What's the deal with OneNote?



  • Anybody use OneNote?

    We had a Microsoftie visit our office the other day, and he was shocked that we don't all use it during meetings. Apparently, on the Microsoft campus, OneNote is their most-user Office app.

    So what's the deal with OneNote? It didn't exist when I went to college and learned office suites, and I've never heard... any kind of pitch on what to use it for or what it's good at doing. I'm only vaguely aware that it's for taking notes? I guess? Why is it better than Word for taking notes?



  •  Word is more "type things in sequence" whilst OneNote is "type/write/draw anything anywhere, then mark it up however you want"

    It's quite nifty, but very frustrating since most of the things it does are either non-obvious, or hidden. You'll spend a lot of time trying to figure out how the last guy put a blue circle around your dev note.

    I think the best use-case for it is when it's on a tablet PC with a lightpen, hooked up to a projector. It's then pretty much exactly like a whiteboard, but then it saves everything you sketched out. Very useful for dev meetings.

     



  • OneNote is really powerful. As mentioned, it's metaphor is tabbed notebooks. The pages can hold screen clips (it comes with an advanced clipping tool, which you get on all Windows platforms), video, audio, formatted text blocks, on and on. It's got it's own sharing capability built in that lets you share notebooks with others (the server and client are built in OneNote itself). You can search, you can annotate with drawing tools, and you can essentiallly turn it into your smart electronic Moleskine notebook. I started using it, but then I realized it wasn't quite a fit for my worfkflow. At our university, though, many of the health sciences faculty really like it with tablet PCs for keeping up with things and making notes. There's a slimmed down version of OneNote as one of the Office Live applications, as well.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    and I've never heard... any kind of pitch on what to use it for or what it's good at doing.
    Neither have I. It just kind of.... Showed up in Office 2003, and I didn't pay it much mind.

     

    However, I just loaded Onenote 2010 to take a look around, and this is EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO USE PROJECT WIKIS TO DO!

    I have a project kickoff tomorrow, I'm retooling it to OneNote to see what happens.

     

    For those interested, the 2010 version loads into a notebook that quite handily outlines what it's good for and how it works.



  • Hum, I'll have to give it a go then.



  • Ok I tried OneNote during a boring, boring... boring boring boring meeting, and it pretty much rocks.

    It beats my homegrown JamesPad, that's for sure.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Ok I tried OneNote during a boring, boring... boring boring boring meeting, and it pretty much rocks.
    Indeed, I found it to be brilliant when I was in school. Click and type, draw stuff (badly) when needed, close it down, fully searchable, fully readable, near impossible to lose notes.

    There's also a free Onenote webapp that you can use if you have a Windows Live account.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It beats my homegrown JamesPad, that's for sure.

    Not in the same league



  • @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    It beats my homegrown JamesPad, that's for sure.

    Not in the same league

    Yeah. Well, for free, use JamesPad, but if you already have Office than the little OneNote task bar icon thingy is much better.

    Now my biggest beef is that here's no OS X port of OneNote. Or at least not in the version of Office 2011 I have installed on my laptop... damn.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    there's no OS X port of OneNote.

    Is not magical enough


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