Windows 10 Anniversary Update Tip: Use Inking with Sticky Notes and Cortana

The new Windows Ink Workspace tools feature an improved Sticky Notes app with support for writing notes by hand and of course, features Cortana intelligence.

Cortana, the digital assistant, built into Windows 10, is a hallmark feature of the operating system. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update takes Cortana a bit further by enabling support in the major parts of the system. The new Windows Ink Workspace tools feature an improved Sticky Notes app with support for writing notes by hand and of course, features Cortana intelligence. In the Anniversary Update, you can perform some handy actions such as schedule a reminder or make a call. Let’s take a look at how to use it.

Use Sticky Notes with Cortana in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The first thing you must know; this feature requires an active Internet connection. If it’s not available, then, of course, you won’t see the benefit; since Cortana utilizes Bing to help make sense of the information, you enter. Although you can use the Sticky Notes app with a stylus, it’s not required; you can enter your information using the keyboard, which is better. The novelty of using ink is cool, though.

You can launch sticky notes two ways, click the Windows Ink Workspace icon in the Notification Area or Start > All Apps > Sticky Notes.

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Sticky Notes will present a disclaimer seeking your permission to allow Enable insights. This will let Cortana and Bing recognize the information you enter into Sticky Notes.

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After setting up Sticky Notes, start entering some text using either your keyboard or stylus. Automatically Cortana will identify relevant information and present contextual task you can perform. A phone number, for instance, will provide an option to make a call. If no suitable app is found, you can launch the Store then download one. I assume Skype will likely become the appropriate app shortly.

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Entering a reminder such as Call Brian tomorrow will let Cortana help you enter additional information such as the day and time.

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Sticky notes can be used to look up information such as stock quotes and flight information. Just enter a dollar sign followed by the stock symbol for the company.

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Sticky notes can also identify when you are creating a to-do list. Each bit of text entered into a new line will activate a checklist on the title bar. Click on it and the listed information will be recognized. You can click each bullet to identify when a task is complete.

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These are certainly welcome improvements users will appreciate, whether you own a Tablet or use a traditional desktop computer. If you would like to learn more about using Cortana, check out our collection of articles about getting the most out it.



  1. Jay Clark

    I had win 10 64 bit, since the beginning, and just installed the anniversary update. NOW, I cannot open the sticky notes. Clicking on it from the start menu, or task bar no longer works. Please help.

    • Jay Clark

      I have since become aware of the addition of Windows Ink Workspace. Sticky Notes do not work from there either. When I click on them there, I get a ‘frosted’ window which blinks off after a few seconds. The other features of Windows Ink Workspace work fine.

      • John C

        same situation here

  2. Daniel Belleville

    yep me neither and you have to close /reopen explorer.exe to get the starmenu and action center back as well. also i had my external drives on usb3 then when i updated i had to move them to usb 2 or i get access denied issues.,

  3. Jonathan

    Beware that “… Ink intelligence features are only available in EN-US at launch, with more markets coming soon.   …” (see This is still a helpful and informative article, but it causes confusion and frustration for those outside the US who cannot see these features in the “same” OS release!

    • Jonathan

      Ink intelligence features have started working for me in the U.K. after an update this week.

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