How to Use Sticky Notes on a Mac

By David Weedmark

Apple's Stickies app has been included in Mac computers for years, including OS X Yosemite. These virtual sticky notes can be a handy way to remind yourself of upcoming tasks, provide hints for your website passwords, or anything other reason you might use a paper sticky note. There's no "Save" command on the Stickies app. Anything you add is saved automatically, as is the layout, so when you open Stickies the next time, all your notes are exactly the same as you left them.

Step 1

Launch "Stickies" from the Applications folder in Finder. Alternatively, just press "Command-F" and type "Stickies" to find the app in Spotlight Search. The first time you launch the app, a single sticky appears on the screen. To add a new note, just start typing.

Step 2

Press the "Fn" button twice, or select "Start Dictation" from the Edit menu, to dictate a note using your Mac's microphone. A microphone icon appears on the screen. When you're finished speaking, click "Done" at the bottom of the microphone icon, and your dictation is added to the note.

Step 3

Press "Command-N" to add a new sticky note, or select "New Note" from the File menu. This menu also includes options to import or export text to and from your sticky note. If you have a lot of text in a note, you can resize it by dragging the corner.

Step 4

Click the "Color" menu to change a sticky's color if desired. Using different colors can make it easier to find a specific note, particularly if you use a lot of them.

Step 5

Select "Services" from the Stickies menu if you want to add an image to a note. Stickies has an option to import an image from a camera or digital scanner connected to your Mac, as well as to capture a screenshot and paste it into a note. Once an image is in a note, you can draw on it or add text to it using the markup options that display when you click the image's upper-right corner.

Step 6

Make your notes stay on top of other windows by selecting "Floating Window" from the Note window. You also have the option here to make a note translucent so you can see what's behind it. If this seems like a good idea for your working habits, you can make either of these options the defaults for all future sticky notes you create.

Step 7

Find a sticky note quickly by clicking the "Window" menu. The first line of each note serves as a title, and each note is color-coded so you can easily find the one you want. Select the "Arrange By" option to sort your stickies. Select "Zoom" to make your selected note appear in full-screen mode. Clicking "Collapse" makes only the sticky's title visible.