Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Place For Sticky Notes

 Last weekend I cleaned off my desk of most paper, save for a few things.. bills, mostly.  I also left a handful of sticky notes, business cards and some random pieces of paper taped to my monitor. I have a 26" monitor in my home office, so I've had plenty of "surface area", if you will, along the outer edge to collect various notes over the years.

I also have countless pieces of scratch paper that were laying around my desk, now neatly stacked in a basket ready to be gone through.  The question for me is how I was going to get rid of this stuff in a way that I can maintain going forward.  In the past I've tried putting things in Word documents or text files on my desktop, but then  my desktop (the Windows desktop, I mean) gets cluttered. I also don't like having to launch Word or notepad everytime I want to look at something.

So, while I'm not sure I have the perfect solution for ALL the scrap paper, I decided to replace all my sticky notes around my monitor with... Sticky Notes.

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking... ."Huh?!  That doesn't seem like a big step forward..."  But it is.

Sticky Notes is a program built into Windows 7 (and I believe Vista) that allows you to use virtual sticky notes on your desktop just like I was using them taped to the outside of my monitor.  Found under "Accessories" from the Start Menu's "All Programs" (The same place you go to find the calculator...) The icon for Sticky Notes looks like this:

Sticky Notes look just like the little yellow pieces of paper we're used to scribbling notes on, but have a few great features you can't get with the paper version:

  1. Easily resize your Sticky note with familiar click and drag feature in most Windows programs.
  2. By right clicking in the text area of the note, you can change the color of the note, making it easy to color code specific "groups" of notes together, visually.
  3. Easily Accessible and you don't run out...  each note has a + in the upper left hand corner. Click that to create a new note without fumbling around the desk trying to find the pad of paper
  4. You can expose all your sticky notes with the click of 1 item on the task bar in Windows so it only clutters your view for as long as you need it.  When you're done, click the task bar icon again and all your notes are hidden from view.
Oh yeah, and one of the really cool things about Sticky Notes is that they also work with a tablet pen if you have one of those.

I wouldn't suggest that folks should put long sets of notes, or things that you have a need for backup and recovery, but for those quick reminders and contact information I had on my monitor it seems to be working pretty well.  Here's an example of a few of my notes:


  1. I also use desktop sticky notes, thanks to genealogy friends recommendation . . . I love them. Thank you, Brian for sharing more tips on using desktop sticky notes.

  2. I had no idea about sticky notes with Windows7. Thanks!