3 Dead-simple Apps For Note Taking & List Making

Tina Sieber 13-03-2009

free note taking applicationWhen 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.


list making software

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 Printable Checklist : A No-Nonsense Online Checklist Creator Read More .


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.

online note taking

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!

Image credits: bizior from fotolia

Related topics: Note-Taking Apps, Notepad, Printables, Printing, To-Do List.

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  1. "PJ" Johnson
    April 21, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Well, I came here looking for note programs with alarms, but noticed the reference to "Notefrog." That program is hardly a "sticky note" tool. It can be used that way, but I have been using it since its early releases. It is a powerful personal note database hiding behind an extremely simple interface- and maybe the best free application I have seen in a long, long time. It claimed to be revolutionary, and the damned thing turned out to really be just that.

  2. Aibek
    March 17, 2009 at 3:48 am

    My all time favorite is Memento

  3. ASR
    March 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm


  4. Jersey Bob
    March 14, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I've been using Microsoft OneNote for the last couple of years and don't know how I ever got along without it. My work notebook has sections for technical notes, program code, password-protected client info and so on, and each section has pages and sub-pages. My personal notebook has sections for household, volunteer activities, music, and the sections also have pages and sub-pages.

    On my HP tablet, I can take notes with the pen as well as with the keyboard, and on my workstation I use only the keyboard. Handwriting easily gets converted to text if I want. The databases sync automatically when the tablet is on the office network.

  5. the WA
    March 13, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    NoteFrog's free version offers everything NoteScraps does and a whole lot more, and the Pro version is even better, and reasonably priced.

  6. Kutt Katrea
    March 13, 2009 at 11:20 am

    For quick-note taking I prefer to use Stickies from

    Stickies is a free app that let you have Post-It notes that resides in the Desktop.