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Save and manage desktop notes easily with this sophisticated freeware.

Notekeeping software offers two substantial advantages over paper notes: first, handwriting recognition expertise is not required; and second, you have a better place to keep your notes than your monitor's frame. Efficient Sticky Notes Portable offers all the features of the typical e-notekeeper, with some advantages. It's free, for instance, and it's totally portable, meaning it can go with you on a thumbdrive, smartphone, or other portable device and run on any Windows PC.

Efficient Sticky Notes Portable's layout takes the familiar Explorer-style route, with a left-hand navigation panel and a main view split horizontally between a list of all notes and a preview pane for viewing individual notes. You can customize the program's look and layout, choose skins, select several display modes, add toolbars, choose display details, set transparency, and configure many other settings. In fact, we were impressed with the variety of options this free program offers, not to mention frequent small touches suggesting origins in a larger app, such as the contrasting highlighting colors for menu selections. We added a new note to the desktop with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes. The program displayed our note in a tiny rectangle in the upper-right corner of our desktop, though we could drag it anywhere as well as change the default display options. Right-clicking our note let us open it to edit it, delete it, change its transparency and font, and more. We could add new notes just as easily from existing notes or via the program's system tray icon. Even the individual notes offered menu and toolbars, display and operational options, and much more directly from their frames. In fact, it seemed like there was little we couldn't access from individual notes' interface almost as easily as from the main view.

Efficient Sticky Notes Portable is a versatile, feature-packed productivity and organizational tool that's also extremely easy to use, which means it's more likely to be used. It offers an impressive level of refinement for a free app, too.

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