Yellow sticky software for Windows

by William Grosso

Related link: http://www.3m.com/market/office/postit/com_prod/psnotes/



Warning: this is (sort of) a review of a Windows program.
If you're not using Windows, you might not be interested.


Ever since I decided to write a shareware application, I've been much more experimental in my use of software. I download more, I test more, I use more programs than ever before.


In itself, that's kind of strange. It sounds really stupid when I say it out loud, but I never really thought of software as being for end-users (part of the downside of doing server-side software on a daily basis I guess). I used to have a very fast machine with very little software and an empty hard drive. Now I have lots of little programs scattered all over the place, doing whatever it is they do.


There's a lot of really interesting software out there. Some of it is very cool and almost pointless (the 3D desktops spring to mind). And some of it is very simple, and very useful. And there's a lot of skill and creativity out there. If anyone can figure out how to build a genuine marketplace for software (so that any three developers can go off and innovate without completely abandoning their safety net), the world is going to change dramatically.


One of the coolest (and simplest) programs I've run across recently is from 3M (yep; they do software). It lets me put yellow sticky notes on my desktop.


That may not seem like much, and it isn't, but it's a very useful thing. I used to keep 5 or 6 instances of notepad open that I would basically use as transient storage. I would cut and paste into the right notepad, or quickly type something down. And then, later on, I would go searching among all the instances of notepad on my taskbar to find the right one.


Now I just keep my yellow stickies tacked to the desktop. It's much nicer (especially since some of the stickies have alarms on them).


I like this program. I'm using the free version and it's convenient.



What small, kind of unknown, programs do you use on a daily basis?


20 Comments

phaxda
2003-11-18 06:40:25
the logo is kind of annoying
i like my notes without the ad for 3com all over them...so i'll stick to my built-in mac stickies.


sorry...but you had to know someone was going to mention this!



wegrosso
2003-11-18 07:25:38
the logo is kind of annoying
Actually I didn't know that; I'm on a Windows box. But I don't mind the logo that much anyway (it's not that intrusive).


anonymous2
2003-11-18 08:08:22
NotesHolder
The note taking software I prefer is notesholder (notes.aklabs.com). I tired a dozen different ones, and it stood out. There is a free version and a shareware one. For quick note taking the keyboard shortcut support comes in quite handy. You can also dock it. Each note has can have alarms (single, repeating) with it.
anonymous2
2003-11-18 09:12:35
Stickies
By far the best sticky notes program I've found is "Stickies". It's freeware (though you can always donate to the author) and offers everything I expect in a sticky notes program. You can find it at:


http://www.btinternet.com/~tom.revell/


Ben
http://www.samuraipanda.com

simon_hibbs
2003-11-18 09:40:18
Tabbed Note Pad!
>I used to keep 5 or 6 instances of notepad
>open that I would basically use as transient
>storage.


I do the same thing with NotePad Plus (Note Pad on steroids). It can have multiple files open in seperate tabs, which makes it much more convenient.


I'm not that attracted to the diea of stickies as my desktop is almost always buried under a mass of windows, so I never see it much. NotePad Light lives in my QuickLaunch tray, so it's always handy. No alarms though, so maybe I'll check out the stickie apps anyway.



Simon Hibbs

anonymous2
2003-11-18 11:44:14
Different strokes!
The Mac OS has had "Stickies" for a very long time, for free, all the way back to System 7. I've tried "getting into" using them a few times over the years but it never sticks (pardon the pun). Anyhow, they seem to be a great idea for some people, but for others like me, they just add clutter to my Desktop and hence my life! Yuk.


Now I've started using "StickyBrain 2.0" for this sort of functionality and like it despite a few shortcomings. It is a clever database application that allows you to quickly search for notes or add notes to the database on the fly through contextual menus. Although it is not free with Mac OS X, it is free with a .Mac membership.

anonymous2
2003-11-18 15:26:39
Yellow Stickies
I've been using a system for about six months now that works very well. I run a script every day that opens a new file and a vi window. The file is opened in a worklog directory in my home directory. The file has the name that is the same as the current date, 20031118.worklog. I take notes and try to be sure to use the same keywords such as phone, person, email, todo, etc.. When it comes time to search for information I just grep for the required keywords. It's not perfect, but it's cheap, fast and easy.


