Stickies: One of the best create-quick-notes utilities

You are at work (or school) and someone informs you tomorrow is your boss’s (or teacher’s) birthday and there will be party – you must bring presents. Now if you are like me the party and presents is not a big deal; remember about the party and presents is. So what do you do to help you remember? Enter it on your Crackberry (or anyother PIM)? Write it on your hand (my personal favorite)? Write it on a Post-It note (for those that don’t know what a Post-It note is, they are little rectangle pieces of paper that you can write notes on and stick onto somewhere)? Create a text file on your desktop, name it “REMEMBER THIS” and input the necessary data? Eh… as much as the writing on your hand idea is appealing, why not give Stickies a try.

Stickies is an extremely useful note creating utility. As the developer puts it, Stickies is a “computerized version of Post-It notes”. With Stickies you can easily create notes and store them on your computer:

exsticky

Each note acts like an individual widget – you can drag it and place it anywhere on your screen. By default the notes show on your desktop, in other words when you have all your windows minimized, but you can set them to “always show on top” so you will always see them no matter what window you have open (you can also drag a note to show over a specific window but once the window is minimized/maximized again the note will appear underneath it). You can have as many notes as you want and creating a new note is as simple as double clicking on the Stickies icon in the system tray.

As you can see from the above screenshot, the text in each note is fully customizable – you can insert hyperlinks, bold, italics, change size, change color, make lists, etc. Also, you can change the background color, widget transparency/opacity and size.

However so far the features mentioned make Stickies a “good” note program but not a “great” note program. What makes Stickies a “great” note program is:

  • Being able to set an alarm to each note;
  • Being able to “attach” notes to websites, documents, folders, or program windows so that the note will only appear when that website, document, folder, or program is open;
  • Being able to “sleep” (hide) each note for X minutes, X hours, X days, X weeks, X months or until a specific time and date; the notes reappear automatically after the designated time period is over;
  • Each note can “snap” to each other or the side of the screen so you can easily line up the notes and organize them;
  • Each note have “lock text” to prevent accidental editing of notes;
  • You can share notes over your network or send them to friends via email;
  • To enable easy sharing of notes, you can create “Friends” list;
  • You can do search engine searches for the text in your notes (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.);
  • You can import notes from .TXT files and export notes to .TXT files;
  • Stickies has a clean install and uninstall – no registry edits are made and all Stickies related files are confined to the folder under Program Files;
  • Stickies is a very light weight program – only using ~3.2 MB of RAM while idle with no notes created (the more notes you add the more RAM it will use).

As mentioned above, you can create new notes with Stickies by double clicking on the system tray icon. Another handy trick is if you hold the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and left click on an existing note, the note will be duplicated. Other than the “Ctrl” key, you can also use some more hotkeys with Stickies:

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Here are some more screenshots of Stickies:

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***Note to have a “Send To:” option, you must check “Enable Networking” from under “Network” in “Options”.

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***Note: “Address” is the computer address on your local network.

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To add icing to the cake, there are some extra plugins you can add to Stickies to increase its functionality.

Lastly, if you don’t speak English, Stickies works in multiple different languages also:

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The only one problem I have with Stickies is that there does not seem to be be a “lock note in place” feature (unless I missed it somehow?). I was honestly surprised to find this feature lacking since Stickies is an awesome, and well thought out, program otherwise. I have emailed the developer asking for the feature to be added in the future.

Ready to download and use Stickies? Grab it from the following link:

Version reviewed: 6.7a

Supported OS: Windows 98 and higher

Stickies homepage

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24 comments

  1. Suze

    @Mike: Whoa! Even though I’ve been a member on here for a while, there are times that I either had missed the first “appearance” of an article (or a freebie), or just didn’t need/want it at that time. So reading an older article can have its value.

    Aside from that, those of us who are on Ashraf’s email list know that this site is not Ashraf’s main focus; it’s a labor of love that also contains useful information posted by others who wish to contribute. Sometimes it may be of interest to the viewer — and sometimes it might not be.

    “Crap” my a**!

  2. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Mike: dotTech has published great articles in the past. I don’t see what is wrong by highlighting those articles again.

