Back in 2012, I discovered Windows Sticky Notes

Your computer screen doesn't have to look like this

Your computer screen doesn’t have to look like this

I’ve been using it ever since, despite the fact that its simplicity borders on the simplistic. I did find a way of overcoming one of its limitations (not being to find the data file so as to be able to copy it or share it between devices), but this proved more complicated than it was worth.

Fast forward to one of the recent Windows 10 upgrades, and my Sticky Notes decided not to work at all. A quick Google led me to this Microsoft Technical site and it seems I wasn’t alone. There were suggestions for trying things but, oh dear, this is getting too complicated: the game isn’t worth the candle.

So, I decided to try to find an alternative.

After a few disappointments and false starts (a fact of life when researching software), I came across Simple Sticky Notes. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and found it simple (but much better featured than the Windows equivalent) and completely reliable. Some of its features include:

  • Attach an alarm to a note
  • Print notes
  • Include hyperlinks in notes
  • Configure the appearance of notes – colour of note, font, size, bold, italic, underscore
  • Create bulleted or numbered lists
  • Change text alignment
  • Change a note’s title
  • Change the location of the data file – eg put it in Dropbox
  • Lock a note to prevent accidental overwriting or deletion
  • Change the “opacity” of notes so that the screen beneath can show through (which I have found more useful than you might imagine – seeing where desktop shortcuts are hiding, for instance)

You can even download different sounds for the alarms and different note backgrounds (called, rather grandly, “themes”).

Simple Sticky Notes

The one thing I couldn’t get to work is emailing a sticky note. No big deal: just copy the text of the note and paste it into a new email message. I haven’t tested “sharing” a note to Facebook or Twitter but the options are there and, if they don’t work, the copy/paste method probably will.

Sticky Notes MessageThis is a lot of functionality for a free program and I can’t find any catch. There’s no adware or spyware downloaded with the program, no ads or anything built into the program itself, and no morally-challenged pre-ticked “choices”. I’ve run Malwarebytes several times since installing Simple Sticky Notes and I’ve had no suggestion of anything undesirable on my system.

When you think of the vast resources available to Microsoft and the probable resources available to a company like Simnet Software, you can’t help but wonder why Microsoft can’t make a better fist of the “utilities” in Windows.

A week or two after I’d started using Simple Sticky Notes, I was playing around in windows 10 Settings and found that you can repair Windows 10 Sticky Notes (or, “reset” it, as they euphemistically call it):

  • Click on the Start Menu
  • Click on the Settings cog wheel
  • Click on System
  • Click on Apps & Features
  • Click on Sticky Notes
  • Click on Advanced options
  • Click on Reset
  • Click the “x” to close

And, guess what, it worked. It mended my broken Sticky Notes. Too late. That ship has long since sailed. I can’t see me going back from Simple Sticky Notes now.

Pity the “uninstall” option doesn’t work.

© 2011-2018 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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