Friday, March 28, 2014

MS OneNote for Mac OS X

App Store 1

I have been an Evernote user since long before Evernote was trendy. I was among the first 10K users. Evernote has a prominent position in my digital life and many of my workflows.

Yesterday, I downloaded and tried Microsoft OneNote for Mac OS X. Hey, it’s free, so why not. Here are my impressions.
OneNote has a very nice interface. If you are an Office user (I’m not), you’ll find the interface very familiar with the ribbon metaphor. There is a lot of flexibility in the creation and content of new notes. You can place a text box anywhere in the note and include various kinds of media.
I would think that OneNote could be very useful to anyone who would use it principally for note-taking.
App Store 2
However, my main use for Evernote is capturing and organizing web content. The browser extension Web Clipper gives a number of options as to what exactly you want to capture and what you can do with it.
Unfortunately, OneNote falls woefully short in this regard. You capture a web page using a simple bookmarklet which creates a new page in OneNote consisting of a static ‘screenshot' of the web page which is not editable and contains no live content. Any links are the page are not functional. You cannot select and copy or delete text. Maybe Microsoft will add more capturing features in future versions, but right now it comes up short.
OneNote syncs through a MS OneDrive account. My experience was that it was slow updating. Web page captures did not appear in the app for a few minutes. This could be just an early-days glitch.
Also, some pages didn’t render very faithfully. The proper positioning of page elements was lost. Be aware as well, that there appears to be no simple way to import your existing Evernote data.
At this point, OneNote doesn’t have the extensive integration with other apps to match Evernote, but that will likely improve over time.
After these experiences, I didn’t try out much else, because I realized OneNote was not going to work for me. But, that’s me.
It’s FREE, so if the issues I noted are not deal-breakers for you download it from the App Store and give it a try.

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