Flashnote is an excellent and free instant note taker program which lets you write notes in less time than it takes to pick up a pen. Just hit Alt-S on the keyboard (or any other hotkey you set up) and it’s there instantly. Copy in some clipboard text or write in your note and hit Esc to remove the window till next time.
Each note is dated and stored in a database, and there’s a great little search function for finding older notes. You can also set up a kind of outliner function by setting up child notes from main ones. There’s even a print preview in there and a portable version for USB drives. This is one super useful puppy, and it’s instantly become a part of my keeper software. Awesome.
Whether it’s recording a telephone number when the phone book is far away, saving an URL to reuse, writing a simple TODO list or collecting some information, there are lots of examples. And just as many solutions: open Notepad, use a personal information manager, or use some other programs for creating and saving text. But all those options are slow. Even a PIM is a “heavy” class program. And before you use it to make rough notes, you must create a new file or find a place to write without creating a “litter” of files or damaging important work.