I have a habit of collecting random bits of paper scribbled with ideas, customer info, to-dos and websites I want to investigate. Invariably I forget them in my pocket and they are laundered, coffee stained or tossed  because they didn’t make sense, you get the idea. I used Microsoft’s Sticky Notes in fits and starts last year but its lack of portability meant it had limited usefulness.  When Microsoft updated their Launcher for Android recently that changed. Now I’m a power user. 

Screen capture of Microsoft's Sticky Notes app

Sticky Notes works the same as a little pad of paper notes without the mess.  Tap the little plus sign to begin a new note, pick a colour and start typing. Duplicated a note? Hover your mouse over the note and tap the garbage pail. 

Screen capture of Sticky Notes colour picking

When you write a note, tap the X and the it appears in the app window list. You can leave the notes free standing on the desktop, but after 4 or 5 notes, the clutter will drive you bonkers.  The list view doesn’t appear by default, you have to turn it on first by right clicking  the notes icon (in the start menu)  and tap Notes List.

View of Sticky Notes options to choose a list view

If you have an Android device, download the Microsoft Launcher to share the notes between your phone and laptop. In the Launcher window, tap Glance and scroll through all the notes. From Android, you can add new notes and edit existing ones. Synchronization is nearly instantaneous so you can have all your fiddly notes, neatly typed out, at your finger tips as soon as you close the sticky.  If you’re like me, all thumbs when typing on a smart phone, use the microphone icon on Notes to record your sticky and let the voice recognition do the job.  Voice recognition is surprisingly accurate, even if there is background noise, like a tv or radio.  One major oversight is the lack of voice recognition integration on laptops.  Nothing I tried could get Cortana to recognise Sticky Notes, which is a shame. 

Pros Cons
  • web and email address act as links
  • one tap to dial a phone number on your smart phone from a Sticky 
  • colour coded
  • synchronize with Android phone
  • voice recognition with Android notes
  • date stamped
  • portability
  • fully editable on both Android and Win 10 laptop
  • voice recognition doesn’t work with laptop
  • not enough formatting options
  • could use more colours
  • can’t delete a note from Android

Sticky Notes is a free app in the Microsoft Store. There are a number of Sticky apps listed so look for the Microsoft one if you want full integration with your phone.  Once installed on your desktop, go to the Google Play store, download the Launcher and set it as your phone’s default. I’m running a pretty low end phone – 8 gigs of memory and pretty slow – and haven’t experienced any issues with the MS Launcher. It works seamlessly with Android, even with a barebones phone.  

Great little app for Windows 10, a mini powerhouse for organising thoughts on the fly if you are away from your computer. 

Sticky Notes in the Microsoft app store

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