Wednesday, February 13, 2008

MyView: Microsoft Office OneNote

Following on from my highly popular (lol) review of the LG Viewty I thought I would treat you to a review of Microsoft's note-taking products.

Onenote was first seen as part of Office 2003 where the idea was that it integrates fully with the whole Office suite to make easier, the processes of taking, managing and then using your notes.

In theory, it's a fantastic idea.  A product which eliminates the annoying bits of paper everyone uses once in a while and then saves you time in writing up your final article. In practice, it doesn’t let you down.


For example, here is a OneNote page I recently created for a post I was planning on the recently released Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. In the end the post morphed into a slightly more general look on where the partnership between Sony and Microsoft was leading. (The post can be found here.) That didn’t matter though as simple notes you have created can be copied and pasted between pages.

The layout is well organised and feels natural to navigate through. On the left hand side of the window is a list of all your notebooks, (here is minimised view,) I have two, one for my School Notes and one for my Blog Notes.

Then along the top of the page are coloured tabs, known as sections. These are used to divide the contents of the notebook and so for my Blog notes I use a different section for each post I am planning and some others.

Finally down the right hand side are the pages. These are a subdivision of sections and each corresponds to an .one file your documents.

The interface is very intuitive because it has been modelled on a traditional bound notebook which makes navigation simple and easy to pick up.

One really innovative feature is autosave. There is now absolutely no need to save anything and when you open OneNote back up you will find it just as you left it. Neat!

Notes can be recorded by practically any means including typing, writing, audio and video and you can also import colour printouts of documents to notate them. Something that is really embarrassing for Microsoft is that the screen clipping tool in OneNote is superior to Vista’s ‘Snipping Tool’ in that it doesn’t leave you with an annoying red border. (Compare the image above with the one below.)


Integration with Microsoft Outlook is a real selling point for the product. You have the ability to create a task/appointment from within OneNote or to import the information about one which saves you having to open up both applications fully.

In Conclusion, I think you will find OneNote very useful if you take notes on a regular basis, perhaps even just for organisation of a project. It packs great and innovative new features which make it simple and fun to use.

This video demonstrates the ease with which you can move about all of your notes within OneNote:

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alectech said...

impressiver sr.