Johnny OneNote

25 Mar 2004|Added Value

I recently started using OneNote, and after some initial skepticism on my part, it’s turned out to be very cool. OneNote is a new MS Office app that, to me, seems focused on tablet, but works fine on a regular laptop (I don’t have a tablet). Also, do know that the company I work for did a beta test for the software, and we’re going to be a case study for MSFT for this app. With that out of the way…

What’s cool about it is that it’s basically replaced my paper notepad, which is something I could have never imagined before. I use it for my daily to-do list, taking notes from important client meetings, and I even use their little Post-It-like things (they call ’em Side Notes) for quick messages like jotting down phone numbers etc.

The big advantage as I see it right now is the search function (hmmm, search as the killer app? Something for my next blog…). I can slam out notes to an important phone call, or a post-it note for a quick phone number or URL, and no matter where I put it in OneNote it’s easy to find using the search function. This is so cool you cannot imagine–it’s like how I felt when I first discovered Google. Way easier to find my notes when compared to my old, dirt-world paper pad.

In fact that’s the next step for me–my files in OneNote are horribly disorganized and I need to clean that up. The cool thing is that it almost doesn’t matter–I can still get a lot of use out of it without having any clue how to organize things in there (in OneNote) because of the great search function.

The way to improve the experience for me is to get a tablet (let’s hope my IT dept. is reading this ;). Being able to take notes using the touchpad and stylus would be the next level of convenience. (See Darrel Rhea’s blog on his tablet.) This would allow me to take notes using the PC and OneNote even in face-to-face client meetings (right now, unless I have another colleague with me, I feel squirrelly take notes on a keyboard in a F2F meeting. Notes with a stylus on a touchpad seems less weird, and very much like the way I do it now anyway).

And of course, there’s some buggy stuff in there. (Why can you only highlight things moving right-to-left with your mouse and not left-to-right like I normally do? And why do the side notes sometimes not pop up at all?). Chalk it up to v1 I suppose, but it’s relatively minor stuff overall.

Taking things a step further than that, the whole system could easily replace my Palm if only it would boot up super-quick. So, if the tablet (or my laptop) could boot up in the same time it would take me to fish my Palm out of my bag and access a number from that device, now THAT would be cool. (I know this is doable–somebody, puh-leeze make it happen for us.) Lord knows I wanna get rid of that little extra device (the Palm).

And I haven’t even started on OneNote’s audio-recording capability…

OK, I’m done for now. Thanks for readin’…

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