Choice is good, especially when it comes to freeware desktop utilities. When you're looking for a sticky-notes program, for example, you want as many choices as possible, and you've sure got them; everything from simple text apps with yellow backgrounds to elaborate efforts to duplicate the look and behavior of actual paper. We looked at Sticky Notes, which is fast and simple yet offers plenty of options for customizing your notes, including background colors, fonts, and priority.
As with many such programs, Sticky Notes offers several ways to create and access notes, but its main point of access is a system tray menu. From the tool's menu we could create and access notes, show or hide all notes, import and export notes, empty the Recycle Bin, open the Settings and Notes Manager, and carry out other tasks. The Settings are in two parts, Program and Notes. We could configure the size, color, font, transparency, and behavior of our notes, as well as set autosave, configure hot keys, import settings, and enable multimonitor systems.
We found that the fastest way to create notes is with the hot keys, though we'd like to see a shell context menu for Sticky Notes, which would let users create a new note quickly while using the mouse. Since you can paste stuff into Sticky Notes just as easily as you can type it (more easily, sometimes), it would be a time-saver. We quickly created a sequence of notes, which Sticky Notes presented in cascading order, each with a different background color--a nice option that makes it easy to distinguish notes. The Notes Manager is a simple gridded display giving quick access to all our notes. The online Help file is actually one of the better ones we've seen, and we've seen them all.
You wouldn't think the small differences among free sticky-notes programs would matter, but they do, especially if you keep a lot of notes. Sticky Notes offers a nice balance between speed and features. There's nothing stopping you from trying as many of these tools as you need or want to, but we recommend placing Sticky Notes near the start of the queue--it might just save you some time.