Tag Archive for: GTD

OneNote News from March 2014

26 Mar 2014
March 26, 2014

OneNote logoOver the years, OneNote has slowly transitioned to an application that I cannot live without. I have it installed on my laptop, desktops, phones and tablet – and via any web browser since I store all my notebooks on OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive). It has become both my long and short term memory and, frankly, I can’t function well without it. I keep all sorts of task lists, project plans, notes, guides, clippings in there and tend to have it open in a monitor at all times.


Last week was a big week for OneNote news. I thought I’d share some of the more interesting ones here.

1) OneNote for Mac exists now. Yep, the hip OS X (10.9 or later) crowd can join in the fun. There were already versions for IOS phones and tablets so this rounds that out nicely.

2) OneNote is free everywhere/every platform. There are still premium features available to paid customers which includes things like SharePoint support, versioning and Outlook integration. Those are all very useful features, but you can live without them for a bit while getting up to speed.  More details in this OneNote blog post.

3) You can mail items to your default OneNote notebook. Just send or forward the mail to “me@outlook.com” after you have done a bit of setup at the OneNote Email Settings page and you now have a great way to capture more data.

4) There is now a cloud API for OneNote to allow 3rd party apps and devices to connect to it. Of the current offerings, I’m most intrigued by the IFTTT and Feedly options… but there are some others that others will find cool as well. More details for developer types can be found at the OneNote Service API Dev Center.

Want to keep up with all this and more? Check out the OneNote blog for more.

OneNote for Android!

07 Feb 2012
February 7, 2012

onenotelogoHere’s my favorite headline of the day:

OneNote Mobile for Android is now available worldwide

Heck yeah! Or should I say, “About time?” Regardless, I’m pretty excited. This is something I’d been waiting on for a long time.

We migrated to Office 365 at work last fall and shortly after that I moved all my OneNote notebooks to our hosted SharePoint server. Sadly, this Android app (same for iPhone version as well) only syncs to SkyDrive… So tonight I spent some time moving all my notebooks back to SkyDrive.

Side note: I wasn’t in love with keeping my OneNote notebooks on hosted SharePoint. In fact, it was rather annoying with the daily password prompts… but we try to eat our own dog food, so to speak, so it was worth doing. And I’m glad to have my OneNotes back to SkyDrive.

Now, not only do I have my OneNote notebooks synchronized to all of my PCs – and web access – but now I also have direct access from my Android smart phone. Holy grail! It runs great on the phone too. Very responsive.

The feature summary is interesting — and I’ll confess I haven’t figured out how to do all this stuff yet:

  • Text formatting, images, and bulleted lists
  • To-do lists with clickable checkboxes
  • Quick photo capture with your phone’s camera
  • Quick access to recent notes
  • Store and access multiple OneNote notebooks
  • Sync to your free SkyDrive account for access anywhere
  • Offline access to your notes
  • Option to sync notebooks only over a Wi-Fi connection
  • Built-in spelling checker
  • Support for external hyperlinks
  • Table editing

Free to play, but once you go past 500 notes there’s a one-time fee of $4.99. Or don’t pay the fee and have read-only access to all your stuff from your phone.

I’ve only had it installed and synchronized to my phone for 3 hours, so the jury is still out on how this will fit in “productivity world” long term, but I’m very bull’ish on it. Anyone else using it and want to share thoughts?

Revisiting the Productivity Stack

20 Mar 2011
March 20, 2011

Last October I had the opportunity to change jobs and it has been a great experience. A little crazy at times but no regrets. I’ve had the ability to use many of my existing skills while having many opportunities to develop or enhance more.

Since we’re a MSP (Managed Services Provider) focused on IT we tend to run the same or similar platforms and apps as our clients. Makes it a lot easier to understand common issues and “pain points” they might have.

So, after years of advocating OpenOffice and Google Apps I find myself spending my days in Microsoft Outlook with our email server running Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 (Exchange 2007). This has been quite a change! Not gonna lie: I grumbled a bit the first week or two but the transition hasn’t really been that difficult and, honestly, in some ways I think it has improved things.

OneNote LogoFor starters, I’m back to using OneNote as my GTD’ish productivity system (previous mention). I’m loving how well OneNote and Outlook work together, especially the ability to flag things in OneNote as Outlook Tasks. In fact, I now use OneNote as my primary collection system, but I manage all my day-to-day tasks in Outlook – many of them originating from OneNote. Really cool once you get used to it.

In the past, I used Dropbox to store and sync my OneNote notebooks so that I could access them from more than one machine. Worked fine but I had to have OneNote on every machine. Sadly, that left the *nix machines out of the mix.

That’s no longer an issue with the advent of Office Web Apps on SkyDrive. This is some seriously cool stuff! Store your notebooks there and then open them directly via the OneNote web app or open them with the OneNote app if it is installed on the PC. Skydrive keeps it all in sync.


The browser version is pretty slick, too. Not all the features are there but there are certainly enough to be very functional and useful.

What would be nice? An Android OneNote client. I’m miffed that Microsoft did an iPhone one first! But other than that, I’m probably about as organized as I’ve ever been. And that’s critical in my new role!

Office 2010 Live on SkyDrive

10 Jun 2010
June 10, 2010

Years late to the party, but Microsoft has finally made their online office suite a bit more available to the general public. I learned about it from the “Office is now live on SkyDrive” article:

[…] if you live in the US, UK, Canada, or Ireland, you can head over to Office.live.com today to start viewing and editing Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote documents right in your web browser – and share them with your friends.

I’ve been playing with it a bit over the past few days and am pretty impressed. You can do all the stuff you’d expect: Upload existing docs to SkyDrive, edit them there or locally (with Office plugins I believe), collaborate, share, go mobile, etc.

Office Live on SkyDrive

The Web version of OneNote is especially worth a look. At first blush it is almost exactly like the real deal… but that blush fades after a little digging. Still, very impressive. Very useful.

What I really love is the fact that the tab key works so well for indenting / out-denting list items (which is one of my favorite features of the “real” OneNote). All the normal keyboard shortcuts work too: Ctrl-1 for the first tag item (checkbox by default), etc.

What’s disappointing about the web version of OneNote? You can’t customize the tags which is something I rely on for my own GTD’ish way (inspiration) of doing things. Sadly that doesn’t matter much because you can’t view/search by tags either. That’s a bit disappointing. I uploaded some of my old Notebooks but couldn’t open them with the online version. That too was a bit disappointing.

But still. Good stuff and worth a look.