NoteWhen - An electronic pad of "sticky notes"
by Alan German
forget to return your library books on time, can never
pay bills by their interest-free deadlines, or have
trouble remembering when OPCUG monthly meetings are held?
If so, you need some funky on-screen reminders - and the
"sticky notes" provided by PC Magazine's
NoteWhen utility might just do the trick.
This utility program gives you the ability to place
little yellow notes on your display screen. Yes, I know
that you can do that with a pad of almost-sticky
notepaper purchased from the office-supply store. But,
with NoteWhen you won't have to buy any more pads, and
you will be helping the environment by not cutting down
any trees. In addition, the notes are fully electronic,
so they can be in any colour, use any font that your
monitor will display, and can be scheduled as timely
In normal use, the program can be run from an icon on the
taskbar. The user interface is quite straightforward. The
"Add Note" button pops up a new note with a
"Your text goes here" message that can be
overwritten by typing any text. By default, the note is
set to be "Vis" (i.e. visible) such that, when
NoteWhen is closed, the note is left on the screen. So,
the basic process is just like writing on a sticky note
and placing it on the screen.
You can make the notes as big or as small as you wish,
and place them anywhere on the screen. The latter process
isn't too intuitive but is very simple once you now how
(i.e. once you have read the program's help menus).
Placing the cursor on a side or a corner of the box let's
you resize the note. Placing the cursor between the
border of the text box and the actual text changes the
cursor to a hand that lets you drag the note anywhere
across the screen.
the best part about electronic notes is that they can be
linked to the computer's clock and scheduled for display
at some point prior to the event. The scheduling process
is quite flexible, providing settings for display of the
note at a specific date and time, daily, weekly, or
monthly. You can set dates when the message is to be
displayed and when this display is to be terminated. You
can even assign a sound file to be played to act as an
I like to have multiple reminders of an event, such as
the fact that an OPCUG monthly meeting is about to take
place. So, I set a daily schedule for the message
reminder, starting on the Monday prior to the meeting,
and ending on the Wednesday of the meeting. I then
uncheck the "Vis" box for the message so that
it doesn't display until the first date comes around.
Once the message comes on screen, I can either leave it
on display, or go into NoteWhen's main menu and uncheck
the "Vis" box which turns it off until the next
day. In this way I get notices of the up-coming meeting
each day, commencing two days prior to the actual day of
Modifying any aspect of a note can be done very easily
through the program's main window. Alternatively,
left-clicking on a note allows direct editing of the
text, and right-clicking provides a menu that includes
options to change the colours and/or the font, and to
modify the display schedule. Other features of the
program include the ability to set a given note to always
be "on top" of the display, delete an unwanted
note, display a calendar with a list of all the notes for
a given date, and provide a brief yet comprehensive set
of help menus.
In the good old days, PC Magazine's utilities were free
for anyone to download. In today's world of E-commerce,
they are only available by subscription. However, for the
princely sum of just US$ 7.97 you can download one
utility of your choice (such as NoteWhen!).
Alternatively, US$ 19.97 gives you unlimited downloads
from the utility software library for a period of one
NoteWhen (Proprietary, US$ 7.97)
Steven E. Sipe, PC Magazine
Originally published: November, 2006
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The opinions expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.