Possible improvments might be a time stamp for every entry and a utility for searching and display.


I'm using the Microsoft OneNote application at home. It's not bad.

anonymous2
2003-11-19 00:31:51
Good job
Heh,


This software has been around as an X application for a very long time.


Welcome to last century.


Until the next useless weblog,


-- Your Daddy



anonymous2
2003-11-19 01:08:03
Stickies are already available through Outlook
If you use Windows, then you probably use Outlook. Stickies have been available in Outlook for ages. They can be stuck anywhere on your desktop can be resized, configured for colour and text can be formatted.


Also, as mentioned. My mac has had stickies since the early 90's.

anonymous2
2003-11-19 01:45:24
Good job
thank you for a useless comment...


now go away and stick yourself to your sticky will you.


These apps have been around for Windows for years as well, but many people don't know about them.

anonymous2
2003-11-19 05:10:38
Freeware Windows sticky apps
You can find a few such applications here:


http://www.nonags.com/nonags/remsc.html


They're all free, to boot.

anonymous2
2003-11-19 06:33:32
the logo is kind of annoying
What's one more logo to be burned into your retina?
xyzzy-xyzzy
2003-11-19 07:57:21
Different strokes!
I believe it "was" free with .Mac, but is no longer offered.


And yeah, as a former Stickies user, I'm starting to really like StickyBrain.


Does anyone know if I can sync up StickyBrain with my Palm PDA memos? 'cause that would be cool.

anonymous2
2003-11-19 08:27:15
You've got to be kidding!
Virtual sticky notes! What will they think of next? Maybe someone will come up with a neat little application that lets you keep your notes and appointments in a thing that looks just like a day planner on the screen!


Seriously, was this a thought from 1989 that got sucked through a time vortex and posted? Or perhaps you live in an alternate universe where the Mac and Windows didn't already have dozens of implementations of this? Or are you maybe bucking for a column in The Onion?


Cutting edge, you Java executives are.

wegrosso
2003-11-19 08:37:05
Sorry you didn't like it
The point of the column was, more or less, that I'd been overlooking entire classes of consumer software, and that a lot of them are surprisingly useful.


In includes phrases like "It sounds really stupid when I say it out loud" and "That may not seem like much, and it isn't." So it's not like I said "Hey! This is a brand new cutting-edge class of applications" or anything ridiculous like that.


And it ended (the talkback began) with "What small, kind of unknown, programs do you use on a daily basis" -- e.g., I'm wondering what else I've been overlooking.


To which you (and the guy who wrote "Welcome to last century") added?


If you really want to write a response, why not say "Hey, here are some other applications that aren't mass marketed, but are very useful."


It's not that hard to make a positive contribution...


anonymous2
2003-11-19 08:39:34
Yellow Stickies
An even easier way to keep a log is to use the free Windows Notepad program that comes with Windows. Open a new file and type:


.LOG


and hit return. Now save the file, giving it whatever name you want, such as Work Log.


Next time you open it, the date and time will automatically be stamped. You can add whatever notes you want, save the file, and every time you open it the date and time will be stamped again automatically. Notepad files are searchable with the Find command.


I've been using this technique as a work log for a year or so, and it's great. Incredibly simple.

wegrosso
2003-11-19 08:41:45
Including me
As should be obvious, I didn't know about them!


And, having admitted my ignorance of the vast class of "yellow sticky apps" (and there are apparently billions) I'm wondering what other small and useful desktop applications there are.

anonymous2
2003-11-19 13:46:06
Yellow Stickies
Now THAT is useful information. Not something you'd know without reading the help file for Notepad, which isn't exactly on the top of the reading lists.
anonymous2
2003-11-20 13:46:06
Yellow Stickies
That's a great idea! I use a single file for a worklog as temporary storage for todo items and notes, until they get moved to somewhere more permanent. I'm going to think about running a script to email it to myself every day, so that this information gets archived along with my email, which is where I go to search for more and more information anyway. Now if only there were a better way to index and search mbox files...
anonymous2
2003-11-21 13:53:42
Yellow Stickies
Nice! Thanks for the info. I don't like the yellow sticky method of information tracking, but the notepad trick is very cool.