“Sticky notes” software can be very basic, and that’s not necessarily a problem. Just being able to type plain text notes as required, add a “reminder” time and browse them all later is more than enough to be useful.
The open source Windows tool PNotes.NET goes further, though – much, much further – and is now so powerful that it takes the genre to a whole new level.
The core editor, for instance, allows you to control font, size, style and colour; insert tables, symbols, bulleted or numbered lists, pictures, even freehand drawings; set alignment, indentation and line spacing; find and replace (with regular expression support), run spellchecks with OpenOffice dictionaries, and more. It’s so capable that you could use PNotes.NET for its editor alone, just as an easy way to create rich text files on demand.
The program has all kinds of sharing options, and we don’t just mean the ability to email notes directly (no separate client required), exchange them over a network, or import/ export notes to Outlook. PNotes.NET can post your notes on Facebook or Twitter (with additional plugins), or import social network posts and convert them to notes, which gives huge flexibility in how and where you can work.
If you’re creating a lot of notes, you’ll appreciate the ability to organise them into groups, or search for notes by text, title, “modified” time or tag.
Need a reminder? Important notes could be docked on your screen, set “always on top”, maybe pinned to another window. A very flexible scheduler can alert you once, daily, weekly or monthly, at regular intervals, on specific days of the week, after a certain time, or any combination of these. And you can track “overdue” notes to help manage projects and other more complex tasks.
There are various levels of password protection and encryption to keep your confidential details safe, and everything is extremely configurable (the Preferences dialog has more than 100 options).
This can seem a little overwhelming, at first. Right-click the system tray icon and you’ll get a vast Start Menu-like list of options and possibilities, and it takes time to figure out everything the program can do.
PNotes.NET’s editor, social networking integration, note management options and vast configurability mean it’s well worth the effort, though – it’s one of the best sticky note tools around.