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ISSUE 19.38.F • 2022-09-19 • Text Alerts!Gift Certificates

In this issue

FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT: Stick A Note — It’s life-changing! No, really … life-changing

Additional articles in the PLUS issue • Get Plus!

ONENOTE: What to do when OneNote won’t sync

SUPPORT: Randy’s remedies: Juice, heat, glass, social, grid, and malware

PATCH WATCH: Patch your humans

APPLE NEWS: What’s a “dynamic island?”

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Stick A Note — It’s life-changing! No, really … life-changing

Deanna McElveen

By Deanna McElveen

Is this freeware maven seriously going to shove another sticky-note program down our throats? Yes. Yes, I am.

I am, because this is quite different. This will change the way you live! It’s on a par with the printing press! The cotton gin! This telephone! Okay, fine, it’s at least equal to the invention of fried pies!

Anand Gupta, a wonderful, professional developer from West Bengal, India, has created a freeware program called Stick A Note that is considerably different from any sticky-note program you have ever used. Stick A Note does not put virtual sticky notes onto your desktop. It puts them on the windows of individual programs.

You can’t see it, but there is a sticky note right now up in the corner of my open Microsoft Expression Web 4 window. It has a bunch of reminders about writing this article. If I move the window, the note moves with it. If I close my program, I can have the note appear again when I open Expression Web, or I can choose to have it appear only when I say so.

I can also have different notes attached to different programs. Only the note assigned to each program will open for that program. Take a full minute now, and imagine the things that you want to stick notes onto as I whisper ideas in your ear. Genealogy software. Tax software. Bookkeeping software. Hints about a favorite game. Your Web browser. Spreadsheet software. Word processor.

See? Fried pies!

Get Stick A Note from, and I will show you how insanely easy it is. You don’t even have to install it.

Once you get the ZIP file extracted (right-click and select Extract All) to your desired folder, just click on Stick A Note.exe to launch it.

You won’t see a splash screen or anything. Instead, a small icon will appear in the system tray (see Figure 1). Don’t see it? It might be in the hidden icons, so click the small up arrow to show them. You can drag it down to the unhidden icons if you wish.

System Tray icon
Figure 1. Stick A Note starts in the system tray.

Before we make a note, let’s change a few things in the settings. Right-click on the Stick A Note icon, select Settings, and the Settings window will appear (see Figure 2).

First, note that the default hotkey to create a note is Win+N. You will have to change that to something else. Why? Because, as I discovered, you can’t create a note in a Web browser with Win+N. I changed it to Win+F12, and all seemed to work just fine in the browsers, but Win+F12 tried to close my editing software. There, Win+Z doesn’t seem to cause any problems.

(Editor’s note: In this newsletter, we usually denote the Windows logo key as “WinKey.” However, Stick A Note uses just “Win,” so we’re sticking with that designation for this article.)

Next, look under Auto Show Note. Check this box to have any assigned notes open, along with their assigned programs. Why would you not want this on? If you use a shared computer, maybe you don’t want your Christmas list to pop up when your spouse opens the Web browser.

You can also have the Stick A Note keep a log, if you feel you need it.

Figure 2. The Settings window needs a quick change.

Go ahead and click Note Settings (see Figure 3). This is where you can change the color of the notes. Unfortunately, this is a global color setting for all notes. I’m sad they can’t be individual colors, but maybe that will change in a later version. You can also turn off the thin border around the notes and change the size of the notes. These note settings can also be changed via Settings from within a note. (And no, doing it that way does not allow for individual colors, either. I tried.)

Figure 3. Pretties can be changed here.

Now let’s make a note, and I will then go over a few things I discovered.

Open a program that you want to stick a note onto. I’m using IrfanView, the photo editor. I went ahead and opened a picture of my husband (see Figure 4), and now I just use my hotkey combo Win+Z to create a note.

Making a note
Figure 4. Use the hotkey combo you chose in Settings to create a note.

Now click Edit to write your note (see Figure 5). Don’t change the Window title text — I made that mistake at first. This is the text that appears at the top of a program’s window, and it is the text that the program searches for to figure out which note to display. This is pretty neat, because I can have different notes for different pictures as long as I don’t change their file names.

Under Note for this window, type your note.  If you type more than the text area shows, scroll bars will appear — so you can write a note as long as you want. Unfortunately, the notes themselves don’t have scroll bars — if you want to read an entire long note, you’ll have to use the Edit feature again.

