How to use Microsoft's Sticky Notes in Windows 10, on the web, and on your mobile device

Read this tutorial on how to use Microsoft's Sticky Notes in Windows 10, on the web, and on your iPhone or Android phone.

Sticks note paper on wall

Image: xmee, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft's Sticky Notes is a quick, convenient way for creating and pinning reminders and other types of notes to your Windows desktop. But they're not just limited to Windows—you can also access your sticky notes on the web and on an iPhone or Android phone. The key lies in using your Microsoft Account to sync your notes via the different locations and devices. You can then create, edit, and sync your sticky notes across your PC, the web, and your mobile phones.

To make this all work, you'll need a Microsoft Account and the mobile app for Microsoft OneNote for your iPhone or Android phone. The TechRepublic article on How to get the most out of Windows 10's Sticky Notes app with a Task View desktop serves as a good primer if you haven't fully delved into Sticky Notes. For this article, I'll assume you're already working with Sticky Notes in Windows and have created existing notes.

SEE: Microsoft OneNote: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

First, you'll need to launch Sticky Notes to sign into and sync your account. You can kick off Sticky Notes one of four ways:

  1. Click the Start button, scroll down the list of apps, and select the shortcut for Sticky Notes.
  2. Type sticky in the search field and click the result for Sticky Notes.
  3. Call on Cortana by saying: "Hey Cortana. Launch Sticky Notes."
  4. Right-click the Taskbar and select the option to Show Windows Ink Workspace button. Then click the System Tray icon for the Windows Ink Workspace and select Sticky Notes.

In the Sticky Notes main window, click on the gear icon for Settings (Figure A).

Figure A

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Click the Sign In button and then sign in with your Microsoft Account (Figure B).

Figure B

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One advantage of signing in is that you can view and work with the same Sticky Notes on any Windows 10 computer. To try this, open Sticky Notes on another Windows 10 PC. Launch the app, open Settings, and make sure you're signed in with your Microsoft Account. If so, you'll see the same notes available from your first computer. Make a change to your notes on this PC, and they'll show up on your other PC (Figure C).

Figure C

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Now, let's check out Sticky Notes on the web. Fire up your browser and to go your Sticky Notes web page. Sign in with your Microsoft Account. Your sticky notes should then sync so you see the same ones you saw on your Windows 10 devices. Make changes to your Sticky Notes here (Figure D).

Figure D

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The changes propagate to the Windows 10 app (Figure E).

Figure E

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Next, let's look at the mobile apps. For this to work, you currently need the mobile version of Microsoft OneNote, which you can download at the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. The Sticky Notes feature in OneNote is currently supported for the iPhone but not for the iPad.

The iPhone and Android OneNote apps work similarly, so the process for accessing and working with your Sticky Notes is the same across both platforms. Launch the iOS or Android app and sign in with your Microsoft Account. On your phone, tap the tab for Sticky Notes. To edit an existing note, just tap its entry. To add a new note, tap the + icon (Figure F).

Figure F

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And while you're using Sticky Notes through the OneNote app on your phone, one cool trick is that you can add an image to a note. To do this, tap the note you want to spice up with an image and select the camera icon. Take a picture or select an image from your library. Tap Done. You can crop and perform light editing on the image. Tap Done again to add the image to your note (Figure G).

Figure G

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Also see

By Lance Whitney

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books—one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.