Stick Reminders to Your Screen with Sticky Notifications

Always forgetting little things and minor tasks? Do you walk away from your computer, then come back and wonder what you were about to do? The old-school solution is to write a note on a sticky and attach it to your keyboard or monitor. It turns out there’s an app for that.

Sticky Notifications lets you quickly create reminders that sit on your screen until you dismiss them. It does one thing, and it does it well — with several advanced features for power users and an easy-as interface for everyone else. But is it worth the $3 price tag? Let’s take a look.

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Simple Reminders

The app’s core function is posting notification alerts on your screen, using either Growl or Notification Center (or both). Just tap on the icon in your menubar, add a title, subtitle, and message (all of which are optional), then hit notify. It’ll show up as a notification, and stay there until you dismiss it.

Remember the important things.

You can create several of these stickies, or customize how they show up via the Notification Center or Growl preferences. If your sticky contains links, you can set them to open automatically when you click on the notification. There’s also an option to create new sticky notifications via a keyboard shortcut, but you’ll have to turn this on manually.

A sticky notification, displayed as a Notification Center alert. You can also use Growl to display the stickies.

Automated Services

Sticky Notifications includes several nifty integration features. There’s a service to create a new sticky from selected text, which you need to turn on via the Keyboard pane of the System Preferences. This is perfect for quick reminders to download an app, follow up on an email, or otherwise deal with something later. With help from Automator, you can even make some of these tasks occur automatically.

Right-click or control-click on selected text and highlight the Services menu to make a sticky notification from it.

One such use I thought of is extracting the links from a web page or document and creating stickies with them. Another, more flexible, option for this kind of thing is the LaunchBar integration. You can create a search template that will perform a specified action (say, search Google) and, with a little help from System Services, create a sticky for the top result, which you can click on at your leisure.

The app recognizes URLs in its reminders and opens them automatically when you click on a message, making it perfect for saving a link for later without dropping it into the dark passages of a bookmarks folder. It can handle URLs that aren’t web pages, too — the app has its own URL scheme.

You can create a note directly from your browser by typing sticky-notifications://note?message=Test%20Message in the address bar, where “Test Message” is replaced with whatever text you want. To change the title from “Reminder” to something a little more custom, add &title=My%20Title, and to include a subtitle add &subtitle=This%20is%20a%20subtitle. If you’d prefer to bring up the New Notification window, swap “note” for “prepare” in the custom URL. It’s easy, intuitive, and extremely useful.

You can also use the custom URLs with Alfred or LaunchBar — two fantastic Spotlight replacements. The app even comes with an Alfred Custom Search script that you can install with the click of a button.

Creating new notifications via Alfred is easy.

Deceptively Powerful

Sticky Notifications is much more than it at first appears. There’s a world of complexity hidden beneath the core feature of displaying a Growl or Notification Center alert with a custom message. And yet even the advanced functionality is intuitive — integrating with Automator scripts, System Services, or 3rd-party launcher/search apps Alfred and LaunchBar.

At $2.99, it’s a small price to pay for the convenience of a sticky note you can activate at the tap of a button — with custom workflows and all the power of a built-in URL scheme. You can tell developer Matt Gemmell put a lot of work into the tiny tool, which is everything we’ve come to expect from a great Mac app — intuitive, simple, and powerful, with a clean design. The only thing I’d like to see in future is a scheduling option, for the stickies you don’t want to worry about until a day or two later.

I reviewed version 1.0.4, which at the time of writing is still awaiting App Store approval. The Mac App Store release is currently at version 1.0.


Summary

A tool for creating sticky notes via Growl or Notification Center, Sticky Notifications makes it easy to set quick reminders whenever you need to step away from the computer or focus on another task.

9
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