Question For The Hive Mind

The legendary “internet hive mind” who participate on this site might be somewhat smaller than that in all of Twitter or FaceBook, but hey, let’s throw this out there and see if there’s a response.

I’m looking for a program or app for keeping track of “little notes,” or maybe better described as a “yellow sticky note” organizer. (See, it’s not even like I can describe what I’m looking for.)Does anyone have anything like that, or maybe even a favorite to recommend?

The question comes up (again) because I installed new monitors on my home office desk last week (it looks like I’ll be working from home for the duration, even after COVID lets us re-open our offices, since the lease is up and we’re looking at the opportunity to downsize the office and save some big bucks – time to maximize my efficiency and comfort for the long haul) and in the process cleaned, and in that process I came up with a big stack of miscellaneous sticky notes, some of which go back years. It occurs to me that there might be (should be?) a better way to deal with them.

Some are strictly temporary (“Call dentist on Monday”) while others have been up for years (cheat notes on common ASCII codes to make the °, ü, ©, ™, and ® symbols). Some are very low priority “to do” notes that have been here for a couple of years (“35:50 mark of  01/20/2018 SNSD = Yaz ‘Move Out’ Megamix”) but I still want to get to eventually.

So is there an app/program out there where I can put all of these and then sort, store, prioritize, update, archive? Like a database of yellow sticky notes? Or better yet, also color code them or somehow tag or flag them?

It needs to be a cross-platform application, so I can have it on my Windows desktops on multiple computers, on my laptop, on my iPhone, on my iPad.

It needs to be easy – the utility in the “yellow sticky note” system is that when there’s a thought or a note or a tidbit it can be created in seconds and then I can return to whatever the primary task of the moment might be. If I have to spend 30-60 seconds to break my train of thought, load an app, call up the right spot, and then go through several steps to record and save the note, it will be useless and it will never get used.

Figuring that something like this MUST already exist, I went searching. The two “best” in several recent articles are Evernote and Microsoft Notes, with Evernote being generally much better but Notes being free. I’ve used both in the past, but generally a few years back. (It seems that I wander off on this quest every couple of years.)

Evernote already has notes in it from 2013 and 2015, but not very many. It seems I didn’t get far. Notes has a few more notes, but not that many more. It looks like we also tried Notes more extensively for at least a couple months when I was at Urbatec, several jobs back. (It didn’t stick.)

There’s also a name-brand “Post It” app (or there was, it may or may not still be available) which will let you take pictures of your literal pile of Post It notes (like I have) and then… Maybe it translates your handwriting to text? Maybe it lets you do other things with them? It’s not clear. Has anyone used it?

And ultimately, given the way I think and use the crap out of my “go to” software tool, maybe I could just start creating a big Excel sheet that I can program and customize within an inch of its life? But why reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to?

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations?



Filed under Paul

2 responses to “Question For The Hive Mind

  1. I was delighted to find Mac’s Notes, which does for me… Always in the menu bar, and it uses the first thing you type as its heading, which is good for the menu.
    There’s also Reminders, which I haven’t actually used, but it might be more useful if I put deadlines and reminder dates in it too.
    Not sure if these are available to you though 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, living in a PC world, except for iPad and iPhone. I’ve worked on Macs enough to know that they make me crazy. (Okay, “MORE crazy,” and not in one of those good ways.


Please join the discussion, your comments are encouraged!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.