31 January 2011

DeskNote: Takes To-Do Notes And Then Display Them In Your Desktop Background

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When I first saw DeskNote, I thought it was a update to ToDo. A little WPF ToDo List app I posted about well over a year ago. But no, it is more of a retake on the same idea. I state this, just so they don’t get confused given they are almost essentially the same app. The difference is that DeskNote takes Clint Rutkas ToDo idea and refines it while still keeping it true to the same concepts.

DeskNote is a .NET/WPF app from CodePlex by Mohit that allows you to take To-Do notes in the simplest way possible, while also maintaining a efficient workflow for doing so.  To-Do notes that will then be displayed directly over your desktop background.

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DeskNote uses a single .TXT file titled “TODO” in order to work. Once you write in it and save, whatever it is written into it will show on your desktop background as shown in this screenshot above. If you want to erase or edit, you just open the text file , edit and save again. 

Installation And Use

The app is ClickOnce  enabled so you only need to click a few times to have it installed in less than a minute.

Once you have it installed and running, the first thing DeskNote will do is to ask you for the TODO.txt file. This is something you need to create on the spot and put wherever you want it to be, then you just point the Windows Explorer prompt to the file and click Open.

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Now the DeskNote icon should be appearing in your System Tray. Click the icon and it will show you a Notification with the info with the path for the TODO.txt file it is using. Click the inside of the notification body and the TODO.txt file will open up.

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As the TODO.txt files opens, you will see that it already has some text in it. This text is filled automatically by the app.

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Now that you have seen the text, you can start editing it to display you own ToDo List in your desktop background. Set the font size you think is best for your resolution and screen size,  Change the color of the displayed text by editing the color in the parameter marker to best suit your wallpaper. If you are not sure on what color would be best, just write a color name wrong, save and DeskNote will launch a color picker for you to correct the mistake and choose the color again using the color picker instead. 

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You also don’t even need to launch the TODO.txt file if you just want to add some notes besides the ones you already added. For those cases, you just launch the NoteTaker by pressing Ctrl twice.

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The NoteTaker will launch and hover on top of whatever is that you are doing. Write something and then click enter and you will see the text in you desktop background update accordingly, without you having to open the text file. Now you can go back to what you were doing without distracting yourself at all. And if you are in Windows 7, you already know you can see into your desktop with AeroPeek and rest assured that your notes will continue to show when you do that too.

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Finally if you want to move your notes to a specific part of your screen, you don’t need to write the coordinates  manually either, just right-click in the desknote system tray icon and click “Choose Note Location” to set where in the desktop do you want the notes to appear.

Conclusion

At first, the concept behind DeskNote seems a little bit silly. But once you start using it, I assure you it makes a lot of sense and it is perfect for simple GTD notes, To-Do Lists and Reminders. It is not meant to be used for any serious note taking. But you can extend your notes if you #comment# them inside the TODO.txt file if you want to, as that will not show into the desktop background.

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Depending on how you want to use it, Desknote can be a productivity booster or a just a easy to use To-Do list app. Well worth a look if you previously liked Clint Rutkas ToDo concept but wanted more features or if you were looking for a unique take on To-Do listing, Reminders and even GTD notes you could easily integrate into your personal workflow.

Works on XP SP3, Vista & 7.

Linkage

Desknote Project Page

Desknote                                               <—Direct Install Link

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