Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Onenote and Windows Live

with 4 comments


Up until fairly recently I was sceptical about the virtues of digital note-taking apps such as Microsoft Office Onenote. “A digital notebook? Pah, text editors work just fine ta very much!” used to be my refrain. Then I got turned onto Evernote (which I’ve blogged about before: Evernote – Your memory downloaded) and I started to realise that digital note-taking apps might have some legs. My initial interest in Evernote subsided however when I realised its key failing; that to all intents and purposes it is a web-only application save for some niche photo uploading abilities using mobile clients (I stand to be corrected on these points – I haven’t looked at Evernote for a few months).

That’s when I first took a good look at Onenote and realised just what a cool application it was. Here was an Office app that freed you from all those annoying nuances of Word that you have had to learn to live with. Onenote won’t unceremoniously rearrange all your pictures and scroll unannounced between page breaks like Word is wont to do – you put something on the Onenote surface and it stays there. The Notebook->Section->Page organisational hierarchy took a little bit of getting used to but once you’re familiar with it you realise the ease of which you can use it to navigate through your notes. Couple that with the ability to search through all your notes from one place (including text within pictures) and Onenote is one damn fine little application.

Another of my burdgeoning interests is the relevancy of syncing abilities in today’s applications (as evidenced in another recent blog: Sync is the word). Imagine then how glad I was to learn from David Rasmussen’s blog OneNote 2010 – What’s New For You that Onenote 2010 is to get the following new features:

  • Sync to Cloud (Windows Live): Your notebooks sync and are available anywhere from any machine. Of course this is in addition to all the existing ways you can sync notebooks (file shares, SharePoint, USB drives etc.)
  • OneNote Web App: You can access and edit your entire notebook from a browser. Even on a machine that doesn’t have OneNote installed.
  • OneNote Mobile: A more complete OneNote version for Windows Mobile phones. Syncs whole notebooks. Syncs directly to the cloud. No need to tether your device. Richer editing support.

Wow. Sync your notebooks to Windows Live and make them publicly available – that is a killer offering. Couple that with another new feature (also from David Rasmussen’s blog):

  • Wiki linking: you can easily create a link to an existing page or to a new page for a topic. You can do this by just typing the Wiki link syntax (e.g. just type [[The Page Title I Want]] ), or use our new page search experience from within the link dialog. This enables you to easily create Wiki like notebooks with lots of cross links across pages.

and Onenote/Windows Live has an opportunity to become the de facto wiki tool on the web. Free, no installation, no hosting, auto-merging and syncing using an offline (paid for) client – that’s a wiki offering that is going to be hard to beat.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what Onenote can do then go and read I Heart OneNote – 15 top Onenote tips by Chris Pratley.

I have but one future wish for Onenote – I want the ability to view all of my notebooks together at once using Plex on Touchwall:




Written by Jamiet

August 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I finally got my employer to invest in a OneNote 2007 license for me, and I love it. Like you, I was very skeptical about its effectiveness when it first rolled out in 2003. I think the lack of structure within the notes themselves freaked me out a little bit; I was never quite sure that I was using it "correctly." But I’ve continued to be impressed with its flexibility and integration with other Office apps. I really like the integrated clipping and search tools. Sounds like I have a lot more features to look forward to in coming months. Great post, Jamie.


    August 18, 2009 at 2:23 am

  2. I had no idea about some of these features for OneNote 2010. It sounds absolutely awesome. Can’t wait.


    August 18, 2009 at 3:35 am

  3. This is gonna be awesome. I’m a big fan of OneNote already:)


    August 18, 2009 at 5:53 am

  4. Onenote is an amazingly powerful application -I was a big fan of it as a student!


    August 20, 2009 at 9:30 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: