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sticky notes softwareI’ve never been much of a “notes” type. Every time I try out a new notes management system, I usually give up using it within just a few weeks. I found Mark’s article Evernote - The Killer App For The Android Mobile Phone Evernote - The Killer App For The Android Mobile Phone Read More on Evernote’s integration with Android pretty compelling, so I had to give it a shot for a short time. We’ve also covered a lot of other note-taking apps including Firefox plugins and all sorts of other tools 5 Great Multi-Platform Tools to Take Quick Notes Anywhere 5 Great Multi-Platform Tools to Take Quick Notes Anywhere Read More .

After testing out five or six different apps, I eventually gave up on the whole online note-taking thing. Maybe it just wasn’t my style, and I found it very hard to remember to go back and check my notes.

This is why I was pleasantly surprised to discover GumNotes.


GumNotes is a new desktop application that goes beyond note-taking and actually reminds you about your notes when you need it most. The name reveals the purpose of the app. It’s like taking a note, slapping gum on the back of it, and attaching that note to your document, website, application or anywhere else you need to jot down a quick note.

Attaching Notes To Any Document

The concept is pretty simple. Whether you’re using email, Microsoft Word, Excel or even just about any other application on your PC, you can instantly open up a note box, jot down some ideas or reminders for later, and then save the note. The note gets “attached” to the document or email that you were working on.

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You can do the same thing if you’re typing up a Word document and you come up with an idea for future research efforts. Instead of letting the idea slip away – open up GumNotes and jot down your ideas before they disappear.

The beauty of this app is that you don’t ever have to remember where you stored the note, and you don’t have to remind yourself to go back and review your notes. Whenever you come back to the document, email, spreadsheet or whatever else you were working on – the GumNote app that’s running in your system tray issues a pop-up with your attached note, as a gentle reminder.

There is really no configuration or work involved in getting GumNotes to work. Once it’s running in the task tray, all you have to do is right click on the GumNotes icon to save a note, or attach one to whatever you’re working on.

background notes website

More Than Just Email & Documents

I thought that the ability to “attach” notes to MS Office documents or spreadsheets is pretty cool, but just how flexible is this software? What if I’m working on something a little more obscure? As a test, I decided to open up an audio file of a guitar song I’ve been working on using Audacity. Hypothetically, let’s say that I wanted to remind myself of some of the edits I wanted to make the next time I open up the file.

sticky notes

The GumNotes app appeared to recognize the file that I had open (see “workingclasshero” at the bottom of the note?), and let me type up and save a quick message to myself.  I exited Audacity, then opened it back up and was pleased to see that the note didn’t pop-up (if it did, it would be attached to the application, not the file). But when I opened up that specific audio file, sure enough my note appeared.

If you right click on the icon and select “Manage Annotations,” you’ll see all of the notes you’ve saved to the system.

sticky notes

Now, you’re probably thinking, what good is it to have all of these notes stored only on the PC where you have GumNotes installed? This would have been the clincher for me. Luckily, if you explore the Options settings in GumNotes you’ll see that you can enter the credentials for your Simplenote account, and then sync up your desktop notes with that online system.

sticky notes

Additional Features

GumNotes actually has features that extend beyond just attaching simple notes to documents. If you right-click on the pushpin at the bottom of the note, you have the option to set a Timer for the note. This works like a reminder pop-up.

background notes website

Another cool feature is if you add a new, unattached note, you can click on the link at the bottom of the note and enter keywords into the following window.

Those keywords will serve as a “filter” – and any document, web page or email that you open that features those keywords will trigger your note to open. This is a very cool way to remind yourself about information that’s important to you and that you’ll want to save or otherwise respond to with a specific action.

In other words, GumNotes isn’t just an annotation tool. It’s a way for you to create a customized system of reminders so that no matter how busy you get, you’ll never forget anything again.

Give GumNotes a try and report back how well it worked for you. Do you like it better than other systems you’ve tried? Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below.

  1. cricket1001
    February 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Will it work on iPad, iPhone?

  2. JR
    January 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for detailed review of what seems to be the mother of all sticky-notes. I plan to try it on a Vista Biz 32bit(x86) HP laptop based on your review and will let you know how it turns out. Hope they fixed the XP SP-3 bug another commenter found.

    I understand it is still in Beta, and I hope my Vista experience will help.

  3. JR
    January 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for detailed review of what seems to be the mother of all sticky-notes. I plan to try it on a Vista Biz 32bit(x86) HP laptop based on your review and will let you know how it turns out. Hope they fixed the XP SP-3 bug another commenter found.

    I understand it is still in Beta, and I hope my Vista experience will help.

  4. Ender
    January 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    it seems like a neat program, but since I cant see it in the options, can I actually use it like the normal post-it programs, like I just want to stick it to my pc desktop???

  5. Sarah
    December 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    What a great idea! I've resorted to literally sticking a Post-It note to my computer because I want to remember something. Now I don't have to do that.

  6. Nak
    November 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Buggy ~ XP users beware. Had to delete after it messed up my registry and caused my right click to become disabled across my OS (XP SP-3)

  7. Mary
    November 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Does GumNotes work on a Mac? Download says Windows, but not Windows Only.

  8. Tim
    November 18, 2010 at 7:59 am

    It's great - some small bugs but great

  9. Aeofohio
    November 18, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Wondering if this works on a mac and the 'pages' word processing ?

  10. Extreme John
    November 18, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I'm a lot like you in the fact that I can't hang in there when it comes to the note programs, this one looks pretty sweet though. Like every other notes program, Ill give this one a shot. I hope it sticks.

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