Say no to paper: Use online sticky notes!

Virtual sticky notes for the memory challenged. 

This app, onlinestickynotes.com is available within the chrome browser. And, like all things cloud, can be accessed on any device!

This app, onlinestickynotes.com, is available within the chrome browser. And, like all things cloud, can be accessed on any device!

I love sticky notes, memory boards and collages of forgotten to-do lists.  Especially when they’re all stuck together with colourful pins and tacks in one chaotic frieze. So much so, that my favourite aunt – Maima – got me funky shaped stickies the first time she visited us from Canada. Pink hearts, fluorescent flowers, and blue clouds. I still have them back home in Delhi.

But, like all things consumerist, the bubble must soon burst. As mine did last October. Soon after we moved into our new house, I started a product design course on Coursera. Inspired by the classes and frustrated by the limitations of my attic office, I decided to make my own memory board. Cut to the size of the slanting ceiling, the board gave a faux-wall for all my 1,000 post-its and reminders and sheets of paper.

A homemade memory board which became a black hole of paper wastage

A homemade memory board which became a black hole of paper wastage

A month later, I was bored. I decided to move my office downstairs. The shifting went off well, until we reached the memory board. Everything came apart in transit and went flying all over the house. Hundreds of post-its (because the old ones were never removed, they just kept getting buried under) stuck to unchartered territories of my old Dutch house. A bunch of  yellow notes with colourful squiggles on them had taken shelter near a window, blocking some of the light filtering in. It was modern art and a bloody mess.

As we cleared up, I was torn between wanting to put up all my notes again (artistically of course) and just getting rid of the evidence of my decadence. Thankfully for my conscience, I went with the latter. I put away all the old notes in a shoe box and decided to not waste paper.

Which brings me to onlinestickynotes.com. It’s not the first sticky app I’ve tried. But it’s among my favourites. A basic app, it’s accessible through any browser, but is also downloadable on Google Chrome as an extension. The interface is easy to use;  a plus icon to add new notes, basic text formatting options, a range of bright colours to choose from. A background wall – I’ve chosen one that looks like a cork board – to place the stickies on. You can resize them and shift them around. I wish I could also tilt them and doodle on them, but for now I think this is great.

However, I’m also a big fan of Google’s new baby – Google Keep. This recently launched app is still in the testing phase – but for those of us  who live on our Gmail accounts – it holds a lot of promise as a simple memory board. No competitor to note taking apps like Evernote (which I swear by) and SpringPad, as a basic to-do list monitor, Keep is excellent. Notes can be archived in Google Drive and shared.

It's still early days for Google Keep as a notes keeper, but it's a great app for sticky notes! It could use more colour though :/

It’s still early days for Google Keep as a notes keeper, but it’s a great app for sticky notes! It could use more colour though :/

If you’re a Firefox  user, try Internote. It’s an add-on to the browser which gives you sticky notes that you can place on top of any webpage you’re viewing. It comes handy when you have to make notes and to refer to later. For all of these things, I usually use Evernote’s Clipper, but that’s a whole blog post for later.

I’ll be the first person to agree that the visual impact of online stickies is far less than that of the physical reminders, but it definitely helps with organisation. In fact, a post-it is less likely to fly off the wall and get lost in chaos if it’s online. For visual impact, I have a big White Board.

Watch this space for more on that…

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2 comments

  1. I hope you will also take a look at Teamput (http://www.teamput.com). Teamput includes the ability to have side-by-side canvases so virtual teams can collaborate with breakout groups & drag sticky notes from canvas to canvas. You can also grab and move groups of sticky notes so it feels like the face-to-face process.

    1. Hi Bill,
      That sounds really interesting. I’ll give it a shot soon.

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