When you want to jot down a thought or make a list, the last thing you need is a tool with tons of pomp that will lag you down.
So what do you do? Do you write on a piece of paper? Or do you open a text editor and save the note or list to your desktop? I find both alternatives anything but optimal.
Personally, I have worked with digital post-it notes in the past. They ended up cluttering my screen which got really annoying because I prefer a very cleaned up, empty desktop.
Here are the alternative free note taking applications that work for me.
Note Taking with NoteScraps (Windows)
NoteScraps is a most simple but extraordinarily easy to use and handy tool for Windows XP and Vista. Notes are centrally stored within the program window (see screenshot below) and the program resides in the Windows tray.
With the free version you can create up to 10 notes. I found no limitations as to the length of each note. You can type 14 lines of text, after that the note retains its maximum size and a scrollbar is introduced for more. URLs are recognized and active, however you cannot add images. Furthermore, you cannot format text.
As strange as it may seem, you can neither delete notes nor change their order. A note is deleted when it’s empty. And the last note you created or edited is the first one in the list. The best thing is that you can search your notes. All notes that contain the keyword remain visible, while all others vanish for the moment.
So this tool really keeps its promise. It’s simple and elegant.
List Making with Printable Checklist (online)
Printable Checklist is a website that lets you create reader- and printer-friendly lists. It’s super simple and easy to use. The screenshot below should not require any further comments.
But just in case…
Apparently you click “Add item” in the bottom left to add a line, you click “OK” to finish editing an item and when you scroll over an item with the mouse a red cross appears which you click to remove that item from the list.
Karl did a review on the site a few weeks back, see A No-Nonsense Online Checklist Creator.
If these tools were way too simple for you, maybe the next one is what you’re looking for.
Note Taking and List Making with Gubb (online)
This last online tool is more complex, but offers a lot more options and room for creativity. Gubb works very intuitively, only that notes are called lists. Of course you can add items to your list and edit them, additionally you can add a comment, a due date, rate each item or move it to another list.
The screenshot reveals even more features. Obviously you can print, email and even text your lists to someone. Beyond that you can share selected lists with other users or take a list off your “homepage” (main page), i.e. hide it. Through the Lists tab at the top of the screen you can view your hidden lists and un-hide them.
Which tool appeals to you the most? Do you still prefer pen and paper and why? Or can you recommend a different tool? We appreciate your feedback!