There are times when Apple releases a new feature, and you think, “Wow, this is really cool!” Then there are other times when you think, “This looks cool, but how the heck would I use it?” Spaces, first introduced in OS X 10.5 Leopard, felt more like the latter. Grouping applications to virtual desktops looked promising, but its usefulness felt questionable.

Stickies has been around since OS 7, but even that one didn’t feel too purposeful. All the notes just litter the desktop until the app is closed or you right click on the icon in the dock to hide. Creating the notes with the Stickies widget in Dashboard isn’t much better.

But combining Stickies and Spaces leads to something different.

Open System Preferences and click on Expose & Spaces. Select the Spaces tab and then check “Enable Spaces.” After you select the “+” symbol, select Stickies and assign it to Space 1. Done. But from there, you can customize Spaces further, adding or taking Spaces away or adding other apps in to the mix.

Hit F8, the Spaces icon, or Expose, and bam! Stickies. Done looking at them? Just go back to your first space.

From there you can add the functionality of the way Stickies works with any highlighted text by clicking and dragging it on to the Stickies dock icon (in Safari, Command-Shift-y eliminates the need for click and drag). Color-coding is as simple as selecting Color from the menu, text can be put in bold to show importance, or images can be added.

The features of OS X never cease to amaze. Apple has spent so much attention to user friendliness with intuitive functionality that applications can work together to create a greater effect.

Now, if I could only wrap my head around how to use Automator. I guess I’ll make a note to look into that.

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