Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
It won’t be until you actually give digital sticky notes a try that you’ll understand how useful and effective they are. I won’t argue that physical sticky notes pressed around your desk or monitor is an unbeatable solution, but it also isn’t the prettiest, fastest, or cleanest. If you use a desktop or laptop, they are especially useful because of how many applications offer to bring them right to your desktop. We’ve reviewed many of these useful applications, such as Stickies.
After using a handful of these kinds of software, I’ve come to realize that a lot of them really fall short. Sticky notes are a pretty big deal to me and have almost completely replaced my need for an application like Evernote. That’s only because I’ve recently come across one of the most feature-packed solutions to desktop sticky notes – 7 Sticky Notes.
7 Sticky Notes currently sits as my favorite sticky notes manager, and there are a lot of reasons why for us to go over.The current version, 1.9, is only a 5.86 MB download and is compatible with 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 2000, XP, Server, 7, and 8.
This application does what every software should do today, and that’s offer you to install the application completely portably. You can install it straight to your desktop, a Dropbox folder, or a removable drive. It’ll work perfectly all the same.
Should you choose to install the application portably, there are a few additional steps you may have to take.
Depending on your User Account Control settings, you may receive the above error when first attempting to run the application. If you do, run the application again with administrative privileges, and 7 Sticky Notes should be able to automatically register the DLLs for you.
You may also be told that 7 Sticky Notes is unable to find your database file after your first run. Should this happen, just select the option to create a new database as is shown in the screenshot above.
After a successful run, your first note will be automatically created, conveniently giving you a quick tutorial on how to best use the application.
I advise that you read over this note, as it answers the most basic questions that many new users would have, and it also introduces some of the most important shortcuts for controlling 7 Sticky Notes.
When you’re familiar with the basics, right-click the note. You’ll now see a list of options, and from here you can simply delete the note. Don’t worry about possibly needing it again at a later date, because deleted notes are stored in the in-application Recycle Bin rather than permanently deleted.
As you can see, there’s a lot of functionality that is offered per note. You can roll up or resize a note, set it to remain on top of all other windows, lock the note, duplicate it, export it, change the theme, and more. Keep this in mind.
Right-clicking the tray icon offers your next set of options, where you can then pull up the Notes Manager, which really acts as a log and agenda for all of the notes you’ve ever made or had deleted. If you check the Recycle Bin here, you can immediately catch previously-deleted posts.
Clicking on a section’s heading will activate the “plus” sign, thus allowing you to create your own notes from this screen. I personally choose to make all of my notes from the Notes Manager screen because the agenda-style approach is just better overall. Remember that notes can be created by hotkey or just right-clicking the tray icon and selecting that action.
The notes themselves are very stylish and completely configurable. You can choose font styles, transparency levels, themes, create drop shadows, add image attachments, set your notes to snap to a grid, add clickable URLs and hyperlinks, and more. Not only do they look very nice, but these features make them more useful than any other alternative application that I’ve tried out.
Advanced settings and configurations of 7 Sticky Notes are very deep.
Shown here, you can see some of the general settings. These include automated sizing, URL detection, enabling or disabling confirmation dialogs, and all-important keyboard shortcuts that you can tinker with.
7 Sticky Notes’ backup and synchronization options are definitely to be appreciated. The application comes with automated ways to periodically backup your notes database and keep your notes synchronized. For me, this is incredibly important.
Additional features within the options include adding and modifying themes, setting up alarms for your notes, protecting your notes and the Notes Manager by password, and more. Again, 7 Sticky Notes doesn’t look to just slap notes to your desktop and call it a day. This is an extremely complete solution that, if used correctly, can be a replacement for any note-taking software.
What do you think of 7 Sticky Notes? Is there another alternative software out there that you think handles such notes in a better way? Let me know in the comments!