As shown by Duffbert, it is easy to convert a Google Gadget into a Notes sidebar widget.
Since I already developed several OpenNTF Gadgets last year, I updated them so they would be available for the Notes sidebar.

So here they are, OpenNTF 'Facts' with the category's:
  • Recent releases
  • Most downloaded projects
  • Most active projects

The real OpenNTF enthousiasts however, will go for the Project Management Plugin, configurable for the project(s) and categories you are interested in:

To add the widgets to your Notes 8 sidebar follow these steps:

1. Open your sidebar in Notes 8
2. If Widgets aren't enabled then enable them via File > Preferences
3. In the Widgets panel select 'Configure a Component from...' and then 'A Google Gadget'
4. In the next dialg click the 'Add a Google Gadget by URL' radio button and paste the URL for the 'facts' or for the project widget.
5. Configure the gadget, make sure to enter a meaningful title, since the title calculation used by Google Gadgets does not work in the sidebar.
6. You will probably get a null-pointer exception, haven't found the cause yet, but it should work regardless
7. Double click the widget or rightclick 'open in'.

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