The notification panel in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a convenient feature that allows you to quickly toggle key settings, like Bluetooth, GPS, Airplane mode, and so on. If your Galaxy Note 2 has been updated to 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, you can now customize the notification panel, except on the AT&T variant. If you have an AT&T Galaxy Note 2, we have third party app suggestions for you at the end of this post.
To customize the notification panel, go to Settings > Display > Notification panel. You'll see one check box for displaying brightness adjustment on the panel, then two rows of buttons that are currently shown on the notification panel. You'll also see another row of buttons that are available to place on the notification panel, which include the new options: S Beam, NFC, Smart stay, and Sync. Long-press, then drag the buttons around to reorder, add, or remove them.
Now you can choose only the notification panel buttons you want and in the order you want them.
If you happen to have the original Galaxy Note and it's been updated to Android 4.1.2, you'll have the notification panel setting as well. Oddly enough, if you have the AT&T version of the Galaxy Note 2, it appears that this feature has been omitted from the 4.1.2 update. In that case, you may want to check out 1Tap Quick Bar and AntTek Quick Settings, a couple of Android apps that offer similar functionality.
Editors' note, May 3, 2013: Updated to include third-party app alternatives for AT&T Galaxy Note 2 users.