Here’s what I used to do when I need to write down visual notes from another window: I either arrange the windows side by side, or I switch the windows back and forth while trying to remember what I’ve seen in the previous window. Both methods are time-wasting; there is a better way to remember those visual notes.

Snap, Pin, Share

Taking notes is straightforward if the source is text. I simply select the snippet of text and copy them to my notes. But it’s a different story if the source is an image. Perhaps you want to write down quotes from a movie, compare the mockup with the prototype, or follow the instruction in a tutorial. You need these visual notes to be pinned on top of the desktop all the time.

Snappy: Pinned Screenshots

Snappy is designed with that purpose in mind. It captures a screen area, pins it above all of the other windows, and stays there until you close it. The pinned snap appears on all the desktop so you can snap an area in one desktop and bring it to another desktop.

You can take several snaps and have them appear on the desktop all at once. It’s useful if you want to compare visual notes from several locations together.

Here’s the common usage of Snappy:

  • Remember something from Window A so you can use it in Window B. It can be a phone number, shipping address, or anything you can capture on screen.
  • Pin the sample code in ebooks or websites as references so you can type them in your development tools.
  • Compare the placement of your visual design with an email attachment.

Snaps From the Past

The clipboard manager plays a vital role in improving productivity. People who don’t use the clipboard manager often copy and paste the text into a temporary document known as a scratchpad. With a clipboard manager, you can avoid using the scratchpad altogether.

If you haven’t used a clipboard manager, it’s time to get one for yourself. I use Alfred as my clipboard manager along with all these amazing workflows

The clipboard manager usually only saves the history of your copied text, but not the visual notes like screenshots. What if you want to keep the history of your taken screenshots? What if you’re going to search all the visual records you’ve pinned with Snappy?

Snappy: Snaps From The Past

Snaps From the Past stores the history of the previously pinned snaps. It groups the snaps according to the app that is in the top-level window inside the snapped screen area. If you snap an area where Safari is on top of Finder, the snap belongs to Safari.

Furthermore, the top window title is used as the name of the snaps. If you snap a small area from this post, then the name of the snap will be Snappy: Effortlessly Pin Your Screenshots - Sayz Lim at 2:12:56 PM. The search becomes useful because of this naming convention. Type the name of the document or website to see what you’ve snapped before instead of browsing through the list one by one.

Double click any snaps will bring it back to the desktop. You can use Command-S to save the images or simply drag the snaps into your target folder. If you prefer to skip this step, Command-Shift-C will copy the original file location.

Conclusion

I love Snappy, but the developer seems to have abandoned it. There are certainly many areas where I can see improvement, like the integration with other third-party services to share those snaps. Another problem I have with Snappy is the lack of global shortcuts to access Snaps From the Past.

Those small problems aside, Snappy is proven as an excellent tool to pin visual notes and keep the history of screenshots. It’s fast, snappy, and on top of that, it’s free.

Download Snappy (Free)