I need a quick/easy Windows app to maintain notes, protected by a password.

Use case e.g.: it contains a list of server passwords, I get a telephone call for help, and need to quickly login to one of those servers (and a password manager won't help there).

I currently have these as safe notes in LastPass, but that requires starting my browser if it is not open, logging in to my Lastpass vault if is not (still) open, scrolling down to the safe notes and opening one.

Must have:

  • Just a few free form text notes, even one is OK
  • Start with double click, enter password and I'm in and see the notes
  • Good security: established encryption algorithm, well implemented, no 'roll your own' security
  • Free

Could have:

  • Display closes and password re-enables (or program closes) when program is Y minutes open
  • Login is postponed for the next X minutes if I close, then reopen the app
  • A small list of notes is fine, if they are all immediately accessible (I don't want to have to pull down a list)
  • Tray icon app would be nice, but I can place it in my quick start bar, so not essential
  • Portability of the file that contains the notes
  • 2
    Why is it that "a password manager won't help there"?
    – unor
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 19:57
  • LastPass works by HTTP(s) URL, so it will not autofill credentials for servers in other protocols. (That I know of.) Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


I recommend taking a look at keepass. Do not let the name mislead you. Notes can bee added to each entry. (Http://keepass.info/). It is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password/note taking manager.


  1. Strong Security
  2. Multiple User Keys
  3. Portable and No Installation Required, Accessibility
  4. Export To TXT, HTML, XML and CSV Files
  5. Import From Many File Formats
  6. Easy Database Transfer
  7. Support of Password Groups
  8. Time Fields and Entry Attachments
  9. Auto-Type, Global Auto-Type Hot Key and Drag&Drop
  10. Intuitive and Secure Clipboard Handling
  11. Searching and Sorting
  12. Multi-Language Support
  13. Plugin Architecture
  14. Open Source!


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Note Field

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After configuring the column fields on the main page, you could make it look like this.

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Additional functionality could be found on the plugin page.



I use LastPass, but I rarely use the note feature. I imagine, however, that it is as annoying as you describe. You might try LastPass Pocket or fine tuning the security features in LastPass, but the secure notes feature is certainly not friendly.


I have not used Keepass, but I have read multiple reviews of the security, and they all say that it is top notch for security.


I believe the program you want, however, is a program that was first designed to take notes and then had password protection added: MicroSoft OneNote 2013 has a free version that is decent. I still use my for-pay OneNote 2007 because it generally superior, but 2013 does what you want: simple note taking, sophisticated organizing, password protection, and portability.

Password protection comes in a couple of forms. First, you may optionally assign a password to any Section of notes. Second, as far as I can tell, 2013 forces you to work with OneDrive, so, in a way, your OneNote data is protected by your Microsoft login, but as far as I know, if you have OneNote installed on your computer, it does not challenge you for Microsoft credentials. You will want it installed because then you have a taskbar icon for notes.

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