I have a small confession. I was not a fan of the customize area of my WordPress dashboard. I actively avoided using it. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason for my aversion, maybe just due to stubbornness and resistance to change. However, after using NOTE over the last few weeks, it has forced my hand to try to make use of the customize area and, I have to admit, it’s not as awkward as I had imagined (after I took the time to understood the workflow).
NOTE plugin can be used as a substitute for a text widget. When I first tried it, I thought it seemed like a neat concept but i was unsure where and how I could use it. After using it for several weeks, I find that use of NOTE is only limited by your creativity. Like a text widget, it must be used in a registered sidebar. However, the advantage over using a conventional WordPress text widget is that the text in NOTE can be more easily formatted than in a text widget. Formatting text in a conventional text widget can get a bit messy when you start to add classes and tags to fine tune the display.
The first time I saw NOTE in action, it was introduced in the context of a call to action within an online store however; I have not used it yet for that particular purpose.
Here’s a sample list of how I have used NOTE on client projects recently:
- disclaimer text for external links
- address in footer
- hours of operation
- announcement of upcoming classes
- simple breadcrumb trail for a cluster of related pages (I admit that this took a bit of time to configure)
NOTE is currently in use on the Work Samples page on this website
After you add the NOTE widget to the desired sidebar area and enter a title for the widget (optional and can be hidden from display) placeholder text just “magically” appears in on the page. There is no special “box” to type it in like a “normal” text widget. At first, that felt weird to me. The text is “just there”. Start typing. Highlight the text if you need special formatting and a small editor will appear.
You can get a copy of NOTE from the WordPress plugin repository to install on your next project.
Hint: Prepare the text you want to display in an external source and copy it into the space on your page OR type directly on the page more S-L-O-W-L-Y than normal. I have found that the customizer seems to refresh sometimes causing my snippets of text to disappear before I get a chance to click the save button in the customizer.