Back in the 1960s Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, accidentally developed a weak adhesive instead of a super glue. Rather than writing it off as a failure, he promoted his invention as a “low-tack, reusable pressure sensitive adhesive.”
Several years later, Art Fry, a colleague of Dr. Silver, used the weak adhesive to stick a bookmark into his hymnbook. Subsequently, he went on to develop what we now know as Post-It notes. The product didn’t break through until the 1980s, but is probably 3M’s most popular item today.
Meanwhile, the handy stickers have found their way onto computer desktops and into the world wide web. In this article, I will review three online tools that allow you to keep and share sticky notes online.
Listhings – collaborate
On Listhings you can create online canvases for your online sticky notes. They can be used to keep track of personal notes or you can share single canvases to work on a project with others.
When you share a canvas, it appears in the list of canvases of your partner. Now, whenever you post a note to the shared canvas, it is instantly replicated on the canvas your partner is viewing. You can also drag and drop notes from one canvas to another. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to attach files to Listhings notes.
Within the settings, there is a hint that it will soon be possible to “take notes from outside Listhings”, i.e. send notes to Listhings. You can already define, which canvas those notes should be sent to per default.
Postica – share files
Postica lets you attach files to your online sticky notes. You can even share the note and the attached file with a friend by sending the note to their sticky board. All you have to know is their eMail address.
While this may not be the best way to quickly share personal files, it’s a great way to backup documents online and add a note to them. I mean, how long can a file name be? It’s easier to tag a note to the document. The file size limit is 5MB. However, there doesn’t seem to be a total limit. Unfortunately, you can only add one file per note.
Another cool feature of Postica is its integration with Twitter. You can add Postica as a friend and subsequently stick notes via Twitter direct messages.
Stickr – comment websites
Stickr is different from all the other tools because it’s almost like a social network. You can use it on any website, either to leave a note for yourself (private) or to share thoughts and ideas with the world (public). There is a 140 character limit for each sticker and you can hit a “Follow Me” button on each sticker, so you can follow the person who posted this sticker.
After signing up, you have to extend your browser to work with Stickr. You can either install a plugin or drag and drop a bookmarklet into your browser’s Bookmarks toolbar. I decided for the bookmarklet.
Notes are not visible until you click on the bookmarklet to launch the Stickr menu. The menu lets you select which stickers to view, for example popular ones (you can like or dislike stickers), your own notes, or the ones from people you follow. The menu also allows you to close all stickers or create a new one. On your Stickr homepage / profile you’ll see a list of stickers you have posted and some more statistics.
Stickr also receives a thumbs up from me for supporting OpenID, as well as login via Google, Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed accounts.
For desktop sticky notes, check out these articles:
So have you retired your post-it notes, yet?
Image credits: nornir