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OneNote 2007 for projects/next actions

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  • OneNote 2007 for projects/next actions

    I'm using Microsoft OneNote 2007 Beta 2 at the moment - it's a bit flaky but I'm optimistic that the technical refresh (due soon) will be better, but I wanted to share my experience with it as a GTD newbie.

    OneNote is quite cool because it allows you to set up a page (or multiple pages) for a 'project', include a load of freeform text, scribbles, arrows, pictures, links to web pages, whatever, which makes it a good way to collect electronic information.

    Then (this is my favourite bit) when at some point you end up with a list that starts to look like an action plan, you can flag the list item corresponding to your Next Action to appear as a task in Outlook.

    So when I'm going through my actions task list in Outlook, I see I have some action relevant to my project, complete it, mark it as complete, and I have a link back to the page in OneNote where I can flag the next item I just freed up to be done.

    Cool, huh?

    Or maybe I need to get out more...

  • #2
    Originally posted by julia0001
    So when I'm going through my actions task list in Outlook, I see I have some action relevant to my project, complete it, mark it as complete, and I have a link back to the page in OneNote where I can flag the next item I just freed up to be done.

    Cool, huh?

    Or maybe I need to get out more...
    These features were in the old version. Basically, all that linkage stuff is fragile. Particularly with Microsoft, but with any vendor, it is dangerous to base your GTD implementation on a feature that may break any day now.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mcogilvie
      These features were in the old version. Basically, all that linkage stuff is fragile. Particularly with Microsoft, but with any vendor, it is dangerous to base your GTD implementation on a feature that may break any day now.
      That's not entirely fair. You are correct that the linkage is fragile. They "say" they've fixed it. We'll see.

      But having said that, the major problem is with the automatic embedding of OneNote links into Outlook items. The automatic linkage the other way around (from OneNote to Outlook) is fairly reliable. In addition, hyperlinks to OneNote items can be embedded manually into Outlook items very easily. So it really is a major advancement and it really is "pretty cool".

      I might also add that the program is in beta. Its supposed to have bugs. So your warning is well taken in that all beta software should be used with care. I've no doubt that when MS finally releases it, the program will work pretty well and pretty reliably.

      Tom S.
      Last edited by Tom Shannon; 08-18-2006, 04:35 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        The screen shots of the best two notebook programs for the mac show the text on a lined sheet of notebook paper where the text is exactly on the lines. All the information on those two programs show that they are fantastic and loved by their users.

        The screen shots that I have seen for microsoft onenote show the lined notebook paper looking background as totally independent of the text line locations. Kind of like the stationary in outlook.

        In your experience with onenote, is that true? When you have the lined sheet of notebook paper showing as the background, can you line the text up exactly with the thin blue lines?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tim99
          In your experience with onenote, is that true? When you have the lined sheet of notebook paper showing as the background, can you line the text up exactly with the thin blue lines?
          IMO the lined paper is designed for use by people using talets who are writing free form. It isn't designed for lining up with typed text and, to be honest, I'd put that pretty low on my potential features list. Like typing on a piece of paper, if the text is perfectly lined up anyway and you can control the spacing, there isn't much reason for lines. I'm sure it does make for a very professional look , though.

          Tom S.

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          • #6
            Please note that this feature is not only for freeform writing as shown below.

            Please note (pun intended) this screen shot of OneNote:



            And then this screen shot of NoteTaker for Mac:



            Please note that both these screen shots show computer font text (actual computer, possibly typed text, not freeform written text), and note also that the OneNote Windows screen shot shows that the notebook paper lines are random and have nothing to do with the position of the text, but the NoteTaker text is right on the notebook paper lines. Pretty neat. I would give NoteTaker an A, and OneNote a D+ for effort.

            It is interesting that a company that has spent millions of dollars to create a "graphical user interface" and to copy the best two programs out there on the mac, has done what appears to me to be a fairly sloppy job with this specific feature.

            My specific question is: Is this true? Is the fact that all the lined notebook paper screen shots of OneNote I have seen that show computer font (typed) text that does not line up with the psudo-lined notebook paper lines a limitation of the actual software, or just simply the way that the user that created those screen shots created those specific pages?

            I really do not care if this is not important to you, or if you think that it should not be important to me, I simply want to know if what I have noticed is true or not.

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              More NoteTaker screen shots:

              http://www.aquaminds.com/exampleGallery2.jsp

              From Aquaminds FAQ:

              Does NoteTaker run on Windows?

              AquaMinds is actively developing new products including a version of NoteTaker that will run on Microsoft Windows. No release date has been announced at this time but the product is currently scheduled for beta testing by early 2006. Today, Web Notebooks created with NoteTaker for OS X can be published, shared and viewed for cross-platform distribution and use.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tim99
                My specific question is: Is this true? Is the fact that all the lined notebook paper screen shots of OneNote I have seen that show computer font (typed) text that does not line up with the psudo-lined notebook paper lines a limitation of the actual software, or just simply the way that the user that created those screen shots created those specific pages?

                I really do not care if this is not important to you, or if you think that it should not be important to me, I simply want to know if what I have noticed is true or not.

                Thanks!
                Tim:

                It is true - there is no alignment between the lines (or quads) in OneNote and the typed or inked content. NoteTaker is a very elegant program and has been for a number of years. I wish they would deliver on their promise to get a Windows version out. I've used NoteTaker on various Macs over the last few years and have always enjoyed the attention to detail in the application - it's simply beautiful and a joy to use.

                That having been said, OneNote (especially the 2007 version which is actually version 2.0 of the application) is a very usable and useful tool which integrates very nicely with Outlook. As neither of these tools is available on both platforms, the comparison is purely academic. The day one or the other of these developers crosses the platform gulf, then we'll have something to talk about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tim99
                  I really do not care if this is not important to you, or if you think that it should not be important to me, I simply want to know if what I have noticed is true or not.
                  Your question broached a topic. The fact that I didn't directly answer the question at hand or, more probably, that I didn't give you the answer you wanted, does not detract from the relevance of my response. This is a discussion group not a FAQ. If you don't want to discuss the topic, my advice would be that you don't post.

                  Tom S.

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                  • #10
                    True if your trust your senses.

                    Originally posted by tim99
                    I simply want to know if what I have noticed is true or not.
                    I think that if you've noticed something it is rather true if you trust your senses.

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