    I am sorry you feel the way you do. Yeah, dotTech isn’t as active as it used to be but I highly disagree with your assessment of a fish washed up on shore. In fact, just today/yesterday three new articles were posted.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Mike

    “Originally posted: April 30, 2009″

    For real? 2009? What, writing a new article once in a while is too much work?

    This site sure has turned to crap. It’s like watching a fish that’s washed up on shore as it flops around right before it dies.

    Too bad. Once upon a time this was a good site.

  4. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Miriam,
    While I think a recurring alarm goes against the purpose of a “sticky note”, I agree a recurring alarm would add a nice touch.

    I will email the developer about it.

  5. Miriam

    This program is really nice. But it doesn’t have exactly the option that I want, which is the recurring alarm. Well, it has a similar option, but I wanted my stickies to be “awake” all the time.
    Maybe I just need to get used to it.

    I can always go back to Post-it® Software Notes Lite Version >.<‘

    Anyway, thanks for the tip!

  6. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    My pockets are empty. Time to start begging for donations ;)

    @Peter
    Thanks! I think the download from the developer’s website can also be made portable, since it does not do any registry edits and everything you need is kept in the program files folder, but having an official portable version is handy.

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Rob,

    This email address for each cell phone is not 3G related – you don’t connect to the internet in the sense that it will not count as data (at least in America). It is just like sending an SMS or MMS to a cell phone except instead of sending it to a phone number you send it to an email address. The message will arrive just like a normal SMS or MMS in your cell phone. It depends on your service provider if it will be an SMS or MMS; I know some cell phone companies here in USA have different emails address for each cell phone for an SMS and for an MMS.

  8. Rob

    Ashraf,

    I usually don’t use the 3G features (Web browsing, Emails, etc) out of fear of large bills. In Australia cell phone costs can be very high.
    Does it arrive as an email or as a SMS ?
    That ‘rings a bell’ with something I came across during my fruitless searches for a solution. At that time (year or two ago), I got the impression that it arrived as an SMS, but my inquiries in Australia suggested that it is not available here.

    Regards,
    Rob
    PS any ossies, feel free to chip in

  9. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Rob,

    You can send it to people’s cell phones via email. I know here in America all cell phones have an email address. For example a person with the phone number 555-555-5555 and Verizon (a cell phone company here) would have an email of 5555555555@vtext.com. Any email sent to that address would be sent to the cell phone (I believe it comes as an MMS/picture message but this may vary depending on your cell phone company). I am sure Australian service providers probably have it also.

  10. Rob

    Thanks Ashraf, I will install it now.

    I notice on their site there are examples for communicating with them from other programs (eg there is a VB6 example). Might be interesting.

    I searched their site (and enhancement requests), and found no mention of SMS (do they call that something else outside of Australia ?).
    It would be cool if they could send an SMS to a cell phone.
    I have added that request to their enhancements forum.
    If the PC was off, I assume that they would be sent next turned on.
    Some unkind people might say wouldn’t a popup on my PC be sufficient ?
    My answer would be –
    – Some people leave their PC running in the background (some run 24 hours).
    – Perhaps one could send them to associates’ cell phones.
    – Might help me solve the chestnut, of how to send SMS from my PC.

    Regards,
    Rob

  11. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Rob,
    Yes it can. Just create your stickies and set them to be on top. Then you can use hotkeys to hide/show them (it is Shift + Windows + S by default – you can change it) or you can right click on the systemtray icon and select “Show/Hide All”.

  12. Rob

    Kinetix,
    You can place a shortcut to it, into the Startup folder in the Start menu.

    Ashraf,
    You described two options –
    – They are bottommost, on the desktop. (Below all other applications)
    – They are Topmost (on top of all other applications)
    What I would like is for them to be set to Topmost, but all hidden.
    Then I can use a hot key (or systray click) to show them all. Then the same action would hide them all.
    Can it do that ?

    Regards,
    Rob
    PS Any VB6 programmers reading this – I am looking for a way to get an app to be bottommost. I am sure I saw some API(s) to do this years ago, but I haven’t recalled, or found, them recently.

  13. Kinetix

    Yeah, this seems like a very good alternative to Microsoft OneNote. One main problem I have with that program is that, although I put things in there to do, I usually forget to open the program itself.

    And this just finished downloading, so I’ll give it a spin.