Quick Pad Windows 10 app review: A basic note-taking tool that sticks with you

Sometimes you want to take a quick note without having to switch over to an app. Quick Pad - UWP Notepad provides a basic canvas for notes on your Windows 10 PC and can stay above all of your other applications using Compact Overlay mode.

It's a simplistic app, but it does its job well, providing a simple and easy way to take notes without having to minimize your other applications.

Quick Pad is available for free on Windows 10, HoloLens, Surface Hub, and Windows 10 Mobile.

Clean note taking

Quick Pad presents a clean interface for notes. It has a Fluent Design and is a blank canvas. It has core text editing features like bold, strikethrough, and italics and some structural formatting features such as centering text and aligning it left or right. It's a basic interface, but as a result, you can just take notes without having to jump through tabs and pages.

The application can be used in a window that can be resized or in Compact Overlay mode. The latter is the app's main selling point as it allows you to leave an inconspicuous rectangle on your screen that stays on top of all the apps you open. It saves time and clicks because if you're reading an article online, you can take notes without having to switch applications.

Finding a space to fill

There's no shortage of note-taking applications on Windows 10, but I still haven't found a single one that does everything that I like. OneNote (opens in new tab) is a powerhouse that can sync notes across devices and platforms. I think it's an excellent application, but its desktop version feels like it's more for heavy-duty notes and can look crowded when I just need to jot things down.

Simplenote is a basic notes application that syncs across devices and my main notes app, but it doesn't' have the Compact Overlay feature that Quick Pad does.

Quick Pad doesn't have the power of OneNote or the cross-syncing of Simplenote, but it is convenient. Being able to launch it by default in Compact Overlay mode means you can just pop it up, take some notes, and leave it there as you keep working.

In an ideal world, there would be an app that combines all of the features I want, but every app I spoke about here is free, so there's no reason you can't use them in conjunction with each other.

Simple, but has its place

Quick Pad UWP does a good job of delivering a note-taking experience that can stay above all of your other apps. That comes in handy when you need to jot things down while watching or reading something on another app or page. But that's the main focus of the app. It doesn't sync across devices. It doesn't have pages you can organize of notes. It's, both by name and design, a quick pad for taking notes.

If you want a notes application that you can leave up and refer back to without thinking or having to click around and switch applications, Quick Pad is a good choice. Just remember that it probably won't be your only note-taking application.

Pros

  • Free
  • Can stay on top of all apps
  • Can default to open in full or compact view

Cons

  • Very basic
  • Doesn't sync across devices or platforms
  • Faces stiff competition
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

6 Comments
  • A comparison to Sticky Notes would have been appropriate, I'd think.
  • Google Keep! Sync to phone or computer easily.
  • Just be careful with company/privacy related notes.
  • Especially since Sticky Notes now sync to iOS and Android within the OneNote app, as well as across Windows devices.
  • Sticky Notes sync with Microsoft Launcher on Android also.
  • I love Sticky Notes and its recent integration with MS Launcher and Android OneNote, but like a lot (all?) of MS inbox apps, they don't have any option for staying on top. I personally think that's a weird omission, but maybe people aren't using that feature as much as I would expect and so MS never had plans to bake that into the OS.