The desktop version of Windows has included Sticky Notes for a while; the Tablet PC edition of Windows XP included a Sticky Notes application, Vista included a Sticky Notes gadget, and then Windows 7 introduced the Sticky Notes app that most people are familiar with. This version was also included with Windows 8, 8.1 and the first version of Windows 10.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update featured a number of improvements with the Windows Ink Workspace. One of the new features included was an updated Sticky Notes app, now rebuilt for the Windows Store and upgraded with ink and some basic integration with Cortana and Bing.
It’s worth mentioning that some users of the original Windows 10 Sticky Notes may have been a bit grumpy as the new app didn’t migrate notes properly. It also uses different fonts and generally behaves differently to the previous version. Overall, this upgrade wasn’t completely welcome to existing users and therefore the app store ratings are fairly low (1.8 out of 5 at time of writing).
I used the original Sticky Notes occasionally, but after the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it became a bit of a curiosity of mine and I’ve been wondering what future it has in store for this kind of short term digital note taking.
Right now, the features are as follows:
- Create Sticky Notes – A simple and smart design that makes capturing all your notes – small and big – easy, quick and fun.
- One click access – Access your Sticky Notes with just a click of your Surface Pen to bring up the Windows 10 Ink Workspace.
- Type or write, the choice is yours – Use your Surface Pen with Sticky Notes to capture your ideas in your very own handwriting or if you prefer to type, tap away.
- Create Cortana Reminders – Never forget a note again with Cortana. Simply jot down a time or date with your note and it will be highlighted. You can then tap on it to create a Cortana reminder.
- Added intelligence – Get to where you need to go with one click. Sticky Notes detects addresses, emails and cell numbers so all you have to do is tap the highlighted text to open Maps, Mail or Skype.
- Track your flights & stocks – Keep an eye on an upcoming flight or stock option by typing a flight No. or stock ticker with ‘$’ at the front. Bing then delivers the information you need to your note.
Something new is coming…
Recently, the development of the Sticky Notes application has moved into a new Notes team over at Microsoft. According to the Microsoft Careers website, the Notes Team has been founded by some of the creators of OneNote and Wunderlist, and they are working on a new service to power new mobile apps and a web experience.
The Notes team also seems to be on GitHub, which makes me wonder if they’ll be open sourcing any of their next generation app.
By the sounds of it, their focus is on short-term note taking. I’m thinking this is just a continuation of Sticky Notes up in to the cloud and mobile devices.
Hopefully, this new Sticky Notes will bring some of the following features I’d be interested in seeing:
- Synchronisation across machines
- Mobile apps (including Windows 10 Mobile)
- Move a note into OneNote or Wunderlist
- Integration with other upcoming productivity offerings
As well as a next generation of Sticky Notes, I’d be interested to how it all fits together with Microsoft’s next generation to-do app (Project Cheshire?) and their upcoming universal clipboard / collection app (Cache?).
Keep in mind all of this is yet-unreleased and speculative. I get the feeling that Microsoft is trying a lot of different things in an effort re-enforce their desire to be known as the productivity company.