OneNote - A Nifty New Application for Microsoft Office
Seems like only yesterday when Microsoft released Office XP.
But now a new version, called Microsoft Office System 2003, is
The word “System” is in the product name because the emphasis
of this release is on collaboration in the workplace for instance using
SharePoint Services and XML.
Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, the focus of this NextWave
article, is a new member of the Microsoft Office System although it can
be used as a standalone application.
provides a way to get rid of “all of those little pieces of paper”
and even more importantly get rid of the trusty legal pad by providing
one place to store all of your notes.
And as a by product of diligent usage, it is also a way to
improve the human memory with its ability to quickly retrieve
is not the first program to allow you to enter and search for free-form
Personal Information Manager (PIM) programs such as InfoSelect
permit you to do this.
Specialized databases such as Ask Sam have this capability.
And Contact Management programs like GoldMine permit entry and
search of free-form notes using its InfoCenter feature.
what is different about OneNote?
First off, the recording of notes is all it does.
It is not an added feature.
Along with the novel user interface which we will get to in a
moment, the thing that sets OneNote apart is the way it lets you take
OneNote is a note-taking program.
are some of the things that OneNote does and how it works.
in notes about anything.
Record knowledge as you learn it.
Take notes at a meeting or presentation.
Gather research material from Encarta Encyclopedia, various
research web sites, etc.
type in notes, hand-write notes, make sketches, audio record them
using your computer’s microphone, or copy them in from web pages
and other digital documents.
Can put them anywhere on the page.
Rather than using a legal pad, putting them in OneNote
initially avoids having to retype them later or not capturing them
electronically at all.
You can synchronize typed notes with the audio recording of a
meeting or presentation and use your notes as an index to access the
you to be more spontaneous getting notes in.
Your notes can be organized later.
A Notebook can first be organized by Folders if you wish.
Each folder has user definable Section tabs going across the
top and user definable Page tabs going down the right side of the
As you switch sections, a new set of page tabs appear
allowing you to find information fast.
You can also add Sub-Pages to pages.
use “Note Flags” (standard and custom) to mark a note for
follow-up or to help organize it more easily later.
You can flag notes with shapes, text color, or highlighting,
so as to prioritize action items and important information.
you wish, you can enter notes in a vertical or horizontal outline
format simply by pressing the tab key.
You can insert headings for each level and expand or collapse
the text below it as well as the level itself.
clicking on the “N” icon in your task tray, you can quickly open
a miniature OneNote window whenever you want to take a quick
side note while you're working in other programs. Can reuse note
pages, sections, etc in other Office 2003 programs including
PowerPoint and Word.
perform full-text searches of your notes using the Boolean AND, OR,
and NEAR operators.
Can use quotation marks to match exact phrases.
Can limit search by age of notes and sections of notebook.
can share your OneNote files in a variety of ways. Can put OneNote
files on a network share and allow many people to access them.
File locks are at the Section level so if you happen to be
working on a page in a particular section, another user will only be
able to read them until you leave the section.
share them via email easily if you have Outlook 2003.
OneNote automatically converts the notes to HTML and puts
them into the message body so that even recipients who don’t have
OneNote installed on their computer can read them.
But, you can still copy and paste or attach a section file as
an attachment with any e-mail client.
publish them as HTML web pages simply by clicking Publish on the
File menu and selecting the destination.
Can edit these pages using FrontPage.
put into a document library on Windows SharePoint Services in the
native OneNote format.
OneNote is designed for collaboration with its built-in
shared workspace task pane to see other workspace members.
a style of paper for a notes page in OneNote—for example, lined,
graph, or blank.
you have a notebook computer attached to a network, you can work
offline or on different computers by using Windows Explorer to
select the My Notebook folder and then on the “File” menu,
choose “Make Available Offline.”
section of your notebook is a separate file on your computer that
has a .one extension.
These section files are stored in folders and subfolders
within the My Notebook folder which in-turn is stored within the My
You never need to save data.
OneNote saves itself periodically and upon exit and makes an
archival backup copy that it can revert to if the original file is
requirements for OneNote are as follows.
Microsoft Office 2003 is not needed to use OneNote but you do
need Outlook 2003 if you want to create tasks from OneNote or email
The application requires Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 or
You do not need a tablet pc but it is well designed for use with
the Tablet Edition of Windows XP.
On a desktop pc, a pen input accessory is best for sketching but
you can use your mouse.
OneNote has enhanced capabilities that enable people using Tablet
PCs to handwrite notes or draw diagrams with “digital ink”.
Digital Ink treats handwriting as if it were text, such as
permitting the ability to search handwritten notes and can convert them
Handwritten notes can be entered into a pc running the regular
version of Windows XP but they are simply stored as an image, not as
can be purchased anywhere Microsoft Office is sold.
List price is $199.
There is a $100 mail in rebate for customers that own almost any
version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works.
If your company is entitled to purchase Volume licenses, there is
a promotion offering a 50% discount if you purchase before September 1st
of this year.
Get One Note!