Best new features in Windows 10's Sticky Notes 3.0

Microsoft is working on a brand new update for its Sticky Notes app on Windows 10 that introduces several new features and changes that make for a major 3.0 release. First introduced as a "gadget" on Windows Vista, Sticky Notes has, over time, slipped into the background, as services like Wunderlist and Cortana Reminders took over the need for virtual sticky notes. But sometimes being able to pin virtual paper to your desktop is just better, and that's where Sticky Notes 3.0 comes in.

The new version of Sticky Notes is a major improvement over the previous version on Windows 10, which was essentially a pinnable version of Notepad. Now, Sticky Notes is an entire service, allowing you to do things such as save multiple Sticky Notes under one Microsoft account and sync them across devices. They also sync up with Outlook Notes, meaning you can make notes using Sticky Notes and find them saved in Outlook later.

New Windows 10 Sticky Notes hub

There's more to Sticky Notes 3.0 than behind the scenes changes. There's a new "hub" that gives you access to all your notes, allowing you to hide them away if you don't need them pinned directly to your desktop. This is great for those with smaller screens who might not have enough room to keep all their notes up at one time. Now the user can pick and choose what's on display and what's hidden in the hub for viewing at a later date.

In addition to being able to color each sticky note differently, there's a new dark color for those who are fans of dark mode. This new color turns the text white on a dark background, and it looks great. The colors you choose for your notes are represented as such in the hub, too, which makes it much easier to find what you're looking for assuming you color coordinate your notes.

Thanks to the new hub, you can now search your notes as well. In the past, if you had lots of notes, there was no easy way to find a specific note unless you already knew where it was. Now, even if you've lost it, you can search the hub for a keyword or phrase that's part of the note, and it'll show up quickly. Search and overall use of the new Sticky Notes 3.0 are also very fast.

Microsoft might be bringing Sticky Notes to iOS and Android too

You can now also format text within a note, using the new formatting bar available at the bottom of any note. You can make text bold, add strikethrough, italics, underlines, and bullets. This lets you add even further customization to your notes, allowing headers to be bold and underlined and lists to be bullet-pointed, and more.

The settings for Sticky Notes are still simple, with new options that let you configure whether an alert will pop up when trying to delete a note and the ability to sync your notes across devices. Cortana insights still work as expected, though I've noticed that Cortana will no longer try to recommend reminders when you type something like "remember to grab eggs at the store."

A noteworthy upgrade to Sticky Notes

Overall, the new Sticky Notes 3.0 experience is a huge improvement over the previous versions. Now, the app is almost like a full service. The only complaint I really have is when a note is on the desktop, it leaves an app icon in the taskbar, which is annoying. If I want a note on the desktop, I don't need to see it in the taskbar also. Hopefully, Microsoft changes this behavior in a future release.

For now, the new Sticky Notes 3.0 is available to Insiders in the Skip Ahead ring and will likely make its way to the public over the next several weeks and months.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads