks. ColorNote Notepad Notes is the best free sticky notes app.
App Name: Simple Notepad  
Download Size: 198 KB
Version Reviewed: v1.4.o
Requires: Android 2.2 and up
Simple Notepad is a very similar app to ColorNote Notepad Notes; both apps share many of the same features. The reason why I feature Simple Notepad as runner up is because it gives users a choice between apps: If users value the ability to create new notes and widgets at the same time and a beautiful interface, they can go with ColorNote Notepad Notes. However, if users value being able to sort notes into folders, the ability to have widgets other than 1×1, and the ability to attach images to notes, Simple Notepad is the way to go.
As I mentioned above, I see ColorNote Notepad Notes’ integrated new note/widget feature to be more valuable than the other features because of the nature of creating quick/sticky notes; however some people may not agree with me and Simple Notepad is the alternative for these people.