Looking for an application to put sticky notes on the computer desktop, I could not find something I really liked. That is why I decided to develop a small application myself, the result of which you find on this page.

The look and behaviour of JotDown notes is highly customisable, with the main options shown in the screenshot. Once you have configured a first note to your liking, you can use that configuration as a template for all future notes. That does however not stop you from modifying the configurations of individual notes - the template only sets their initial configuration.

Notes can be locked to prevent accidental modification. If you are too lazy to lock them yourself (I know I am...), they can also be set to lock automatically after a certain amount of time. To prevent notes from being hidden behind other windows, they can be forced to always be visible on top. (This 'on top' functionality is only available if your Linux installation uses X-Windows, which most do.)

Of course notes can be resized and moved around. Some basic functionality is also provided to align notes with each other on the screen.


The JotDown software is released under the GPL license, version 3 (or, at your option, any later version). Feel free to improve it, or to adjust it to your own needs.

How to install

With the two links at the bottom of this page you can download a Debian package and the source code for the application. If you use a Debian-based operating system, like Ubuntu, there is no need to download the source code. Just go to the directory with the downloaded package and execute the following command.

sudo apt-get install ./jotdown-1.2.deb

On other Linux platforms the package is of no use; you will need to compile the source code. This requires Qt5 to be installed on your PC. The source code includes a project file for Qt Creator, so make sure to have that as part of your Qt5 installation. The code links against the X11 library, so you also need to have that library's development package installed on your PC.

After you have installed the package, you will probably want to add it to the list of applications that start automatically when you log in. On Debian-based systems this can be done by placing this jotdown.desktop file in directory $HOME/.config/autostart. If you use a different method to start the application during login, do make sure that you start the application with the -s command line option.

Language support

JotDown is the first application I have written with language support in mind. Version 1.2 only supports the English language, but if you decide to translate the application I will be happy to include your translation in the next release - just send me the .ts and .qm files for your language. These files can be generated from the application's source code with the lupdate - Qt Linguist - lrelease tool chain. To get these tools you need to install Qt5.

If you have not made translations before, you may want to read the documentation first, to get an idea of the process. To prevent duplicate work, let me know which translation you plan to provide before you start.


Debian package

MD5: 205a90391eaa296b5e8d361b86957848

C++ source code

MD5: 771284d2ebc3699c3efbff4b3b3be0b6