If you like the idea of keeping notes on your home screen, but the HTC Notes widget takes up too much space and other widgets don't offer enough features, then you should take a look at some of the full-blown notepad apps that either come with a widget like ColorNote or offer a "Pin Note to Home Screen" option like AK Notepad.
I know a lot of people like ColorNote—and it is very nice—but my go-to notepad app has always been AK Notepad. From simple niceties like being able to change the theme and font size/type to more robust features like search, backups, SD card import/export, passcode lock, auto-links (email addresses and URLs are live links), reminders, and sharing, it's just really well done.
What's particularly nice about AK Notepad is that you can create a note shortcut on your home screen without having to leave the app. You just long press the note you want from the main list and tap "Pin Note to Home Screen" from the menu. To do the same thing in ColorNote, you have to get out of the app, long press the home screen, tap Widget from the menu, tap ColorNote, and then select your desired note. Not hard, but still more steps involved.
ColorNote offers things that AK Notepad doesn't such as checklists, easy color switching, and colored widgets, but for adding notes to the home screen, I like AK Notepad.