Flashnote is a little bit of everything that I love in software: portable, free, and very useful. Last year, I did an article on CintaNotes, which remains my favorite all-purpose notes manager in Windows. Flashnote is slowly growing on me though, and I can see how it might be preferred.
Taking notes is really important. You need and should do it every day, whether you know it yet or not. If you use the internet for more than two hours in a day, there are always things worth noting. Don’t clutter your hard drive with individual text files saved by Notepad. That’s primitive. With Flashnote, you’re able to store all of your notes cleanly and in a single place.
Straight from the Flashnote website, here’s what makes it great:
Whether it’s recording a telephone number when the phone book is far away, saving an URL to reuse, writing a simple TODO list or collecting some information, there are lots of examples. And just as many solutions: open Notepad, use a personal information manager, or use some other programs for creating and saving text. But all those options are slow. Even a PIM is a “heavy” class program. And before you use it to make rough notes, you must create a new file or find a place to write without creating a “litter” of files or damaging important work.
As aforementioned, Flashnote comes with a portable version. That makes it perfect for a flash drive or your Dropbox. Otherwise, there is also a full Windows installation. A version also exists for Linux. The application package is just a little over two megabytes in size and it consumes less than 9000 K of memory while active as a process.
Upon starting the application, you’re already able to see how simple it is by appearance. You’ll immediately want to go into File and then Options… to make sure Flashnote is configured to your liking.
Other than just worrying about the basics, I’d like to recommend that you create a hotkey. Creating a hotkey will allow you to create a new note on the fly.
From there on, there isn’t much explaining required. There are two types of notes. A note and a child note. A child note serves no other purpose than to help you keep your notes organized, should you require many notes on a single subject.
No need for a bulky PIM or a ridiculous number of Notepad windows cluttering your taskbar. This software serves a single purpose and is incredibly simple. That’s what makes it great. Other features that come along with it are the ability to send the application to your tray, the ability to automatically insert the current data and time, the ability to change the background color and font styles, etc. Nothing special, just the basics that are required to get the job done.
When you create a new note (regular note or child), your clipboard is automatically pasted into the note. This is just to save you time, as the application assumes that the typical contents of a note would be copied text from the user. It’s a nice little feature.
Do you take down a lot of notes while at your computer? Give Flashnote a go and I’ll bet it beats your previous note taking habits. Let me know what you think about the software in the comments.