PNotes is a multi-faceted desktop reminder and note-taker that enables you to have a little customization while posting desktop notes.
It is a portable offering for use anywhere and provides many more options for personalization than other similar apps. You will be able to change the appearance using multiple skins (provided at the author's site) as well as transparency settings. You can also change up the fonts and splash color in the background of a note to color-code them to correspond with a particular notes importance and have them read back with text-to-speech.
PNotes also offers the ability for simple encryption of notes - perfect for a 'your eyes only' surprise birthday reminder, etc.