Microsoft boosts Sticky Notes app with AI in latest Windows

Sticky Notes has been in Windows for years, but Microsoft has done little with it. It was almost forgotten, but it has just received a major update and has gained some impressive features.

Windows Sticky Notes gets artificial intelligence and now recognises addresses, emails, links, reminders and more

There is no doubt that Sticky Notes that you can pin to the desktop are useful. You can use them to store all sorts of information you come across throughout the day. Bits of text copied of web pages, telephone numbers, names, email addresses, web links, even bits of code if you are a programmer.

Any number of notes can be created and stuck to the Windows desktop. They are remembered when the PC is switched off and they reappear when the PC is switched back on.

Perhaps Microsoft has been encouraged, jealous even, of the success other note taking apps like Google Keep. Keep is getting better with every version and had become far more useful than Windows Sticky Notes. That could be about to change though.

Start Sticky Notes

Open Sticky Notes by finding it on the Start menu in Windows 10 and clicking it. It adds an icon to the taskbar that hides or shows the notes on the desktop.

Windows Sticky Notes on the Start menu in Windows 10

Address links in notes

Type an address into a note on the desktop and a second or two afterwards, it will turn blue. This is to indicate that it has been recognised and that it is a link. Click the blue link.

Enter an address into Windows Sticky Notes and it is recognised

View the address

At the bottom of the note is the recognised text and a View Address link. This is the action that can be performed on the recognised text. Click it.

Enter an address into Windows Sticky Notes and it is recognised

Addresses on Maps

The Maps app opens, goes to the address and drops a pin. You can zoom in and out of the map, look at a street view with a 360 degree photo, get restaurants and places of interest nearby and so on.

The Maps app in Windows 10

Access the menu

The plus button in the top left corner of a note is used to add new notes to the desktop. Click the menu button in the top right corner for extra features.

The menu button in the Windows 10 Sticky Notes app

Pick a colour

Notes can be colour coded and six colours are available. Click one to apply it to that note. Down in the bottom left corner is a gear icon. Click it to access Sticky Notes settings.

Select a colour for the sticky note on the desktop in Windows

Enable insights

The artificial intelligence that Microsoft is building into the app is turned on and off with the switch at the top - Enable insights. It isn’t essential that you send application usage statistics, so feel free to turn off that switch.

Insights in Sticky Notes for Windows 10

Email addresses

Enter an email address into a new note and it turns blue. Click the email address and at the bottom is an action - Send Email. Previously you would have had to manually copy the email address, start the Mail app, create a new email, and then paste in the address. Now it is one click on Send Email.

Windows 10 Sticky Notes recognises email addresses. Send an email from a note

Create reminders

Sticky Notes recognises references to times. For example, it recognises ‘tomorrow’ and ‘next week’. Try entering a reminder and you’ll see the time word turn blue. Click it and the action at the bottom is Add Reminder.

Sticky Notes app

Click the action and Cortana pops up with an appointment suggestion. You can modify this, such as by setting a new time, and then save it.

Cortana in Windows 10

There are other things it can do and if you enter a telephone number, the action at the bottom is to call it. What else can it do? It is obviously a work in progress, but either now or in the near future, it will recognise stock market symbols, flight information, and more.

Keep an eye on Sticky Notes. It is obviously an app that Microsoft is giving some attention to these days.

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