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Orange-ThumbYes, the color is orange or at least some of it. Note taking apps are as common as…ummm, oranges. Most of us probably start with Notepad Make Your Own Sticky Notes with Notepad (Windows) Make Your Own Sticky Notes with Notepad (Windows) Read More , then go up to sticky notes and finally stop at Evernote 7 Ways To Make Use Of Evernote 7 Ways To Make Use Of Evernote Read More . You have a tab for notes in Opera and addons in Firefox. But all of these apps aren’t worth their maker’s sweat if we can’t tell our brain to be organized and systematic about note management.

That’s why we get new, smart note taker applications that aim to do a better job than their cousins on the market. According to me, an effective note taking 3 Dead-simple Apps For Note Taking & List Making 3 Dead-simple Apps For Note Taking & List Making Read More application should satisfy a few basic needs.

  • The notes should be easy to create, preferably with a click or two.
  • The notes should be easy to archive, preferably in a single location.
  • The notes should be easy to find, preferably with a letter word or two.
  • The notes should be preferably accessible in any application and any location.

OrangeNote meets the first three and one part of the last criteria. Note taking is a simple activity but nobody said that you couldn’t do it with some style. That’s where the smooth, slick interface of OrangeNote scores. But is it all look and no substance? Let’s find out.

OrangeNote – Is it Noteworthy?

OrangeNote is a free 2.7MB download. The only hitch is that you should have Microsoft’s .Net Framework 3.5 installed or install it along with OrangeNote’s installation. OrangeNote is based on Windows Presentation Foundation (for graphical user interfaces) that’s a part of the Net Framework. That’s why you get a look like this ““

smart note taker


OrangeNote takes its place as a System Tray icon. Creating a note is fast and easy. Right click on the orange icon or use CTRL+SPACE. Click on the New Note link just above the search box. Or you can speed boost it by pressing CTRL+SPACE and Tab (shortcut for a new note) in rapid succession (for productivity, it pays to learn the key combos).

There isn’t any deep learning involved. A new note opens up with the background Window darkened. It’s a smart note taker – the orange colored new note has descriptive commands with the shortcut keys. Take a look at the screenshot below and you can make out all the functions for yourself.

smart note taker

You can add a title, add tags for better indexing or add a special hotkey for an important note. Of these, the tag and the title become very important when you have hundreds of notes in your system.

The visual functions add the style quotient to each note and this is where the smart note taker OrangeNote is a lot different from its blander counterparts. Change font color, change the font size on the fly and even change the color of the note. Your notes also get spell checked.

OrangeNote As A Clipboard Manager

smart note taker

OrangeNote automatically saves every scrap you cut or copy while OrangeNote is running. It extends the Clipboard and you can reuse previously copied text with a click. By default, it saves the last 80 texts. There are several key combos that can be used for rapid fire copying and pasting.

For example, cyclic paste (using CTRL+WIN+V) can be used to fire off a series of pastes in the order they were copied.

Or the ClipKeys feature which uses the numeric keys to paste text in the sequence they were copied. Copied text can be pasted back into any application, offline or online.

smart note taker

All of these features can be customized under Options.

OrangeNote As A Backup Utility

The ability to store copied text can be a lifesaver while filling out online forms. In case of an application or a system failure, text can be retrieved from OrangeNote. So, just keep copying the fields to the clipboard for some backup.

OrangeNote As A Note Indexer


It’s better if you add tags and titles for easier retrieval, but even without organizational slackness, notes are indexed and searchable.

Final Notes”¦

OrangeNote brings eye candy to a humdrum activity like note taking. And yes, without losing out on effectiveness. As a note archiving app and a clipboard utility, it performs a double function. The only bummer could be its dependency on the .Net Framework. A user could very well prefer a lighter app without the elegance. If you like a dash of color in your apps, try out OrangeNote and let us know your thoughts.

OrangeNote also has a paid Pro Edition which comes with remote synchronization features. The free edition of OrangeNote (ver.1.0) is a 2.7MB download and is supported on Windows XP / 2003 / Vista.

Update: The developer sent us an email requesting us to put up a small comment saying that the app is again being actively developed. He has also released an upgrade. Check it out

  1. noeminm18
    December 24, 2016 at 9:23 am

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  2. Daniel
    February 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I recently saw a Tomboy version for Windows.
    Looks good but it also requires .NET

    EssentialPIM has a viable model as alternative.
    They also have a free portable version.
    Backing up database to Dropbox may be the next solution that makes it close to Evernote.

  3. Brian from ArcticLlama
    February 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Thank you for that comment. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see a developer show up with that kind of honesty. Frankly, I've never been a huge fan of .NET and it was my one hangup about this app. I'll definitely be looking around for your other stuff (if there is any) because limitations or not, this is one beautiful looking app that is functional too; a rare combination these days.

  4. Logan
    February 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Hi there! As the author of this app I'd just like to say thanks so much for writing this awesome article! However I'd like to just make a couple points to potential users: developing this software I spent a great deal of time on the usability and UI (and visual appeal) of it, but eventually gave up on the .NET framework because of too many problems with it (performance, memory issues, and just overall limitations and annoyances). So while you're welcome to do what you will with the software, just be aware that I won't be updating it any time soon. There are also some memory issues with it that I didn't have a chance to fix, but quitting and restarting the app should solve the memory hogging if it gets too bad.

    Thanks again, and if anyone has any questions for me you can contact me at service at littlesoftware dot ca.


  5. Gunnar
    February 14, 2010 at 11:40 am

    downloaded on an older system with vista. takes long to start. had system freeze up for a little, but came back up. at first i thought i had caught something, but everything seems ok after uninstalling. maybe ok for a newer faster system...

  6. Varma
    February 13, 2010 at 7:43 am

    The interface of OrangeNote is clumsy and overwhelming. Any programmer trying to make a note taking app please have a look at Cintanotes - it is simple, does its job well and is flexible to the core.

  7. Doc
    February 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    .Net? No thanks...I'll stick with ATNotes - 6.7MB memory footprint (instead of 30+MB for just the framework) and does everything I need.

  8. Robert M
    February 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    IDK why but lately I've given up on Evernote and reverted back to Notepad. Most likely it's because Notepad just launches faster but my organization sucks. I'll give this a try.

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