Stuck on Stickies

Like their real-world counterparts that lose their glue, some digital sticky programs just aren't able to do the job. Stickies is one free program that does all you expect and more, including sending notes to friends and colleagues over a network.

There's not much need for a sticky notes program if you've got a desktop widgets manager. If you don't, though, the alternatives can be as frustrating as a real-life sticky note that just won't stick. Some are shareware that hide their best features behind the registration wall, and others are low-end freeware that can be buggy. Stickies is different, combining the best and most important features that you could want in a notes program, with the glory of being free to use.

Stickies is a full-featured freeware notepad. (Credit: CNET Networks)

The program's main feature, the sticky note, can be customized on nearly every level, from font to color to behavior. Once loaded, the program installs a yellow stickypad in your Quick Launch bar. Double-click on it to load a new sticky, or right-click on it to access saved stickies and configuration options.

The font can be changed, and standard hot keys apply for utilizing bold, underline, and italics. The default setting is for a new sticky to load at the height of one line, and add further as you write more. In fact, there are three different default settings, so that computers with more than one user can have standardized user defaults. Alarm options can be sound, visual, or both. The sticky can be attached to a program window, and the text can be locked so you don't accidentally delete important information.

Stickies includes networking options that let you send your notes to friends and colleagues. (Credit: CNET Networks)

The global sticky options are impressive, too. Opacity is user-defined, and SSK files can be imported to create different skins to personalize your sticky experience. Without a doubt, the most impressive feature that comes in Stickies is its capability to take advantage of your network connection so that you can use stickies as an enhanced chat program. There's also PocketPC and Palm support, and you can also easily export stickies to a removable drive and load them on a different computer.

Despite all these features, Stickies is less than 1MB, and uses only about 20MB of RAM while in use. It's not quite as light as air, but it is far more environmentally and aesthetically friendly than covering the edge of your monitor with paper notes.