The Insert button gives you two options. One is to insert something stored in the Windows Clipboard; the other is to insert the title of the active window (no idea why you would need that).

When editing your note, do not click away from it before you hit OK to save it. Otherwise, you’ll lose what you’ve typed. Add that to the list of things that need to be fixed.

Editing note
Figure 5. Type what you want your note to say, but don’t click away from it before clicking OK.

My note is done (see Figure 6). I can click Edit anytime to update it — and if I click Settings from here, there is a quick dropdown menu of the available colors I can select.

The X at the bottom does not delete the note — it just hides it until you use your hotkey combo again. If you want to delete a note, click Edit and then click Delete. You will get a confirmation to make sure you meant to do that.

Note done
Figure 6. A finished note appears after editing and will stay attached to this picture.

I did notice something. Even though I had Auto Show Note for the Active Program checked in Settings, sometimes I would have to hit my hotkey combo to make a note appear. It’s possible it was going to appear and that I lack patience. A few times, I had to use my combo when I clicked away and then back to a Google Chrome window. No biggie.

I haven’t found any programs that Stick A Note does not work with, but let us know if you find one. I had issues with a few apps, but it turns out I had just not picked a good hotkey combo at first.

I love the fact that I can add and save notes to individual websites (as long as the text in the title bar doesn’t change). Below is a note in Google Chrome (see Figure 7).

Chrome with note
Figure 7. Adding a note to a particular website in Chrome (seen here), or any other browser, is a snap.

I’m pretty anxious to start using Stick A Note with our store’s day-to-day spreadsheets (see Figure 8) and other documents. Now I have a way to remember what I was doing before I left for lunch. Three hours is a long time to remember something.

Libre Calc note
Figure 8. LibreOffice’s Calc with a reminder note attached.

This is great piece of freeware that has all my favorite traits: 1) no junkware; 2) free; 4) portable.

Bonus Software!

Play Sudoku on your computer, or print out the game sheets to play the old-fashioned way. This free, portable version by Stefan Trost has tons of different layouts and challenges.

Get Sudoku from!

Figure 9. Solve Sudoku puzzles on your screen or on real *gasp* paper!

Happy computing!

Grandma & Apple Pie Our entire philosophy at OlderGeeks is built on being a safe download site offering software you can trust. We use every program we consider, checking it carefully for bundleware or other sneaky stuff. Every downloadable is checked with VirusTotal and Malwarebytes. If a program is updated, we do the same checks again. We reject more programs than we accept, always stressing quality and safety over padding our collection. Every program mentioned in this article meets our rigorous standards. We’re as trustworthy as Grandma’s apple pie!
Talk Bubbles Join the conversation! Your questions, comments, and feedback
about this topic are always welcome in our forums!

Deanna and Randy McElveen are celebrating more than a decade of running, over two decades in the computer business, and even more than that putting up with each other. Their computer store is in a small town in the Missouri Ozarks. Believing that happy customers are always the best advertisement, they hope to squeeze in a couple more decades doing the same.


Here are the other stories in this week’s Plus Newsletter



What to do when OneNote won’t sync

By Mary Branscombe

The Windows desktop OneNote app has tools to help you understand and troubleshoot sync issues, but don’t rush into anything.

The beauty of OneNote is that when you drop information into it, you have it at your fingertips on every device you use without the effort of copying files back and forth. That’s great until the sync system that makes that happen hits a snag and your notes stop showing up everywhere.

There are some common problems that you may run into with OneNote and fixing them is often simpler than the cryptic error messages would suggest, especially once you understand how sync works.


Deanna McElveen

Randy’s remedies: Juice, heat, glass, social, grid, and malware

By Randy McElveen

Let’s finish up that list of remedies from Randy’s top 10 customer-support issues: Identified!

In this article, we’ll tackle #6 all the way up to #1. If you remember, we’re going to get you some free malware-removal tools for #1, so find that flash drive!


Susan Bradley

Patch your humans

By Susan Bradley

The September updates for Windows appear to be better behaved than those in other recent months.

Gone is the notation that Windows 10 or Windows 11 will trigger audio issues when the updates are installed. Also, thankfully, it appears that the problems with USB printers have been resolved.


Will Fastie

What’s a “dynamic island?”

By Will Fastie

Clever. That’s what it is.

In the very limited coverage we give to Apple and its products, our focus has been on the evolution of Apple silicon and its application to Mac desktops and laptops. iPhones? Almost never.

But with iPhone 14, Apple has done something I consider remarkably clever.

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