Stuff I Use – Windows 7 Sticky Notes

Virtual "Sticky Notes" courtesy of Windows.

Virtual “Sticky Notes” courtesy of Windows.

No, I am not talking about Post It notes. I am talking about a desktop gadget called “Sticky Notes.” I have been working on improving my Windows skills, and I happened across a tutorial for Sticky Notes.  I like this little program.

I confess I have a little paper addiction going on.  I love index cards, tablets of all sorts, hard copies of docs to write on, and colorful post it notes.  On my desk right now are three stacks of pulp products, each more than six inches high.  Blech.

The dual monitor set up I talked about in earlier posts is making me change my ways.  I don’t like paper as much as I did before; it’s not always easy to find what I want.  On the computer, I can just search a keyword, and the doc will show up almost instantly.  In hard copy, I have to touch the papers and look through them and interpret my writing and on and on.  On the computer, I can easily read almost anything, and I can adjust magnify text if necessary.  With paper, I must endure the small size of print or am forced to find a magnifying glass.  Plus, the stacks of paper are not visually appealing.  I don’t really need or want much paper anymore.

A barrier to this whole evolution of reducing paper has been Post It notes.  I love them.  They are colorful and little, and they stick on things, and you can put them wherever you want, and they grab my attention, and I like seeing them in my briefcase and in my drawer, and … Well, you get the idea.  I like Post It notes.  I have a million of them, and I didn’t want to give them up.

Then, I found a five minute tutorial on Sticky Notes.  Sticky Notes is a Windows “gadget.”  I don’t know why Windows doesn’t call these little programs “apps,” because it seems like an app, but fine… whatever….  Anyway, turns out that Sticky Notes are virtual post it notes.  Sticky Notes come in different colors; you don’t have to name them; you can put them all over your virtual desktop.

I looked at my piles of paper, and I noticed the stacks included beaten up little post it notes.  I’ve got a little stack of post it notes all stuck together.  One note is ripped in half; another is dog eared; some are upside down.  Not pretty and not useful.  Kind of sad, actually. I decided to try Sticky Notes instead.

Turns out I love Sticky Notes!  I can make them disappear!  They always stay flat!  They don’t stick to the wrong papers!  I can get my kinesthetic learning style fix by moving the cute little notes around on my virtual desktop. I can put them in piles!  I can search them!  They’re FREE!

There are a few things I wish Windows would do to improve Sticky Notes.  I’d like to be able to write on the top line of the note because I want to give my notes names sometimes.  I would like to see a better color selection because the current choices are relatively bland pastels. I would like to have access to one note at times without having to pop up all the notes to the active window.  Sometimes, I want to put little notes on places other than my desk, like the front door and on my husband’s forehead, and Sticky Notes won’t let me put they anywhere except on the computer screen.  But none of these little issues outweigh the major benefit of Sticky Notes.  Did I mention THEY ARE FREE?

I found the Sticky Notes gadget by clicking on my start button in Windows 7 and searching for “sticky notes.” The program popped up on my list, and I clicked on it.  As soon as you click, a blank sticky note pops up with a “+” in the upper left corner and an “X” in the upper right corner.  Click the “+” when you want to create a new sticky note. Click the “X” when you want to get rid of the sticky.  Right click within the sticky note to get a menu of options, including colors.  I evolved to color coding my stickies for different types of notes – cases, computer crap, personal stuff, blog ideas, etc.  I like to pile them up so my desktop doesn’t look junky, and if I am not working with any of the stickies, I like to close the program, so they all temporarily disappear.  I pinned Sticky Notes to the taskbar; it’s in the number two position, so to recall it, I can just hit the Windows key and the “2” key simultaneously, and my stickies all reappear.  Awesome!

If you are annoyed with your beloved Post It notes, give Sticky Notes a try.  You can’t stick them to your spouse’s forehead, but they are useful, nonetheless.

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