StickySorter: innovative sticky notes app offers notes clustering and an infinite desktop


StickySorter is a free sticky notes program that introduces a number of innovations such as the ability to cluster stickies in groups, the ability to define fields, the ability to import and save notes into CSV, the use of the front and back of the sticky, and others.

This is a unique desktop sticky notes program from Microsoft Office Labs that it is primarily concerned with enabling the user to organize and work with their notes rather than simply to display them on the desktop.

StickySorter, in fact, does not place notes on the actual desktop at all but rather creates a kind of virtual desktop that you can expand and navigate (zoom in and out of, pan) at will. What you end up with is an infinite workspace that, unlike your actual desktop, will let you keep adding notes as you need to and will never run out of real estate.

StickySorter Screenshot - arrange notes The other unique aspect of StickySorter is the concept of sorting notes into clusters of meaningful groups. This is a very basic concept that we do all the time (think of the icons on your desktop, for example), but in StickySorter this is built in such that you can drag and drop notes across groups, and you can automatically pile/stack/tile notes etc. (see image to the right). Here are more notes on this program:

  • StickySorter Screenshot - fields Define fields: StickySorter allows for defining fields inside your notes; for example title, description, rating, URL, etc. This is especially useful for importing/exporting notes (see below). Note that some fields can be invisible (useful when importing notes from, say, an Excel sheet where you do not want all the information displayed on your sticky).
  • Use back of sticky: you can use the back of the sticky to store information. For example the front of the note can contain the names of websites or software of interest that you want to check out while the back can contain the URLs. Another example: the front can display the description of a website widget or HTML element while the back can contain the messy code itself.
  • Import/Export: this program is designed read/export information stored in CSV files (which can be easily created in Excel or Access, for example).
  • StickySorter Screenshot - zooming out The infinite canvas: StickySorter will allow you to zoom out, pan your view across the screen, and place/organize your notes across a large area. See image to the right for an illustration (zoomed out added a single sticky in the bottom right area, some distance from my main cluster of notes).
  • Formatting notes: you can increase/decrease notes sizes, change colors, and organize them manually or automatically pile, stack, or tile them.
  • Search: use the search box to find content across all of your notes; will highlight all stickies that content the text you are looking for.
  • Collects usage data: note that in order to install and use SickySorter you will have to agree to send usage data to Microsoft Office Labs.

The verdict: there are many excellent freeware sticky notes programs (e.g. Stickies, Shock Sticker to name but two), but StickySorter is a much more conceptual program that will not have many of the bells and whistles that these other programs have (e.g. alarms, rich text editing, etc), but rather is focused with organizing data in a novel and useful way.

I am always looking for interesting ways to organize my notes and information and I am finding this program to be interesting and to provide a very good user experience as well. By all means check it out.

Version Tested: 1.0.1110.0

Compatibility: Windows XP or Windows Vista with .Net Framework 2.0.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 3.11 megs).