David Coveney

Microsoft OneNote

At the risk of sounding like an MS Fanboi, I thought I’d bring up Microsoft Office OneNote. I’ve been using this package for general note-taking for some time now, and I’m finding it to be an incredibly useful piece of software.

Thing is – it’s quite hard to explain. It’s a freeform note taking application, but with a number of tricks up its sleeve. It allows for very easy video and sound recording, pen use if you have a tablet PC or a graphics tablet handy, and a neat screen capture tool. Throw in handwriting and image text recognition and you have a pretty potent utility.

And… AND… You can even post notes direct to your blog. In fact, here’s a screenshot of what I’m doing right now – and I’m going to try posting this to my blog to see what happens:

Screen clipping taken: 26/01/2009, 20:26

I can see this as being especially handy for certain collaborative tasks.

Total cost? Well it depends, it comes bundled with a lot of versions of Office, but if you don’t have it you can get it from Amazon and the likes. I’ve seen it on offer for £6 for certain academic licences but for most people it’s going to cost between £36 and £72, give or take a bit.

I feel strangely apologetic for bigging up some Microsoft Software – funny how that’s happened, they clearly have some failings to address with regards to how people feel about them. I do feel they’re improving on this now, and I have to remember that if it wasn’t for MS I doubt I’d have got into coding as it was their excellent yet affordable BASIC that got me started in 1982. And yes, I am that old!

It’s worth noting that in posting this it does do some things slightly strangely – I’m not sure why it adds a one point margin to the left of each<p> tag, for example, but otherwise all seems well.  I’m guessing the margin could break some themes – not ours though ;o)