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Sticky Notes in Windows Vista, 7, and 10

Sticky Notes in Windows Vista, 7, and 10 

Little yellow sticky notes like the familiar Post-it Notes are easily one of the best methods every invented for keeping track of reminders and random bits of information. They're so popular it didn't take long for sticky notes to start showing up in virtual form on PCs.

In fact, when Microsoft added "Sticky Notes" to Windows Vista the company was only catching up to what users had been doing with third-party programs for years. Just like their physical world counterparts, sticky notes in Windows are a useful way for quickly writing yourself a reminder or jotting down a quick fact. Even better, they're about as useful as real paper sticky notes, and in Windows 10 they've arguably surpassed what those little scribble pads can do.

Windows Vista
If you're still using Windows Vista, you'll find sticky notes as a gadget in the Windows sidebar. Open the sidebar by going to Start > All programs > Accessories > Windows Sidebar. Once the sidebar is open, right-click and select Add Gadgets and select Notes.
Now you're ready to go with "sticky notes" in Vista. You can either keep them in the sidebar or drag notes onto the regular desktop.

Windows 7
If you're using Windows 7 here's how to find Sticky Notes:
  1. Click Start. 
  2. At the bottom of the screen will be a window that says Search programs and files." Place your cursor into that window and type Sticky Notes. 
  3. The Sticky Notes program appears at the top of the popup window. Click the name of the program to open it.
Once open, a sticky note appears on your screen. At that point, you can just start typing. To add a new note, click the + (plus sign) in the top left corner; it will add a new note, without deleting or overwriting the previous note. To delete a note, click the X in the top right corner.

For those with Windows 7 tablet PCs (ones on which you can draw with a stylus), Sticky Notes are even better. You can jot down your information just by writing with your stylus.

Sticky Notes also last over reboots. So if you type out a note to yourself to, say, buy donuts for the afternoon staff meeting, that note will still be there when you power up your computer the next day.
If you find yourself using Sticky Notes a lot you might want to add it to the taskbar for easy access. The taskbar is the bar at the very bottom of your screen and contains the Start button and other frequently-accessed applications.

Here's what you need to do:
  1. Right-click the Sticky Notes icon. This will bring up a menu of actions you can take called a context menu. 
  2. Left-click Pin to Taskbar.
This will add the Sticky Notes icon to the taskbar, giving you instant access to your notes anytime.
If yellow just isn't your color, you can also change the note color by hovering your mouse over a note, right-clicking it, and selecting a different color from the context menu. Windows 7 offers six different colors including blue, green, pink, purple, white, and the aforementioned yellow. 

Windows 10
Sticky Notes remained pretty much the same in Windows 8, but then Microsoft went and made Sticky Notes a far more powerful application in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. First, Microsoft killed off the traditional desktop program and replaced it with a built-in Windows Store app. That actually didn't change Sticky Notes too much, but they do look much cleaner and simpler now.

The real power in Sticky Notes in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is that Microsoft added Cortana and Bing integration to help you create reminders for the personal digital assistant built into the operating system. You can, for example, type or write with a stylus, Remind me to renew my gym membership today at noon.

After a few seconds, the word noon will turn blue as if it were a link to a web page. Click on the link and an Add Reminder button appears at the bottom of the note. Click the add reminder button and you'll be able to set-up a reminder in Cortana.

The process is admittedly a bit cumbersome but if you like to use Sticky Notes, and you're a Cortana fan, this is a great combination. The key thing to remember is that you have to write down a specific date (such as October 10) or a specific time (such as noon or 9 p.m.) to trigger the Cortana integration in Sticky Notes.

How to Pin and Unpin a Program in Windows 7
What does "pinning" mean? In Windows 7, it's the simple process of adding shortcuts to your most often used programs. The two places you can quickly find programs in Windows 7 are the taskbar, located at the bottom of the screen, and the Start menu, which opens when you click the Start button. Pinning a program you use often to either of these places makes it easier and faster to start them, saving you the extra clicks you'd normally make when navigating to them.

Don't use a program that shows up in the Start menu or taskbar? You can unpin programs, too.
This step-by-step guide shows you how to pin and unpin a program using two methods: the right-click method and the drag-and-drop method. This same process applies to any program or software you use in Windows 7.

Locking and Unlocking the Taskbar
First, if you want to make changes to the taskbar, you may need to unlock it. When the taskbar is locked, this prevents changes from being made to it—generally to prevent accidental changes, such as through slips of the mouse or drag-and-drop accidents.

Right click on the taskbar in a space where there are no icons. This opens a pop-up context menu. Near the bottom, look for Lock the taskbar; if there is a check next to this, that means your taskbar is locked, and to make changes you will first need to unlock it.

To unlock the taskbar, simply click the Lock the taskbar item in the menu to remove the check. Now you can add and remove programs to it.

Note: When you're finished customizing the taskbar and don't want it changed by accident in the future, you can go back and lock the taskbar using the same method: right click in the taskbar space and select Lock the taskbar so that a check appears again next to it.

Pin to the Taskbar by Clicking
For this example, we'll use the image editing software Paint, which comes with Windows 7.

Click the Start button. Paint may appear in the list that pops up. If not, type "paint" in the search window at the bottom.
Once you've located Paint, right click on the Paint icon. From the context menu, click Pin to Taskbar.
Paint will now appear in the taskbar.

Pin to the Taskbar by Dragging
Click on the Paint icon and hold. While holding the mouse button, drag the icon to the taskbar. You will see a semitransparent version of the icon, with the phrase "Pin to Taskbar." Simply release the mouse button, and the program will be pinned to the Taskbar.
As above, you should now see the Paint program icon in the taskbar.

Unpin a Taskbar Program
To remove a program pinned to the taskbar, first right click on the program's icon in the taskbar. In the context menu that appears, select Unpin this program from taskbar. The program will vanish from the taskbar. 

Pin a Program to the Start Menu
You can also pin programs to the Start menu. These will appear when you click the Start button. In this case, we'll pin the Windows game Solitaire to the Start menu to you give easy access to it.
First, locate the Solitaire game by clicking the Start menu and entering "solitaire" in the search field. When it appears, right click the icon. From the context menu that appears, select Pin to Start Menu.
Once pinned to the Start menu, it will appear in that menu when you click Start. 

Unpin a Program from the Start Menu
You can remove a program from the Start menu just as easily.
First, click the Start button to open the Start menu. Find the program you want to remove from the menu and right click it. From the context menu that appears, select Unpin from Start Menu. The program will disappear from the Start menu. 

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